As London is once again subjected to a terror attack – which failed and makes the terrorists look not so much frightening as foolish (though let’s never forget they remain a threat) – I wonder about the UK Government’s proposed Identity Card scheme.
Can such a scheme really serve to prevent this sort of attack? Well, I don’t believe it can. Especially as it seems that this latest wave of terror is being perpetrated by UK Citizens, born and bred. Or will there be a box for us to check when applying for the identity card with a question like:
“Have you ever been, or do you plan to be, a member of a terrorist cell based in the United Kingdom?”
Mmmm, perhaps not.
I think identity cards will help, but only to identify people who shouldn’t be here and thus who may possibly have a criminal intent in being here. Of course, in these days of forged passports, visas, credit cards, cheque books, and designer label accessories, how long before a forged id card is available to anyone with money (which certainly includes terrorist cells!).
What may be more effective is extending the powers of the police to stop people who are acting suspiciously or who are somewhere that they clearly shouldn’t be. Especially if such powers are combined with an alert system that governs the entire country. So the higher the state of alert, the more freedom the police have to stop and search people.
It would no doubt be an inconvenience for some people who are stopped but if you have nothing to hide, after all it is only an inconvenience. Surely, you would rather be inconvenienced for a few minutes (or longer) as opposed to being blown to bits? I’d certainly plump for the inconvenience every time.
Of course, if you’re being a naughty boy (or girl) and are carrying several pounds of high explosives in your rucksack you won’t be so keen on the inconvenience. And, of course, that’s the point! You’d have been caught in the act. No glorious death! No infidels murdered! Just the prospect of a very long spell in prison.
And surely that would be to the benefit of every law-abiding soul in the land?