Thursday, October 20, 2005

Alex Salmond on growing unease: ID cards, terror laws...

Taken from publictechnology:

SNP leader pinpoints growing unease over security and ID Cards

Public Technology October 20 2005

SNP Leader Alex Salmond MP will use his speech to the 30th Anniversary conference of the Scottish Legal Action Group in Edinburgh this evening (Thursday) to highlight the growing unease in Scotland over the government's security agenda - of which ID Cards are a central cornerstone.

Mr Salmond will warn that Labour's plans for ID cards and a national identity register, and the increasing use of anti-terror laws, mark a dangerous new direction for the state and state powers which runs contrary to centuries of Scottish freedoms.

Speaking before the event, Mr Salmond said:"We are entering an important period for Scotland. A period that will define the sort of country we are, and determine the freedoms we hold as citizens.

"Across Scotland I am picking up a great deal of unease and concern at the direction the government is trying to take us. Hard won personal freedoms are threatened to an extent I never thought possible. We are sliding towards a big brother Britain.

"I don't want to be part of a country where the first instinct of the police when they see an 82 year old pensioner being assaulted is to detain that pensioner under anti-terror laws. The police would have served us better by arresting Walter Wolfgang's assailants.

"I don't want to be part of a society where a woman on her way to work is prevented by terror laws from walking along a cycle path in Dundee.

"If the government gets its way, within a few years, every Scot will be forced to register their personal details in a centralised database.

"There are huge practical arguments against the introduction of ID cards - they are technically unproven and will impose an identity tax of hundreds of pounds on a family of four. But there are also vital issues of principle.

"A great deal is being done in the name of protecting us from terror, but truly effective measures such as using evidence from telephone tapping in court are blocked because they would open government ministers to judicial scrutiny.

"Labour won the support of just 21.6% of the electorate in May and yet has an unassailable majority in the House of Commons. There is no effective control or limit on Tony Blair.

"We have every reason to feel uneasy, and every reason to expect Scotland's Parliament to offer protection."



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