Giving evidence to the (House of Commons) Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Meg Hillier, Minister for ID cards, said we should see the cards as "passports in-country".

Such candour from a Home Office minister makes a refreshing change from the usual spin and deception. Perhaps in this apparent new spirit of openness and transparency, the government will be prepared to engage in a rational debate about where its transformational government agenda is taking our society.

Do we wish to live in a country where citizens are controlled by the state; a database state in which the intimate details of our lives are recorded by bureaucrats for administrative convenience?

Under Soviet rule, an internal passport (propiska), officially a record of a person's address, was required when applying for jobs, for a place in higher education or for obtaining medical treatment.

Without judicial oversight, officials were able to withdraw a propiska from anyone whose activities were deemed anti-Soviet. The similarities to the UK's proposed National Identity Scheme are, frankly, disturbing. The Prime Minister speaks eloquently of liberty and British values. Following a path that was widely condemned in the free world during the cold war is a strange way of promoting the values of which he professes himself to be so proud.

Geraint Bevan, NO2ID Scotland