“Your papers, please!”

I’m feeling quite nostalgic for the days when you only had to give the authorities your fingerprints if you were a criminal.

But then, this is a generational thing. I was reading the other day that schoolchildren in parts of the UK are now being asked to give their fingerprints in order to be issued with an library card. Just an ordinary part of life, you see. This is what we do. No big deal.

Meanwhile, us oldsters will be standing, outraged, at the airport check-in desk, wondering what we have done to deserve this latest humiliation.

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2 Responses to “Your papers, please!”

  1. Phil Walker says:

    Not just you oldsters. 😉

    Frankly, I’m torn between wanting to see it stop, and wanting to leave the rest of the country to its deserved fate. And I’m reluctant to write much, because I feel so strongly about this I end up going all demagogic, which is not a pretty sight (think “paved with good intentions”, “fiddling while Rome burns”, “barbarians at the gates”, that sort of thing). All I’ll say is that there is something deeply wrong with a country which—rightly—abhors the notion of a government whose policies would make the BNP blush and yet which begins to hand over to the State every tool necessary for the implementation of those policies without a fuss.

    The other thing I’ll say is I used to think Liberty were just a gay rights campaign operating under the cover of civil liberties (or was that someone else?) but certainly with the arrival of Shami Chakrabarti, they sound more sensible with every passing day.

  2. D.S.Ketelby says:

    Psychologists have shown that there’s a bug in the human software, which can be exploited by tactical use of the word “because.”

    For example: data entry operatives waiting in line for the photocopier mostly failed to respond generously when an associate (in fact, an actor who was part of the experiment) said “Could I use the machine first?” Typically, they told the actor to wait his turn like everyone else.

    When the actor said “Could I use the machine first because I’ve got some photocopying to do?” workers were much more willing to let him jump the queue despite the essential redundancy of his stated reason.

    Similarly: “Can I take your lunch money off you?” No. Get lost. “Can I take your lunch money off you because I need it in the fight against international terrorism?” Sure. While you’re at it, take my car keys.

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