Big Brother Britain & Civil Liberties
Fight against UK governments attack on our civil liberties with Big Brother Britain initiatives

National register of voters

British Politics

In yet another example of the government riding roughshod over the people of this country is the news that they are moving ahead in any event with plans to establish a centralised national register of voters, together with central checking and verification of the data held on electoral registers. The system, to be implemented in the form of CORE (Co-ordinated Online Record of Elector) schemes, will be introduced via the Electoral Administration Bill currently before Parliament which is subject to a “consultation process” due to end on 7th March. This coincides with recent announcements that the government is going to increase the amount of information they require to be completed by voters.

Can someone please explain what form a consultation process takes? Government ministers are always keen to refer to consultation processes as if they mean something, for example they have said that the plans to introduce a Big Brother database that will spy on our mobile telephone calls, text messages, emails and so on will also be subject to this same process. So who do they consult with, are the results made public and does it make any difference? Clearly a consultation process would imply that the government is prepared to take account of the views and opinions of others.  It also implies that they still believe, in spite of everthing they have done in recent year, in the democratic process. However, if we don’t know who will be representing us, could it all be a bit of a New Labour scam?

Under normal circumstances, you would expect ‘affected’ parties to be invited to something that will impact directly on them. Well of course I accept that they can’t invite 65m people, but how about a representative sample, could I go along for example and represent some of the 65m people? Could some of the readers of this blog join in the consultation? Somehow I doubt it.

At the very least, the government should publish precisely what information they will require for this register, why they need it and who will have access to it. They must also inform us of the content of the consultation process, who represented who, what was said and if any changes or modifications were prosed and accepted as a direct consequence of the additional input. Instead of having these new Act’s thrust upon us, we are, at the very least, are entitled to expect from our government a thorough explanation of their intent.

This government has introduced more Acts of Parliament than any previous administration during a similar term. Many of these acts have directly affected the liberty and freedoms of the individual, something members of parliament are supposed to protect. There has been little or no opposition to this legislation from the other parties, instead it is left to a few pressure groups and independent political commentators to try and publicise how this legislation affects us all. When can we expect to have our voice heard and who will represent us?

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