Sunday, August 07, 2005

Libs In ‘Telling Truth’ Shocker

With even Nu Lab drones backing away, is there anything good that can be said about Walking Licences ID cards ? Ah yes – the Lib Dems oppose them. Right from first principles, that’s not an argument to be brushed aside lightly. But let’s not let the generally awful record of the Treason Party blind us to the very specific insanity of these latest comments.

The thing is that the Treason Party aren’t quite clear about what it actually is they doesn’t like. There’s plenty of talk about ID cards creating a ‘health underclass’, but not so much mention of how exactly. It’s not like there will be literacy tests or a property requirement. Nope – everyone gets one, so what’s the deal ?

You have to wade through approximately 8 tonne of manure to find out that what the Lib Dems are really worried about is this:

[Lib Dem health spokesman Steve Webb] highlighted the government has recent admission that there are perhaps 500,000 people in the UK illegally…..
"The worry is that if the ID card turns into an entitlement card then increasingly they will not be able to access most NHS services," he said.
Yes, indeed. The Libs are worried that ID cards will prevent people who aren’t entitled to NHS treatment obtaining NHS treatment. For most of us, that comes firmly under ‘A Feature Not A Bug’, but not these folks. To be sure, there’s a paper thin attempt to cast Joe Public being bled dry as somehow in his best interest, but it’s kind of weak:

That could mean diseases such as TB went unchecked, he warned, or people would resort to a "black market in back street quackery" for healthcare.
Or they could, y’know, pay for their own healthcare. But no - we’ve got people sneaking into this country and potentially spreading communicable diseases. Clearly the answer is to make barmaids in Blackburn pay for their healthcare. I don’t know though – it seems a little indirect. My plan is to use a little-known ancient procedure our ancestors called ‘deportation’.

Still, this does shine a light on the true nature of the Lib Dems. These people like to posture as guardians of civil liberties, yet time and again it turns out that their objections are based on the ends not the means. Steve Webb isn’t suggesting that ID cards should be opposed because they won’t work, or the price is too high, he’s objecting because he thinks they will work. He thinks we should be taxing security guards in Scunthorpe to pay for the treatment of health tourists. Personally, I think he should be the one being treated, but whatever – just don’t claim he’s making some kind of principled stand for civil liberties.

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