Prime Minister's Press Conference, Thursday 1st April 2004 (this is not an April Fool's Day joke)
We believe that there is a difficult situation here and because of the fact that a lot of people involved in terrorism are actually coming from such backgrounds, but don't you believe that this might lead to a conflict within the British population itself eventually?
Well I hope in part it depends on what people like yourselves say to the Muslim community, because in the end it is perfectly obvious why we are having to do this, we are having to do this because we want to protect our people against terrorism, and in protecting people against terrorism we are protecting the Muslim population as well. But we need the laws that we have. Look I think that we will need to readjust our terrorism laws still further, I have to say this to you, and I think that the whole issue of identity cards that a few years ago were not on anyone's agenda are very much on the political agenda here, probably more quickly even than we anticipated, and that is because we are living in a new world and with a new threat that we have to take account of."
Astonishingly, Tony Blair is linking ID Cards with anti--terrorist measures, something which even David Blunkett and Jack Straw have denied would have any effect on terrorists.
Changes to the anti-terrorism laws are needed - to introduce more safeguards against them being abused for purposes which are not related to terrorism, and to provide criminal penalties against those petty officials who attempt to do so.
You mentioned earlier there might be a need to adjust terrorism laws further and you made reference to ID cards. Can you tell us more about that? And I thought the Cabinet had decided to defer ID cards for a few years.
There are certain issues that are going to come up in the near future about terrorism laws and what we need to do in respect of that, and the ... will publish proposals on it. But we need to make sure that in the light of fresh information and operations such as the one that we have just seen that we are keeping our law up to date with the reality on the ground. The second point in relation to ID cards is that I think there is no longer a civil liberties objection to that in the vast majority of quarters. There is a series of logistical questions, of practical questions, those need to be resolved, but that in my judgment now, the logistics is the only time delay in it, otherwise I think it needs to move forward."
"no longer a civil liberties objection" ??
There are plenty of valid civil liberties objections which have not been answered by the Government, perhaps what Tony Blair means is that he is simply planning to ignore the objections without debate ?
What was the point of the "Cold War" and what is the point of the "War on Terror" if our fundamental civil liberties, which is what are under attack, are thrown away by soundbite politicians ?
Where is the detailed Government's Draft ID Cards Bill which was promised in the Queen's Speech ?
If rigourously checking the documents of a few thousand Immigrants is beyond the capabilities of the Home Office, then why should anyone believe that they can cope with 60 million of us who will need to go through essentially the same kind of ID Card enrolment process ?
Remember that, unlike Passports or Driving Licences, there can not be any economies of scale due to postal applications, which are ruled out by virtue of the reliance on Biometric Identifiers for which we will have to queue and queue in person, and then pay the ID Card Poll Tax to remain "entitled" to the Government services which we have already paid for and already have a right to.
Please write to, or fax or email your MP and object to the Prime Minister's statement.