Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A conundrum

So... do the xenophobic libertarians amongst you (a) agree or (b) disagree with the introduction of ID cards for foreign nationals?


westcoast2 said...


Are you only allowing xenophobic libertarians to answer, so you can label them as xenophonic libertarians?

What is a xenophobic libertarian?

Kerry said...

There's plenty of them on here, so I'll let them answer.

Old Holborn said...

I don't believe anyone should carry an ID card. I know who I am and can prove it if required. I had to when I got a passport. HMG doesn't ask too many questions when it wants me to pay tax does it? I have never been asked to prove my ID when the State wants my money.

Secondly, I am a free range individual, not a tagged battery chicken. The State is my servant, paid for by me. I am not it's to tag.

The State calls me Sir, not the other way around. They work for me. They are my servants.

Meanwhile, I hear VAT is GOING UP to 18.5%


DaveA said...

No. If they are legally in the country they should not have to carry an identity card as any other person in this country.

Fred Bloggs said...

Bout time too...

pagar said...


I think you fundamentally misunderstand what a libertarian is- we are in no way zenophobic.

If anyone wishes to come to the UK in order to make a better life for themselves they should a) be free to do so and b) be welcomed unequivocally. Always providing, of course, that they are prepared to work to create that better life for themselves and do not expect others to pay for it. Unfortunately, the existence of the welfare state means that their motives will be questioned if they come here and claim benefits.

There are many examples of groups of immigrants who have come to the UK and contributed to the wealth and vibrancy of our country- Jews, Ugandan asians and, more recently, the Polish community. The problem is that the benefits system has created an underclass in the indigenous population (and amongst some groups of immigrants). These people are encouraged by the system to subsist, often for generations, living lives that are blighted because they are afraid and unmotivated to take responsibility for their own lives. These lives, their potential unfulfilled, are a disgrace.

That is the tragedy and it is a tragedy that your party, for the best of motives, has been instrumental in creating.

Basil Brown said...

Foreign-nationals already have ID verification:


Was that a dog-whistle I heard coming from nulabor HQ? Along with some classic doublespeak in branding your opponents as extremists for opposing your extremist policies?

Kerry said...

There are people on here somewhere, lost amongst the maze of comments, of the libertarian ilk, who insist they are xenophobic not racist. There is of course, no distinction. Except one's easier to spell.

Steven_L said...

Kerry, if the government have nothing to fear of foreigners, why don't you disclose all of our official secrets to them?

Racism is completely different to xenophobia, one is an irrational fear of foreign nations and the other prejudging someone on the grounds of skin colour regardless of nationality.

Of course, some fear of foreign nationals is not irrational is it? If it is why don't you dispand the military?

On the contrary, your PM is planning on updating our nuclear deterent, and quite right too. Why? Because we're afraid of foreigners!

As for ID cards, no-one other than the Americans and the civil service wants us to have them.

pagar said...


Your last comment is unworthy.

To call your opponent in a dialogue a racist (therefore anything they have to say is rendered impotent) demonstrates a fascist mindset. My wife is black. I am not a racist.

Name calling does not progress the argument but that is the accusation and you are condemned by your own words.

Ben said...

All discussions on semantics aside, I can tell you that as an ID card holder (from former residency in Hong Kong), I am not in the least bit concerned with holding an ID card even as a British citizen. I have surrendered fingerprint and iris details to noneother but the Chinese government, a fairly stern bunch I'm sure you'll all agree, but still support ID cards.
I am not alone, in Sweden there has been an ID card system for 50 years and people I have spoken to from there still express confusion about the resistance to such measures here.

Finally, for those of you who think that ID cards take control out of the individual, I can assure you that I prefer holding my details on a chip in my wallet than in the countless government databases.

Old Holborn said...

So Ben,

You are on the Chinese System.

I'm not.

I'm not on any system.

Who do you think they'll find first?


Two guys are on Safari when their jeep breaks down. One guy starts putting on his running shoes and the other says

"What you doing? You'll never out run a lion!"

The other guy says

"I know. I just need to outrun you"

Stray Taoist said...

I think you somewhat misunderstand what a libertarian is, what xenophobia is, and the difference between it and racism.

And before you say it, how can you possibly say that you know enough of them to get the idea. I know prostitutes, doesn't mean all women are like that. I know French people who smoke, doesn't mean all French smoke.

