Sunday 12 October 2003

Spy in the sky

I am a supporter of road pricing although it won't work properly until government gets out of the transport business altogether. Who knows, in a genuine free market rail may make a profitable comeback. In the meantime this idea must be rejected out-of-hand. According to the Transport Secretary (and my own MP):
Primarily, the way we expect it to happen is some sort of satellite-based system which will look at the distance you travel and will be able to differentiate things like time of day and the type of roads you’re using.
I note today that some cabinet ministers are expressing doubts about any introduction of a state identity card. Good. But I can see that the Blair clique might be able to con people into accepting ID cards as a weapon against crime, terrorism, illegal immigration or whatever. I can't though see the British people welcoming the idea that the state should be allowed to spy on our every movement, keeping records of "the distance you travel", and the "time of day and the type of roads you’re using". A surer way of stirring the forces of conservatism would be hard to imagine.