ID cards would alienate students.

So the government want students to be the guinea pigs for their wonderful scheme which will result in the fact that new students cannot apply for a loan or even open a bank account without an ID card. The Tories have called it blackmail.

You might expect me to cry out against this gross and unprecedented breach of our human rights. It is disgusting in that not only does it insult our intelligence, but also encroaches upon our civil liberties. If you were expecting a general anti-ID card rant, then I am sorry to have to disappoint you.

While the idea of ID cards being required for students to open a bank account is preposterous and underhand, the problem extends far further than that.

Looking at the government’s website on ID cards it transpires that they will not only be required to open banks accounts. They will also be used as age ID and, once fully functional, will be required to make a transaction at post offices, libraries, video rental stores and all shops. Not to mention rent a property, a vehicle, or start a mobile phone contract. In short, without them, you will not be able to function within society.

However, the reason that is often given as to why ID cards are so bad is that the government can trace your every move, and are able to ‘track’ you wherever you go. In reality they do this already by simply following your credit/debit card transactions, cash withdrawals, tracking your mobile phone signal, and of course, monitoring your every move with that favourite infringement of our right to privacy – CCTV. At the moment, it is possible for the government to locate you using these methods, and that is concerning, but the step towards an ‘Orwellian State’ has already been taken.
This is not scaremongering, it’s the truth, therefore it is not nearly as concerning as other implications of enforcing ID cards on an entire generation of students.

With the number of students in our country ever increasing, the proportion of young people affected by this new measure will increase as time goes on. While this will obviously lead to a feeling of alienation and of victimisation within this group, it may also lead to something far worse. With people forced to m ake the decision between getting an ID card in order to go to University or getting a job, more people may be inclined to choose the latter. This measure has the potential to work against the government’s aim to get more young people into higher education.

All of this is without touching the issue that the NUS seem to be most het up about – identity fraud potential.

Therefore student ID cards that we are required to use in every situation are not dangerous solely because we can be ‘tracked’ by them, but because it enforces assimilation for all students. The system would be harmless were it to be voluntary, in that only those who wanted to would partake. But those who do not want to take part should not be forced to because it could alienate an entire generation of students and create another barrier to higher education. A disastrous long-run consequence.