Who's Really in Control?; A Camera Can Now Look through Your Clothes

Article excerpt

Byline: Phil REDMOND

CONTROL.It seems that every day someone or something pops up trying to exercise control over our lives,and in almost every case it is either to protect national security or prevent crime.

This week we have had two seasoned campaigns in the control stakes.

Fluoridation and identity cards.

Fluoride in water is a tricky one,as it seems to split medical opinion and as such perhaps it is something we should be leaving to individual choice rather than governmental control. The Government's role should be to educate people ab out the risks,not force medication down anyone's throat unless, perhaps,it is life-threatening to others. Of course, the risk to life and limb is often the argument put out to defend the introduction of ID cards.

If the police, security services etc had the power to ask anyone to prove who they were, the argument goes, then so much terrorism and crime could be prevented. It is always hard to swallow this argument,as instinct seems to say it will never work without all the totalitarian structures that would be required to enforce use. ID cards are useless unless someone is constantly checking them.

Unfortunately, those of us of a certain age also remember all those old movies ab out British POWs escaping from totalitarian Germany with ID papers seemingly made from toilet rolls and potato stamps. Thus is born scep ticism. …