Perhaps it might seem a paradox that a war undertaken in the name of liberty and right should require, as a necessary part of its processes, the surrender for the time being of so many dearly valued liberties and rights. We are sure that these liberties will be in hands which will not abuse them, which will cherish and guard them, and we look forward to the day - surely and confidently we look forward to the day - when our liberties and rights will be restored to us, and when we shall be able to share them with peoples to whom such blessings are unknown. - Winston Churchill
Speeding in Ballards Lane, Finchley, North London on 7th December 1950, a Yorkshire man, Clarence Wilcock, was stopped by Police Constable Muckle. When asked for his Identity Card, the dry cleaner, living in the Metropolis, refused to produce it, saying that he was "a Liberal and against that sort of thing" (opposed to undue influence by government in personal lives). The policeman then gave Wilcock a form, which he threw on the pavement, so Constable Muckle told Clarence to present his ID card at Ballards Lane Police Station within the next two days.
As he failed to comply with Harold Muckle's instruction, Mr.Wilcock was summoned to the Magistrate's Court at Hornsey Town Hall where he was fined thirty shillings. However, the Magistrate gave him an absolute discharge, saying that although guilty of speeding, he had, in his opinion, done nothing wrong in not showing his ID card and would pass the case on to the Royal Courts of Justice.
Agreeing with the Magistrate's judgement, Lord Goddard made the following statement: It is obvious that the police now, as a matter of routine, demand the production of National Registration Identity Cards whenever they stop or interrogate a motorist for whatever cause. Of course, if they are looking for a stolen car or have reason to believe that a particular motorist is engaged in committing a crime, that is one thing, but to demand a National Registration Identity Card from all and sundry for instance, is wholly unreasonable, and such action tends to make the people resentful of the acts of the police and inclines them to obstruct the police instead of to assist them.
It is a fact that the government had no intention of withdrawing the National Registration Identity Cards introduced at the beginning of the war to aid conscription, monitor rationing and for national security. Nevertheless, Clarence Wilcock brought the matter to a head and Churchill abolished the Identity Cards on his return to power in 1952.
The GOS says: So this is a battle we've fought and won once already. Why are we having to fight it all over again?
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
This site created and maintained by PlainSite