Constitutional Discussions 24: Identity Cards. It is presently a matter of uncertainty who of all the residents of
One representation that found favour was the requirement that all Anguillians carry an identity card. This would provide one standard mechanism for all of us to prove our Anguillian status when lawfully required to do so. Several concerned citizens pointed out that, with the recommendations for widening the definition of who is to be considered an Anguillian, there will in the future be many qualified persons who are not known in the community. At present, with its small village-like community structure, Anguillians generally all know who is who. In the coming years, the island’s population is expected to grow dramatically. It will become increasingly a matter of concern for the authorities to know immediately who is and who is not an Anguillian. Such a provision will go a long way to avoiding doubts. This was the recommendation of the Commission at paragraph 178 of its August 2008 Report.
It is a matter for regret that members of the House of Assembly meeting in caucus at the Limestone Bay Café in March did not agree with this recommendation. They were persuaded that it would be an excessive invasion of privacy. It was precisely because the members of the Commission recognised the intrusion into privacy that such a recommendation entailed that they thought it necessary to include the measure as a Constitutional provision. It is a matter for the law which will have to be enacted by the Assembly to give effect to the bare bones of the Constitutional provision to flesh out the protections for the public. It is difficult to see what the members of the Assembly want to put in place of an identity card. Or, do they not realise what a problem of identification the authorities are going to have in
This post brings to an end the list of disagreements that the members of the House of Assembly had with the recommendations of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission. Subsequently, in July, the Chief Minister’s negotiating team met at Paradise Cove. They came up with some new ideas for discussion with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office team. Those discussions have now been indefinitely postponed. They will occur sometime in the next year or two. It does not look as if anyone in Government is going to tell the public what these ideas were. It will fall to me to do so, if I can find my notes.
As I write this, I am buried in the Public Records Office at Kew in