Wednesday 3 December 2008

Banks in Bad Company

A headline on the BBC news caught my ear this morning. Proposed legislation in today's Queen's Speech will be 'targeting banks, binge drinkers and benefit cheats'. Who would have thought, just a year ago, that bankers would find themselves rubbing shoulders with boozers and fraudsters as government 'targets' - the whirligig of time... But the most worrying target has been kept half-hidden - once again it's the recalcitrant citizenry, guilty until proved innocent. Police powers to stop, without any pretext, anyone who has 'entered the country' and demand proof of their identity is as unmistakable a step towards a police state as there could be. I hope it is blown out of the water at the first opportunity. There's a good piece on the ID card business in Standpoint, which gives reason to hope that the whole dubiously legal edifice could yet be brought crashing down. Let's hope so.


  1. ID cards are an abomination for the very same reason I always refuse to fill in those forms asking about my ethic origin, gender and sexual orientation. It's none of their damn business.

  2. And you can always say 'Don't you know who I am?' can't you Dick? Not a card I can play...

  3. It all seems rather complicated. Why not appoint a drunken benefit cheat to the chairmanship of the now National Bank plc (the National Westminster, as was). That way you could deal with the problem in a single Bill rather than three. My local supermercados are stuffed with cheap booze offers in every aisle - almost a competition as to which company has the most effective suicide strategy, via fizzy cans, big cider bottles or industrial vodka, your choice. The supermarkets aren't going to pay the slightest attention to any new Bill. I suppose the government must have deluded itself that they will.

    With you all the way on the ID card stuff. Nasty ideas from nasty people, imho. We can only hope the whole thing falls apart due to incompetence.

  4. Thanks for the link to the Standpoint piece Nige, I especially liked the reference to Revelation (chapter 13):

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark

    If the introduction of ID cards does become increasingly likely, I'd like to think the public will become more skeptical. I doubt it though. After I've refused to give Jacqui Smith my fingertips and eyeballs, spare a thought for me when I'm detained without charge for 1000 days as a Threat To National Security.

  5. The most telling statement ever made about the misuse of state power was Kafka's The Trial. A very chilling statement, the sense of oppression was overwhelming. The system is unbeatable, closer and closer this cloud creeps towards us, cloying, nauseating, the sense of helplessness grows. We sit at the door to the law and wonder, what, when, is this for us.
    In Michael Dobbs book Winston's War the little Jewish barber, his life ordered and sliced by mindless bureaucracy shrugs and says it's the system.
    After years of misuse by people, he points to the abstract.
    Today, do we head down there, the road of destitution, to a land of abstract unaccountability.
    All here know the short journey from idiocy to madness, others do not, it may yet be our downfall.

    Then Brit decides to have haircut.