As for your trolling question, well, that tells its own story. I mean, when did you stop beating your wife?

Kerry said...

"Xenophobia is an intense dislike and/or fear of people from other countries. It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "foreigner," "stranger," and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe a fear or dislike of foreigners or of people significantly different from oneself."

And if OH wants to sue me for calling him racist, given the content of his website, he's very welcome to do so.

Kerry said...

Ben, I agree - and Norway too.

Old Holborn said...


Is it cos I is Black?

Stray Taoist said...

For a shining moment there I thought you were a Classicist, then I realised you lifted that straight from wikipedia, neglecting the next paragraph that says 'In various contexts, the terms "xenophobia" and "racism" seem to be used interchangeably, though they can have wholly different meanings (xenophobia can be based on various aspects, racism being based solely on race and ancestry).'

τι γαρ ωφελειται ανθρωπος εαν τον κοσμον ολον κερδηση την δε ψυχην αυτου ζημιωθη η τι δωσει ανθρωπος ανταλλαγμα της ψυχης αυτου

Stray Taoist said...

And if you got that, for an encore:

Ο σοφωτατοσ εστιν οστισ τον οιδει οιδει οιδεν

Old Holborn said...

Kerry, pet

I'm not a racist

I believe, like you that:

Forced marriages are GOOD

Female Genial Mutilation is GOOD

Women should stay in the kitchen innit

Men should have as many wives as they can afford (or the State can afford)

Women should be covered from head to toe. Always. Even if it means they get rickets.

Women should not have the vote

Girls should not be educated

New Labour suports Islam. YOU support Islam.

Go on, I DARE you. Challenge me. I'LL go to the Somali cafes and tell them what you think.

Is it:

a) yes, it's true, I support Islam and all of it's oppression of women

b) Sod that.

Many things I may be. But if I am trying to stop 8 year old girls being sexually mutilated or 13 year old girls being married to their 30 year old cousins against their wishes, don't you DARE call me a racist.

Kerry said...

I think the definition of any -ism is being prejudiced about a group on the basis of the behaviour of a minority of its members, isn't it?

DaveA said...

Kerry we are dancing on a pin head semantically. Question, in 1939 to 1945 our dislike of Germans/Nazis and Japanese was it xenophobia? With suicide and the IRA bombers is that xenophobic too?

The Broadgate bomb in 1992, I was 100 yards and 5 minutes away and the Aldgate bomb I was 2 stops down the line when it went off.

On Christmas Eve 2003 I was savagely set upon and beaten up by 6 people of a particular culture near Bethnal Green tube station simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was leaning on a crash barrier while my friend was getting some cigarettes. I am happy to give you permission to approach the City Of London Police station in Bishopsgate to confirm, or I can get the crime number.

So where does xenophobia begin and end?

Bristol Dave said...

No, I don't agree with the introduction of ID cards for anybody who is in the country legally (people who are in the country illegally shouldn't be here).

Ben mentions that he is happy to carry an ID card and gives examples of other countries that already have them. Let me explain why I don't agree with any citizens holding an ID card (though I'm not actually expecting Kerry to read this).

1) We already have passports and (more convenient) driving licenses for proving identity where necessary in this country, and abroad.
2) The existence of passports renders the claim that "ID cards will make travelling in Europe easier" null and void.
3) An ID card will not, repeat, WILL NOT combat terrorism, and I'm simply gobsmacked to see that Jacqui Smith has the temerity to continue to peddle this lie. It didn't stop the Madrid train bombings, it wouldn't have stopped 9/11 (all the terrorists were in the country legally save for one who had overstayed his visa), and it wouldn't have stopped 7/7 (all would have been legally able to hold ID cards). At what point would ID cards solve any of the pre-mentioned attrocities?
4) I am not happy with the list of groups which will have access to all of the information held on the cards/national identity register, which I believe includes the Food Standards Agency
5) I deeply dislike and find extremely insulting the view held by pro-ID card groups that "if you've got nothing to hide, you needn't worry". This firstly assumes because I am against ID cards I have something to hide, which is not true. I simply think I should have the freedom of choice not to allow the government to lose my personal data, served up in a handy package ready for someone to steal my identity. I don't have anything to hide, it's just half of the information required on the card is simply none of their ****ing business!

"Vhere are your papers?"

Old Holborn said...

Kerry said

"I think the definition of any -ism is being prejudiced about a group on the basis of the behaviour of a minority of its members, isn't it?"


