Cashless society part 2

Last week we discussed one of the reasons why the government want to do away with cash - Total tax compliance.

Tonight we'll look at the other reason.

Why they want it.

Part 2

The government is desperate to introduce the cashless society. One of the main reasons, as discussed last week, is tax. Electronic transactions cannot be hidden from the government. That also gives them another reason to crave the demise of cash.

Control of the people. Each and every one of us. We all need cash, even the most self sufficient out there need to engage in trade with other people. If the government can monitor your spending they can watch and even dictate your movements.

Take the TESCO Clubcard and similar loyalty initiatives. These are used to profile your spending habits within the store, and that data is used to target you with specific advertising. Quite benign if you are ok with it.

Imagine if the government could profile all your spending in the same manner. They will be able to once cash has gone the way of the Dodo, Di and Dodi.

The first and main step towards this is the citizen ID card. The idea has been around for a long time and the last Labour government were the first to make a push for it, using the smokescreen of preventing terrorism.

The ConDems did away with it, but this was only a temporary measure; a vote winner. They all want it, red, blue or yellow, and one day they will get it. They just have to keep chipping away at us.

Once the card is in place, the principle of extension would apply. It would be used for international travel, then as a driving licence, then to substitute all the other licences people have and eventually it would be implanted with a simple chip like the one in your current credit or debit card.

Eventually you will only carry the one card and it will be used for everything. The card will be your life.

There was a time when electronic money was only used for larger purchases. Technology has made electronic payment so quick and easy that it's use is now commonplace for even small purchases. The scanners are also becoming so small and portable that we can all carry one as part of our smartphones and this would allow us to take payment from other peoples cards as individuals rather than businesses.

Many thousands of petty state bureaucrats have access to details about you that are stored on computers. If they wanted to track your movements they could simply log into you financial records, which are updated in realtime.

Where are you? You're on the M6, just after junction 28, because you bought 20 quid worth of fuel and a Ginsters, in a service station 15 minutes ago.

And what were you doing last year? You bought a doughnut from Greggs at 12:45, some underpants at the poundshop, you scrubber, at 13:15 and then did your weekly shopping in TESCO (Using your Clubcard).

What if a crime was committed in an area you happened to be near? There have been some high profile rapes in the press recently, where MPs have suggested every male who lives in the area be DNA tested. Such suggestions don't go down well, but it won't be long before the sheep have been sufficiently conditioned to accept this, just like they accept all the other liberties taken by our government.

This could easily be extended to electronic payments. If a crime is committed, payment records could be trawled and every person who made a purchase with a certain radius and time frame would be a suspect, and would have to report to their local police station for questioning.

Don't want to report? That's fine. They don't have to come looking for you, all they need to do is switch off your card. Want to make a payment for anything? Sorry, your card has been declined by the issuer (The government) please report to your local police station. You won't even be able to buy a loaf of bread.

This kind of citizen control is the wet dream of all governments. Cashless, electronic finance would be perfectly alright if the government had our best interests at heart.

But if you believe that, you're dreaming.

Next time: How they'll get it.


Mud in the Blood said...

We can see it coming, but what can we do about it? How do we fight this? The lazy majority don't care they just want their X factor etc. They want to be told what to do, say and think. If you see the world as we do you'll be labelled a nutter and derided, if there are enough of us and we make a stand we might convert a few or we may become 'domestic terrorists', because if you ain't with them then you must be against them. The future has little place for individuals.

Macheath said...

Some years ago, I received a letter from my bank enclosing a form already completed (by hand) with my full personal details - mother's maiden name and all. The letter instructed me to sign in the marked space and return the form immediately.

On closer inspection, it turned out to be an application for a combined cheque guarantee/cashpoint card to replace the two separate cards I used - a change I had firmly rejected when it was offered on several previous visits to the bank.

Irritated by this presumption on the part of bank staff, I went in to make a complaint, only to be told that the manager responsible was not available; she had just been promoted to a larger branch, I was eventually told, 'because of her excellent results in getting customers to take up the new cards'.

A less discerning customer, confronted with a letter marked 'Urgent' and demanding a signature on a pre-completed form, might well obediently sign and return it without due consideration.

I appreciate that I'm jumping the gun a little with the question of 'how', but it's worth remembering that those tasked with actually implementing the system will have more of an eye on advancing their own careers than on the sinister purpose behind what they are doing.

(My compliments, by the way, on handling a matter of vital importance so efficiently.)

Bucko The Moose said...

Mud in the Blood - It may be that we can't fight it. There are too many of the brainwashed and not enough of us. Trying to wake the sheep would be a full time job for all of us and we would probably still be unsuccessful.

I'm of the opinion that we should keep chipping away at them as they chip away at us, but at the same time, adapt.

When I've had this discussion, many people have pointed out that various barter or alternative cash systems will crop up, and they are correct.

If they want to treat individuals like criminals, let them do so. We will just go further under ground, while living in plain sight, and be even harder to control.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, so rather than trying to fight the ocean tides, maybe we just need to blend in with the sheep and adapt?

Bucko The Moose said...

Macheath - A similar experience, but a little off topic, we just had a health questionnaire passed round at work or all the employees to fill in.

One section was, do you smoke, how much and what. There was the same for alcohol and a section on how much exercise you get.

I complained to HR that this was none of the companies business and I was told we are not obliged to fill it in.

I still moaned that the form did not give the impression you could pick and choose which answers to give, so a lot of people would fill it in because they feel obliged.

In the end, there was a mini rebellion, with no help from me.

No wonder your bank manager did a good job of signing people up. Pity her methods were so morally wrong.

I wrote in the last post about how bank employees have to report you for large cash transactions, well your comment goes to show that some will comply out of the threat of sanctions, but other will do it for their own personal gain.

Thanks for the compliments