Print for a Pint anyone?
And so. It begins.
Fingerprinting to gain entry into pubs is already happening, with every intention of going nationwide in line with the (once voluntary, now suddenly compulsory) National ID cards. In an attempt to pin down every British citizen and nail him firmly to the forthcoming National Identity Register, the home office are funding this scheme which oversees pubs and clubs fingerprinting and scanning every person entering their premises, on the pretence of deterring crime. Anyone dejected from the premises will then be systematically barred from any other pub/club in the area. Unless he cuts his fingers off of course. Being a double arm amputee never had so many benefits...
Yeovil is the first unsuspecting city to be hit by the we-want-your-ID authorities. But many have followed, including Coventry, Hull and Sheffield. Interestingly, neighboring towns of Yeovil have since asked for funding to be allocated with them, perhaps due to a problem of displaced crime from Yeovil. One thing is for certain, domestic violence has risen in Yeovil since the scheme began, a fact admitted by the local council there.
Of course displace crime will result from this, a point you think the home office would be concerned over, bearing in mind the scheme was put in place to prevent crime. But like many things with our 'trusted' government, this scheme has an agenda. It has been described as 'voluntary' by the home office but punishments for not subscribing to the scheme are worrying. When pubs/clubs apply for new licenses next year, they will be reported to the police and have their licenses revoked if they do not sign up to the scheme or show a considerable reduction in alcohol related violence. Carrot sticks are also being doled out, with pubs and clubs who do sign up being granted later opening hours.
The main concern here is what this information can be used for. Surely it is a civil right to go for a quiet pint on a Thursday without the evidence being scanned and documented into your biometric data. A whole trail or biometric map of your life can be created. With the National Identity Cards also coming into place in 2008, your every move will be more or less recorded. When such a thing is compulsory, we will think nothing of a biometric scan to enter a supermarket, use a hole-in-the-wall, take out a book in a library, trot down the local for a Jack Daniels and coke...
Our spending habits recorded, our cash withdrawals noted, our drinking habits monitored? 1984 is just around the corner.