Our director Silkie Carlo debates in City AM:
“When Theresa May scrapped Blairite plans for national ID cards in 2010, she warned that they would “increase state control over law abiding people”.
“And yet, this is what the Johnson government (or should we call it the Cummings government?) is now doing. It’s sobering that a major policy for state expansion can more easily be traced to Dominic Cummings — an unelected bureaucrat (we all become what we once hated) — than to a Conservative manifesto.
“The idea of digitally indexing the population, normalising identity checks and centralising sensitive records about each and every one of us — spanning health, work, travel, benefits, biometric data — is one so totalitarian in nature that seeing it lauded for administrative convenience only makes you wonder how far down the road we’ve already gone.
“The death knell of any unpopular policy, Tony Blair even piped up to support it. He quickly brought the idea to its most absurdly authoritarian conclusion: use digital IDs to check vaccinations. This could easily lead to a health apartheid irreconcilable with a democracy.
“For a man who claims to be able to read public opinion like a Svengali, Cummings has got this drastically wrong. The British public has never accepted national ID cards before — and, I assure you we won’t now.”