Smartcard, dumb journo

The Daily Telgraph'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"It will also cut administrative costs, practically eliminating the 500,000 letters a year Medicare sends to out-of-date addresses."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 Telgraph 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 resonable-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
"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."

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them