Steven_L said...

"...then I realised you lifted that straight from wikipedia..." (Stay Taoist)

Talking of wikipedia, if anyone wants to know the real reason for biometric ID's read:


Quite why the government want to gold plate the requirement and make us all have ID cards is beyond me.

Under the ID Card Act the Home Office will have the power to make regulations (providing they are passed by Parliament) requiring you to produce it before you can use public services.

Now, in reality the NHS are not going to deny medical treatment to those who need it.

However, what about reporting a mobile phone stolen, or a credit card cloned? The bureaucrats could make you need one soon enough with petty restrictions like that.

The one benefit is that it could be used to stop all the multiple ID benefit scams that go on, whereby, predominently certain sections of the 'community' all produce each others kids for the purpose of obtaining child benefits / tax credits etc.

But then they'd need to get your ID as soon as you were born or shipped into the country and have a scanner in every benefit office.

John Pickworth said...


In answer to your original question: a) agree or (b) disagree with the introduction of ID cards for foreign nationals?

Answer: (b) Disagree - and most strongly so.

These people come here to visit, to work or to study in these fair Isles. They correctly present themselves at our borders with a valid national Passport and in most cases a pre-approved Visa.

I just don't understand why we're then forcing them to accept (and presumingly pay for?) yet another official document? Not very welcoming is it?

It's things like this that make me ashamed to be British.

In contrast, many asylum seekers here present themselves without even so much as a passport or birth certificate and so I can only imagine the varieties of fanciful and completely ficticous names appearing on their brand spanking new Government issued official ID cards? And then there are those who never see the inside of an Immigration Office by virtue of having hung to the rear axles of an inbound truck. Arguably the group that perhaps should have an ID card will NEVER actually hold one.

Kerry, we could debate ID cards all day but you'd never win on the basis that they provide any discernable or worthwhile benefit for the public... because they don't! Never have and never will! They ONLY ever benefit a Government; which is why the nanny states of Scandinavia, the Latin law countries, communist, totalitarian and banana republics love them so much. A motley bunch of 'the government always knows best' regimes that I'd sooner we didn't model ourselves on thank you.

We all know that foreigners here are being issued ID cards simply to satisfy two "political objectives". The first allows the Government to claim they're doing 'something' about immigration (ie, nothing!) and the second is a salami slicing exercise; first the airport workers, then the foreigners, then passport applicants, then benefit claimants, driving licence renewals and finally, "Oooh look, lets make it compulsory now because most people have one anyway". Its an entirely dishonest enterprise and I'd suspect anyone who cannot see it for what it is.

You do know that's what they are doing don't you Kerry? Question is, what are you going to do about it?

[I don't even know why I'm asking because despite answering several of your questions at length over the past few weeks, you've yet to answer a single one of mine?]

Now, I'm not a Libertarian as such but I'd wager many wouldn't disagree with my point of view?

Nor am I in any sense a racist or xenophobic - a partner who is both a national of another country and another race should extinguish that notion.

But isn't it odd that its Labour that is forcing ID cards upon foreigners? I've yet to hear anyone of the libertarian persuasion call for such a draconian step!

Isn't it also a little worrying how readily the Left reaches for the 'R' word? Perhaps you think we should all be rounded up and put into camps, you know, just to be sure?

The conundrum Kerry, is that you should be looking inwards for your answers not outwards.

Anonymous said...

This obsession Labour have with dividing us all into little groups shows where the xenophobia lies I think.

Druid said...

What a clever question - regardless of how it is answered, it legitimizes your daft term - xenophobic libertarian.

It is almost as stupid as calling the BNP a right wing party when they are the just xenophobic old labour left wing socialists.

The idea of Libertarianism is that governments shouldn't limit people's actions unless it negatively effects the lives of others without their consent.
With that definition, it is impossible to find a libertarian who will not only agree that ID cards can be justified. You will also not find one who can justify the idea of xenophobia.

Maybe you should be spending some time learning about politics and ideology, rather than just making it up as you go along - even if that policy has worked for Labour for the past 11 years!

Bristol Dave said...

What a clever question - regardless of how it is answered, it legitimizes your daft term - xenophobic libertarian.

Indeed. It's like the age old question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?", to which both answers yes and no are not favourable.

The correct answer to give is "mu" which is a Japanese word which means "I can't answer your question as it relies on incorrect assumptions".