July 30th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: In the name of Allah, the wise and the merciful

EDITORIAL: Islamist terrorism: what it signifies

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Dangers of a national ID card

BIOETHICS: Review of human cloning and embryo experimentation

DRUGS CONFERENCE: Tougher approach on drugs urged

WOMEN'S HEALTH: Conspiracy of silence about breast cancer

WORKPLACE RELATIONS: New workplace reforms: the devil is in the detail

SUGAR INDUSTRY: Ethanol coming: but nothing for farmers

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: How to help countries to prosper

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Immigration - who cleans up? / Copping payback / To be or not to be? / Terrorism as ideology

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: The Judeo-Christian legacy

CONSERVATION: Conservation vs. environmentalism

A national ID card? (letter)

Chirac's untimely taunts (letter)

Max wrong on tax (letter)

Revenue-raising stunt (letter)

BOOKS: CIVIL PASSIONS: Selected Writings, by Martin Krygier

BOOKS: BOY SOLDIERS OF THE GREAT WAR: Their own stories for the first time, by Richard van Emden

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national ID card? (letter)

by Michael D. Robinson

News Weekly, July 30, 2005

Consider the reasons we've been given over the years for an ID card: first to stop welfare fraud, then tax fraud, identity theft and now to monitor would be terrorists. A card won't stop that, any more than drivers' licences stop unlicensed drivers speeding.

Criminals have always found ways around or outside the system - always have and always will.

Let's face it, those who are pushing the idea of an identity card are crisis opportunists who take Australians for gullible unthinking fools, that in itself makes me want to oppose this ill-conceived concept.

What is needed is more training of intelligent law-enforcement officers on our borders, effective enforcement and protection systems, and local police forces who can protect the nation and its people. What we don't need are more public servants soaking up resources that law-enforcement officers should be given.

Anyone who thinks a national identity card will stop any serious crimes is either badly mistaken, ill informed or outright delusional.

What if it was an encouragement to suicide bombers to have greater confidence to do their worst knowing they will be more quickly identified by their identity card and so they will be given the credit for their evil deeds, and be given the notoriety they seek and crave?

Perhaps a better alternative would be to pass legislation, and strictly enforce it, making it a crime to publish the name or face of any such person, thereby wiping them from the history books as nameless, faceless nobodies, ignored by the community as we got on with our lives.

Michael D. Robinson,
Hurlstone Park, NSW

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