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February 21, 2017

On 21st February 1952, as part of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s bonfire of controls, the government abolished the national identity cards with much support from the population. Wartime identity cards, when introduced in 1939, had just three administrative functions: national service, national security and food rationing. Within eleven years this had risen to thirty-nine, and showing your identity card for the most trivial of purposes had become routine. Since then, there have been failed attempts to reintroduce the card by both Conservatives and Labour, with justifications varying from tax administration, to football hooliganism. Read more

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