If ever there was proof…

The other day I pointed out how, once you have a government in possession of a National Identity Register, it was possible for people’s civil liberties to slowly and quietly slip away over time without them ever realising it until it was too late.

It doesn’t take a welter of obviously draconian legislation to do this, just little changes here and there, all packaged up as ‘reasonable’ solutions to specific problems, solution which, over time, add up to the creation of a system in which every single aspect of your life is potentially open to scrutiny by the state.

I made that post on Thursday. It’s now Sunday and we have this new idea from Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling – ‘Pay As You Go Motoring’.

It all sounds so very reasonable doesn’t it. Get rid of toad tax and, especially, petrol duty – which, IIRC, would cut the cost of fuel by a minimum 70% if not more – and simply charge people based on how their usage of the roads.

But hang on a second what’s this?

“Every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey, with prices starting from as little as 2p per mile in rural areas.”

Oooh. What’s happening here? A satellite system tracking every journey?

But how will this system know exactly where to send the bill? After all, you can insure your car for ‘any driver’ so what happens if you loan your car to a friend to help them out – do you get to pay for their using your car?

Well no, not to worry. You just pop your driver’s licence – err, sorry, your biometric ID card – into the slot in the black box so the system knows exactly who’s driving…

… and the government can not only send you a bill but keep an exact record of your movements at the same time – all linked back to your entry on the National Identity Register

Simple isn’t it? Because you have nothing to fear…

Update: Looks like I’m not alone in my concerns here.