First they forced ID cards on asylum seekers,
and I didn’t protest because I wasn’t an asylum seeker.
Now they’re forcing ID cards on non-EU migrants,
and I didn’t protest because I wasn’t a non-EU migrant.
Next they’re forcing ID cards on airport workers,
and then they’re going to force one on me…
It’s weird, we have a steady stream of revelations of disastrous loss of data, the ballooning cost, technical failures, but just as steady is the lower key reporting of the advancing ID card roll out, whatever the opposition, whatever the political embarrassments, whatever the cock ups, New Labour persist in their program. Like a glacier, you may remark upon it but its advance is unstoppable, however this is not a force of nature, this is allegedly a democracy, implacable advancement of state power should not be impossible to alter. Cardiff NoBorders protested yesterday against the encroachment, all non EU migrants now have to attend Border Agency installations and get fingerprinted, photographed, interrogated, scanned and processed and made to carry an ID card, papers bitte? And they produced this excellent bulletin
The government is upfront about it’s plans, and has repeatedly stressed they consider that “border control can no longer be a fixed line on a map”. This first blow against everyone’s liberty is part of a wider government plan to internalise borders within the UK so everyone can be numbered and monitored.
And an ‘internalised’ state authority is the most crucial step to an obedient malleable populace and then will come the laws, to show your card on demand by police or security persons granted police powers and the fines and penalties for not doing so. Panopticon accomplished.
Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.