Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

ID cards: first they came for the foreign students

First they came for the foreign students, and I didn't speak up because I was not a foreign student.

Then they came for those on marriage visas, and I didn't speak up because that didn't apply to me.

Then it was the turn of the airport workers, but I wasn't one.

Then they said it was for everyone in a 'sensitive' job, but that didn't include me either.

Then it was the turn of all foreign nationals, but still this did not concern me.

They said it was voluntary, so I was not bothered.

Then there was another terror scare and they announced it was now compulsory.

They came for me, and by that time it was too late to campaign.

OK, admittedly the above is all a bit over the top and most definitely draws a grossly unfair parallel. But it does get across the idea that the government may be introducing compulsory ID card by stealth, 'salami slicing' the population and introducing the scheme bit by bit.

The first stage, just for foreign nationals, was unveiled by the Home Secretary on Thursday.

The ID card issue isn't one for Amnesty, but is certainly a civil liberties matter which might concern you, and some campaigners are concerned that it represents a major move towards the UK becoming a 'surveillance state'. More from campaign group NO2ID

What do you think – an important step in the fight against people trafficking and terrorism, or a backdoor to compulsory identity cards, more surveillance and less of a "right to a private life"?

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts