Unleashing the little Hitlers

Carol Sarler, writing in The Observer, warns of the tide of petty bureaucracy that would follow in the wake of compulsory ID cards. This is one of the reasons that wartime ID cards were finally abolished in 1952.

The [Prevention of Terrorism Act], like the suss laws before it and the ID cards to come, are all toys in the playbox of wannabe bullies and nothing that I have seen, either here or anywhere else, suggests that such people will ever learn to play nicely. Shortly after the fall of Ceausescu, I had Romanian friends to stay. En route to the theatre, one of them began to weep; they wouldn’t let her in. She had left her passport at home. Passport? For the doorman at Cats? It can happen. That’s all I’m saying.