SMARTCARD, DUMB JOURNO

Created: Saturday, 17 June 2006 Written by Chato

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The Daily Telegraph's Tory Maguire
on the new Smartcard:


"BUT WHY ARE SO MANY SENSIBLE
PEOPLE AFRAID OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSED NEW
SMARTCARD?"

If she has to ask then she's
beyond understanding the answer.

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO CARRY IT AND
YOU WON'T BE COMPELLED TO PRODUCE
IT."

Of course not - until some
bureaucrat or politician decides
you must. It's called incremental
implementation.

"THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATES THE
CARD WILL SAVE UP TO $100 MILLION
A YEAR IN NSW ALONE IN PREVENTED
WELFARE FRAUD."

The gummint estimates lots of
things - almost always wrongly.

"SO WHICH PARTICULAR RIGHTS ARE
BEING TRAMPLED ON HERE - THE
RIGHT TO DEFRAUD CENTRELINK; OR
IS IT THE RIGHT FOR DRUG ADDICTS
TO DOCTOR SHOP FOR VALIUM
PRESCRIPTIONS? IN AN AGE IN WHICH
YOU PRACTICALLY HAVE TO PROVIDE A
DNA SWAB TO RENT A DVD IT SOUNDS
PRETTY REASONABLE TO ME."

Nobody has suggested that either
defrauding Centrelink or
prescription shopping is a
"right". And the smart-arse
comment about the level of I.D.
required to rent DVDs is
suggesting that since privacy has
been lost in one area, then it's
ok to let the process continue in
all other areas of our lives.
Typically stupid justification of
the very slippery slope our
liberties rest on.

"IT WILL ALSO CUT ADMINISTRATIVE
COSTS, PRACTICALLY ELIMINATING
THE 500,000 LETTERS A YEAR
MEDICARE SENDS TO OUT-OF-DATE
ADDRESSES."

Sacking inefficient clerical
drones by the hundred and
insisting on reasonable work
performance from public servants
would save a damn sight more -
but that's all too hard,
apparently. Better to move the
onus on to the citizen. Again. As
usual.

"AND YET JUDGING BY THE REACTION,
YOU WOULD THINK WE WERE ALL ABOUT
TO BE PINNED DOWN BY JOE HOCKEY
AND HAVE BARCODES TATTOOED ON OUR
FOREHEADS."

Well, Tory, at what point would
you begin to object to the
erosion of our liberties? When
that happens, when the biochip is
inserted under your skin or when
somebody a bloody sight smarter
than you steals your lovely new
shiny electronic identity and you
become an "un-person"?

"COME ON, CORRALLING ALL THE DATA
ALREADY FLOATING AROUND IN THE
PUBLIC ARENA INTO AN EASY-TO-USE
CARD WILL SAVE MONEY, TIME AND
POSSIBLY LIVES."

Riiight - and it's for the
chiiildren and the whales, too.

"HAVING BEEN PRE-TEEN DURING THE
AUSTRALIA CARD DEBATE, MY ONLY
SOLID MEMORY OF THE FURORE WAS OF
GRAFFITI ON A BUS STOP THAT
GRADUALLY FADED OVER THE YEARS
BETWEEN 1987 AND ABOUT 1992, SO
MAYBE IT'S A GENERATIONAL THING."

Indeed it is a "generational
thing". On two counts. One, your
generation has been brainwashed
into believing that Big Brother
is your friend and you don't have
the education necessary to
realise that liberties are lost
gradually, easily and most often
at the hands of the government
you obey unquestioningly. And
secondly, it's a generational
thing because you have yet to
grow up. Writing an opinion piece
for the Telegraph obviously isn't
evidence of maturity.
The current state of civil
liberties in Britain is evidence
enough that our liberties aren't
lost overnight. They're eroded
piece by piece, always
accompanied by perfectly
reasonable-sounding crap such as
"administrative improvements" and
"greater efficiencies".
The greatest efficiencies would
be implemented by making public
servants efficient. And
accountable. But we never see any
serious effort in that direction.
It's a twofer for the government
- greater control of citizen's
lives while at the same time an
excuse to expand the vast
population of bureaucrats and
leeches that the working taxpayer
is forced to support.
Apologists for increased
government intrusion into our
lives always side-step the
crucial questions: at what point
does the interference become too
much? At what point have we lost
our freedom?

update, from News.com:
"Police to get smartcard data
INTELLIGENCE agencies and police
will be given access to a vast
database of photos to be created
for the new health and welfare
smartcard."

(Chato found this article, and
considers it to be very good
comment on another fascist move
by the P_erforming M_onkey)