Dear Nick Cohen: try research instead of guessing

My guess is that, in order to save British culture from foreigners, our rightwing patriots will undermine it by instituting a system of identity controls.

May is heading in that direction. Already, employers must check the immigration status of applicants before hiring them. She will make landlords and NHS receptionists do the same. In theory, this sounds a ferocious deterrent. Who wants to come to a country where they cannot work, rent a home or receive medical treatment? In practice, it is just another stunt from the publicity hounds at the Home Office. All kinds of foreigners have pieces of paper that entitle them to live in Britain. EU nationals, their partners, European Economic Area nationals, Chinese citizens with work visas, American citizens with student visas… There are dozens of valid documents and that’s before you get to the forgeries.

All hospital administrators and landlords will do is what employers already do: photocopy the patient or tenant’s documents and say, if the police question them, that they appeared to be genuine. The only way to turn a stunt into an effective policy is to issue identity cards for everyone in or visiting Britain. Only identity cards can meet the demands of public and press. But in meeting them they will destroy a notion of British freedom, which, call me a sentimentalist, I find worth defending.

We are a common-law democracy, with limits of the power of the state. We are not a country where police officers can demand to see your papers or stop and search you without good reason. We are not a country where you have to prove you are entitled to treatment before a doctor will help you. The talk-radio hosts’ screams and the tantrums of Ukip and the Tories will tear that old country down and create, for all their Euroscepticism, a Britain far closer to a Napoleonic Europe.

As they do it, they should remind you, if a reminder is needed, that no one does as much damage to a country as the patriots who profess to love it the most.

It won’t be UKIP doing it. Back when we did have a (Labour!) government trying to do it there was a campaign against having ID cards. Which was the first political party to affiliate to it?

Full question and answer.

The Government is pushing for ID cards and, less publicised is the link up
of all databases on every British subject. The Children’s database will be
accessible by an estimated 400 – 600, 000 people; this includes the NHS
spine, where everyone’s medical history will be readily available to
businesses and any organisation the Gov’t deems suitable and who can afford to buy it.

What is your opinion of these databases do you feel this Gov’t has gone too far?
How do you feel knowing that your children or grand children could be
restricted for life should their DNA be found to contain certain genes, and
that the sheer amount of Gov’t workers and agencies will be able to access all your child’s details?

Quote:
ID cards (or internal passports which they really are) will not work:The soppused benefits of their introduction have not materialised in any nation which already has them.
As you correctly point out the real danger is the database behind it, This centralisation of information in the hands of the Government requires trust, not just the current Government, but in any future government which may be elected.
The point you raise on DNA is a particularly good example, but there are of course others.
I and UKIP as a whole oppose internal passports and oppose the creation of the proposed all encompassing database

Which other points do you find of concern?

Quote:
There is for a start no guarantee of security and this government has a track record of selling databases to interested organisations: I do not trust them, remember the geriatric protester ejected from labour’s conference under the ‘anti-terror’ legislation which would ‘not be abused’?
Of course when German people complied with early attempts to make a national database in the 1930’s, the question on religion had no particular significance: It was only the passage of time that showed them how dangerous a question it was to have answered. Who can say what information we give now will not be used against us in the future. The database relies upon a fundamental trust in the Government, and yet who knows who will be the Government in 25 years time?

Thankyou Nigel, NO2ID have been trying to get this very point across to the Government, who to date have been blind to this very issue. It is good to see that there is one party who has some common sense and the interests and safety of the British people at heart.

Quote:
On the subject of NO2ID, UKIP was one of the first political parties to affliate to the campaign, and we wholeheartedy support their aims

Or more recently:

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Farage hit out at the spot checks and the billboards calling on illegal immigrants to hand themselves in.

“Spot checks and being demanded to show your papers by officialdom are not the British way of doing things,” Mr Farage said. “Yes of course we want to deal with illegal immigration but what’s the point of rounding people up at railway stations if at the same time they are still flooding in at Dover and the other nearly 100 ports in this country.

“I’m astonished that the Home Office has become so politicised…before long they will be live video-streaming of these arrests. I don’t like it. It really is not the way we’ve ever behaved or operated as a country. We don’t have ID cards. We should not be stopped by officialdom and have to prove who we are.”

Research, try it.

14 comments on “Dear Nick Cohen: try research instead of guessing

  1. Repeat it enough times and it will be accepted, without question, by the amassed sneerers.

    It’s not so amazing that so many of the Blair era policies are now being derided as ‘right-wing’ – but blaming the Tories, UKIP or anybody other than (New, if you insist) Labour for them is, while rational in terms of whipping up the ignorant amongst the base-vote, egregious. Politics as usual, then.

  2. That is the problem with Nick Cohen – being alienated from the rest of the Left because they embrace people who plan to kill all the Jews in the world (including, it seems, people of Jewish descent like Cohen) doesn’t make Nick Cohen right about much. It just means it is hard to be friends with people who hate you.

    Some of the former Leftists became sensible. Some of them remained the same ar$es they always were, just fighting with their former comrades. I hoped Nick Cohen fell into the former group, but it seems he falls into the latter.

  3. SMFS,

    Cohen, like many commentators, suffer from the fact that there isn’t a living in writing about solely what they know.

