POLI 239 British ID Cards Essay

POLI 239 British ID Cards Essay - POLI 239 National...

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POLI 239 National Identification Cards Ever since the suicide bombings in Britain on July 7, 2005, national security issues have been hotly contented in British Parliament. A strong divide exist between the two major parties’ beliefs in how to ensure domestic security. The policy of national identification cards exemplifies a clear disagreement between the Labour and Conservative parties. For the last decade the Labour Party has been the majority party in Parliament, so in 2006, when Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced the Identity Cards Act, it passed despite strong vocal opposition from the Conservative Party. This one issue can be also used as lens to describe these two parties’ general ideologies, and furthermore, how each party then fits into a general party family on the political spectrum. Referred to by the British government as the National Identity Scheme, the legislation passed by Parliament facilitated the start of a process in which every citizen in the United Kingdom must eventually acquire a government issued identity card. This card is linked to a massive government database called the National Identity Register (Identity). Meaning that the government will have access to an extensive amount of personal data, including but not limited to, “names, addresses, phone numbers, former residences, national insurance and passport numbers… fingerprints, [and] facial and iris scans” (Scott). Currently these ID cards are a high source of tension between the Labour Party, who view the policy as a necessary protection against constant criminal threats, and the Conservative Party, who see it only as a violation of privacy and an ineffective waste of money. 1
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The Labour Party is in full support of this policy. Primarily, their position is that the scheme is an effective measure to prevent identity theft and to make it much more difficult for terrorists to create false identifications. Furthermore, Tony Blair cited the prevention of illegal immigration as an added benefit of the policy in a speech to the press shortly before the bill was
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course POLI 239 taught by Professor Stephens during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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POLI 239 British ID Cards Essay - POLI 239 National...

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