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I am NOT one of those who is quiescent in the erosion of our liberties which our government seems intent on carrying through. Amusingly, earlier this evening on Radio4 Question Time, Lord 'Charlie' Falconer disputed Jonathan Dimbleby's assessment of an audience vote as being 'overwhelmingly' opposed to the the introduction of ID cards, whether compuslory or 'voluntary' (both questions had already been posed by Dimbleby of the live audience). Lord Falconer had earlier made the bold statement that surveys had 'regularly' showed that most were in favour of the introudction of ID cards. Interestingly one of the other panellists was the political editor of 'The Sun' newspaper who stated that the policy of his newspaper was, generally, to support the introduction of ID cards - he even used the hoary old justification 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear'. Anyway, Jonathan went back and asked the audience to vote again and said, in his estimation, it was 90 per cent opposed, at which point Lord Falconer opnied that he thought it was more like 85 per cent! In other words, he was forced to accept that, in this audience at least (in Skegness, for information), his arguements had not convinced. No one I know is in favour of ID cards (admittedly I tend to move in possibly fairly untypical, for Scotland, of Conservative circles - even as a 'renegade' former member), but I am suspicious of people like Falconer who try to pretend that 'most' are in favour, and then have difficulty in accepting that a live audience could be so different from what he wants us to believe is the general view throughout the country, unless Skegness, or that audience, is completely atypical of the country as a whole.

I think a massive spin exercise is being played upon the UK by the government to try and persuade us that its authoritarian agenda is necessary to protect us from 'terrorism'. Bizarrely, I supported (and still support) the actions of the government in involvement in Iraq, almost the only activity where I think the government has acted correctly, because of my own knowledge of the Middle East. My own Conservative instincts (albeit a rebel Conservative, in recent years) are naturally opopsed to what a Labour government might be trying to do, but even so I am perplexed at even a Labour government which seems so hell-bent on eroding our hard-earned liberties. I would love to understand, prior to 9/11, just why Blair reacted as he did, during the civil strife which erupted at the G7 summit in Milan in the summer of 2001 - that for me was the real turning point and I wondered at the time just what was going on. I still don't understand it, but I can only imagine (in an attempt at justification of Blair's actions ever since) that he must have been presented with some intelligence at the time which has persuaded him to act as he has ever since.

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"In the US, even more astonishingly,..": come now, they have all done it - certainly Clinton's mob did. Less often, they kill their own - but Clinton's mob managed even that at Waco and Ruby Ridge. The rot goes much deeper that the present dud-in-charge. Americans, it seems, never reflect on the fact that all polities are mortal.

Chris Cullen

This is scary. If you have a poorly educated and credible electorate you seem to be able to get away with almost anything.

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