Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing MSP has written to the Home Office expressing the Scottish Government’s continued opposition to the UK Government’s National Identity Scheme.
In a letter to Junior Home Office Minister Meg Hillier MP Mr Ewing said that the scheme posed an unacceptable threat to citizen’s civil liberties and privacy.
Mr Ewing also said that money being spent on the scheme could be used for more “worthy” causes such as schools and hospitals. He said:
Given the current financial climate, the UK Government should have better uses for the vast sums of money being spent on this scheme, which presents an unacceptable threat to citizens’ privacy and civil liberties, with little tangible evidence to suggest it will do anything to safeguard against crime and terrorism.
The letter also sought clarity over some of the detail and questioned the legality of the Identity register under European Human Rights Regulations.
In November 2008 the Scottish Parliament held a debate and a vot on the issue of Identity cards and voted in favour of a Scottish Government motion opposing the UK Government’s plans.
National Identity cards will become compulsory in Britain in 2012. The Home Office hopes to be issuing the first cards to British Citizens later this year.
I must say I am glad that this issue has not left the agenda of the Scottish Government. While the matter remains a reserved one the continued opposition of the democratically elected Scottish Parliament and the Government within that institution can only add to the weight of those campaigning tirelessly against the scheme.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I find this scheme utterly abhorrent and an extensive infringement upon our civil liberties and rights to privacy. I continue to express my opposition to the scheme through not only this blog but by writing to my MP and as many senior Government members as I can possibly and as often as I possibly can (I’ve yet to receive replies from the Government after about 20 letters). When I write or think about this abhorrent scheme I can feel my blood boiling – it gets me that angry and fired up.
Anyway, I’m in danger of going into a rant here so will leave this entry here.