    In Cohen’s case, he’s pretty good on free speech and issues regarding religion. He writes confidently about it and is prepared to go outside of various groupthink and make interesting points.

    But he’s got a column to fill every week, which means that in weeks when there isn’t something like the Jesus and Mo situation at the LSE happening, he’s got to write something, even if there’s nothing out there that’s in his realm.

  4. The Stigler – “Cohen, like many commentators, suffer from the fact that there isn’t a living in writing about solely what they know.”

    That may be a problem. But I think there is a larger problem with his gut instincts. A genuine liberal may not know much about a problem, but his gut instincts will be for something liberal and sensible. He will cast around for a solution that goes with the gut. Suppose we asked TW to write a series of articles on, say, the conflict in the south of Thailand. It is inconceivable that he would advocate death squads and ethnic cleansing. No matter how little he knew of the situation in Thailand.

    Nick Cohen’s gut tells him UKIP is evil. He is still the Trot he always was. He just doesn’t like the Islamists who want to murder him – and silence him objecting to being murdered. That is not bad, but it is not enough. Christopher Hitchens was another good example of the problem. Peter Tatchell too come to that.

    A neo-Con (if it is possible to use the term in any sort of sensible way) is not a conservative. They remain dangerously leftist on most issues not related to Islam.

  5. Surreptitious Evil

    Chanced to watch Farage on Have I got news for you he other week and you could see the agenda openly on display there- a scandalous hatchet job paid for by a poll tax on every household in the country. As you say – this is likely to be the pattern in UK politics for the next few years, and certainly through to 2015….

  6. SMFS,

    Sure, but if you do your research you start to replace gut instinct that’s driven by emotions and assumptions with fact.

    It doesn’t really matter and probably won’t change because this is the article that Guardian readers want. I could write an article blaming Thatcher and Neoliberalism for that car catching fire in Longleat and I’d get a load of comments agreeing with me.

  7. Totally hypocritical to blame UKIP for ZaNu Lab policies–although I think ID cards owe more to the arrogance of Princess Toni Bliar. I think they were his idea and BluLabour dropped them only because they realised there were still 4-5 million people like myself who would have told them to shove the cards sideways up their arse. And trying to put the heavy hand on us would cost billions.

    Why should they push too hard anyway. That would breed more resistance and might turn the UK into a centre of ID refuseniks. We already have a generation so gutless that some will allow their kids to be fingerprinted by fucking schools so the kids can get in for shite school dinners. Another 30 years and those worms will do anything demanded of them by the scum of the state.

  8. SMFS,

    I’ve never worked out the difference between a neo-con and a neo-liberal, the words seem to be inter-changable for a catch all group of people not liked by the left.

  9. @ David Moore,

    The “neo-” prefix used to be almost exclusively for “neo-nazi”, thus it retains that connotation, It’s the same for “climate denier”, common tropes from amongst the left. Ironic that many leftist policies are more in line with fascists than anyone elses.

  10. Neo-cons used to be leftists as opposed to paleo-cons who missed the youthful delusion phase. Many of them remain solidly authoritarian and, compared to the traditional position for the American right, interventionist rather than isolationist.

    Neo-liberal is basically just a term of abuse for somebody who isn’t an outspoken Keynesian.

  11. RB,

    Quite true, there does seem to be a need on the left to label everything they disagree with as being somehow related to the Nazi’s.

  12. The Stigler – “Sure, but if you do your research you start to replace gut instinct that’s driven by emotions and assumptions with fact.”

    True. But the first instinctive response is often interesting. In fact I think more and more that it is more important than the research and the facts. Because research is mostly retrospective. It can’t help you with a problem *now*. With a new issue you have not come across before. For that you have to go with the gut.

    “I could write an article blaming Thatcher and Neoliberalism for that car catching fire in Longleat and I’d get a load of comments agreeing with me.”

    You could blame the Zionists for global warming and the morons on CiF would agree with you.

    David Moore – “I’ve never worked out the difference between a neo-con and a neo-liberal, the words seem to be inter-changable for a catch all group of people not liked by the left.”

    Sorry, I missed this. See my response to SE below.

    Surreptitious Evil – “Neo-cons used to be leftists as opposed to paleo-cons who missed the youthful delusion phase. Many of them remain solidly authoritarian and, compared to the traditional position for the American right, interventionist rather than isolationist.”

    Well some of the paleo-cons may have been leftists when young. The neo-Cons tend to be associated with a handful of magazines and are mostly not just leftists but Trots. Which is to say, mostly Jewish. So they are part of that general alienation of Jewish people with the Left once the left embraced Islamists who think Hitler’s only problem was he was too nice. Which is why the Guardian is running out of Jewish journalists.

    Which is also why neo-Con is often used as a synonym for Zionist which in turn is usually used to mean Jewish. It is not 100% accurate but there is some truth to it. But it does mean that people whose only problem with the Left is their hatred of Israel/All Jews don’t necessarily agree with real conservatives on other issues.

    The paleos are an odd lot. A lot of flirting with Southern revisionism. Even a little more extreme than that.

    “Neo-liberal is basically just a term of abuse for somebody who isn’t an outspoken Keynesian.”

    I would agree with that.

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