Card-carrying Australians


Philip Ruddock’s conversion to the Australian ID card encapsulates the Howard Government’s murder of conscience in modern Australia.

Ruddock was, after all, once the model of Australian tolerance, civility and liberalism within the Liberal Party of Australia. Yet, corrupted by his desire to win the approval of John Howard, Ruddock has step by step abandoned every liberal principle, and articulated the successive and particularly successful attitudes of his political master.

No politician in our history shows more visibly, in his face, the consequences of the dirty work he has chosen to do. Look at him – he is the Australian version of the Portrait of Dorian Grey.

So what does this grey, pathetic and sad little man have to say in support of a compulsory Australian identity card?

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review on 16 January 2006, he said: ‘A very large proportion of Australians have a natural ID card now – it is called a passport, and increasingly that passport is going to include biometric data.’

Thanks to Bill Leak at The Australian

So now we know and we all have been warned. The purpose of the national ID card is to keep better tabs on us all, and to increase the power and ability of the central bureaucracy to keep check on the activities and life history of every one of us.

Above all, its purpose is to make it a criminal offence not to carry a card. Otherwise, what is its conceivable purpose?

I had always thought that my passport was a promise of protection by my government. I find now, according to the Ruddock doctrine, that my passport is a menace against my privacy.

It appears to have escaped public notice how easily the priority given to photographic ID gives way to the convenience and profit of the airlines.

Well before, but especially since, September 11, we were all required to produce photographic ID at airports. This has always been a special difficulty for people like me, who do not hold a current driver’s licence. I personally solve the problem by carrying my passport – imagine that – a passport to travel in my own country!

But, almost three months ago, Qantas established in every capital airport, a Do-it-Yourself system, by which you simply type in your name and flight number, and receive a boarding card. This is very fast and efficient, but there is absolutely no requirement for personal ID. This process also avoids a rule far older than the threat of terrorism: the rule of?non-transferable of tickets.

Under this new process, anybody who knows my name and knows that I am booked on that particular flight can obtain a boarding pass in my name – without any photographic ID. But because this is done in the name of efficiency and cost-cutting, not a murmur has been raised.

The fact is that the national ID card is just another step towards State control of every aspect of our lives.

It may be supremely ironic, but it is no coincidence that it has been the Liberal Party of Australia, and the Republican Party in the United States, that are taking us so rapidly?down Hayak’s Road to Serfdom.

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