Libertarian rhetoric often invokes civil liberties as the sine qua non of civilised society, but does sound and fury about scrapping ID cards and databases merely create obstacles to a potential goldseam of progressive government?
In the outline of the Lib-Con (or, if you prefer, Con-Dem) agreement released today, for example, is a sketch of a magnificent-sounding “Great Repeal Bill” on civil liberties. It promises to draw back New Labour’s horrid “illiberal hand of the state, creeping further into our lives” (the words of Cameron in a letter to voters), in the following way:
The scrapping of the ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database… Further regulation of CCTV… [and] a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences. (From the parties’ written agreement)
They have ample justification for their misgivings