According to Meg Hillier, the Under-Secretarty of State for Identity, compulsory ID cards could be issued to children as young as 14 in order to assist in the sale (or rather no sale) of age restricted products.
So what we’re now seeing is that a scheme aimed at combating terrorism is to be used to criminalise young people for things that shouldn’t even be illegal. So, let us begin disecting this pathetic, illiberal and downright wrong idea.
Firstly, ID Cards do not help counter terrorism. Evidence of this can be seen in the Madrid bombings, where the perpertators all carried ID cards in accordance with Spanish law. Unless, they carry a giant T for terrorist on, the only use in investigating terror offences ID cards will be is identifying the bodies. And don’t assume terrorists will be noticible because they won’t carry them. Of course they’ll carry their ID cards, they need to blend in and not arouse suspicion.
Secondly, why is it that the scheme is being thrust upon under 18s? One can only hypothesise that it’s because they don’t have the right to vote and thus can’t have a say in the matter. As those ads around the 2005 election went (roughly) ‘Don’t Vote? Can’t Complain’. The constant testing of government schemes and programmes on those sections of society who are disenfranchised foe the is nothing short of a disgrace. If this was aimed at a specific ethnic group, they’d be cries of racism, if women, it’d be sexism. So why is it ok for children and young people to be treated like this? It is ageism and if anything, is a great example of why the voting age should be lowered to 16, and perhaps even further.
Third and finally, and this is the the point that really gets to me: What is the obsession with society, the media and politicians with criminalising children and young people? Seriously, why must we be victimised for every decision we make? If its ID cards, its ASBOs. Anti-Social Behaviour? When was being a kid, hanging out with other kids anti-social? Its pretty much as social as you can get. There is no such thing as anti-social behaviour! All it is is local busy bodies who have nothing better to do but moan about people not acting how they’d like them. Again, if someone complained about Muslims or Sikhs hanging around just being Muslims or Sikhs, they’d be done for being a racist t*at. But because it’s young people, its fine and f*cking dandy! The hyper-regulation of public space and young peoples’ lives must stop.
Then there’s the supposed reason behing Hillier’s comments, that issuing ID cards to teenagers will help in preventing them purchasing age resctrited products. Sorry, but there shouldn’t be age restricted products in the first place. People, regardless of age, should be able to make decisions on there own life when they feel ready, not when the state tells them they can and that goes for actions which can be detrimental. Who says that a 12 year old can’t handle a drink better than an 18 year old? I know people two, ever three times my age that can’t drink as much as I can. Who dares to question two people, in love and feel ready that have sex under the age of 16? Even Tory leader David Cameron knows only a common sense approach to drinking at a young ages is the best way to prevent alcohol abuse. This obession that decision making must go hand in hand with a set age is wrong, because decision making is subjective. That is why if someone asks me to go into a shop and buy them cigeratess or alcohol, I do, because 1) it’s not my place to make judgements about them and 2) I believe when a law is wrong, it should be disobeyed.Age restrictions are nothing but a relic of the 20th century and if we are to move 21st century society forward, we must do away with them.
This country is slowly, but surely turning into an Orwellian nightmare and we must do what it takes to prevent it getting there and roll back the illiberal policies passed so far.