AS the new parliamentary session beckons, local readers should be aware of the most significant policy likely to be introduced by the Labour government.

Since Winston Churchill's post-war administration declared that Britain was a free country, no citizen has had to carry an ID card. Tony Blair and David Blunkett have decided differently.

If they have their way, compulsory national identity cards will once again become a reality.

Of course, we all wish to find solutions to crime, terrorism and fraud. But an identity card will achieve nothing. It will cost billions of pounds of taxpayers money -- perhaps as much as £250 for every household in our area.

It will place more power in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians. It will help to line the purses of already powerful companies.

But an ID card will not improve our safety or security one bit. Spain has ID cards, but it didn't stop the Madrid railway bombings. France has ID cards, but they don't prevent illegal immigration. Italy has ID cards, but they haven't ended corruption.

The government's identity card programme is a threat to our privacy and our long-held civil liberties. If you love your freedom and your rights, you will add your voice to the growing chorus of opposition.

MARTIN BYRNE, No2ID Campaign, North West Region, Emma Street, Accrington.