Saturday, 15 May 2010

Hurrah for the demise of ID cards

In all the moaning and groaning about the new coalition government in the UK, most people seemed to have missed the fact that the ID card programme is to be scrapped.

Personally, I think the moaning is misplaced. It's rubbish to complain about Liberal Democrats betraying people because they've had to compromise to form the coalition. All coalitions involve compromise - and usually it's a good thing. It tempers both parties more loony ideas.

I also can't understand the whingeing about the 55% majority required to be able to dissolve parliament. This kind of arrangement is a standard feature of fixed term parliaments - and is already in place in Scotland. It's pathetic that people are moaning about it. I can only think they don't understand what's going on.

But surely we can all agree that getting rid of the ridiculous ID card scheme is a good idea. Leaving aside the civil liberty issues, and the fact that it would not have done anything to prevent terrorism, it's a great opportunity to make a spending cut - absolutely essential right now - without any negative impact on the country. Nice one, Dave'n'Nick.

Image from Daily Mail website


  1. I've campaigned against ID cards ever since it was made clear that they would be compulsory.

    I've often said to anyone in earshot that I'd rather go to jail than be forced to have an ID card; on the other hand if they had anything extra to offer over and above a passport or a driving licence (with their photo IDs) then I might be prepared to compromise and enter into my own coalition with the state - but hopefully that's at least 5 years away.

    The real question for me now is what else can be swept away in the name of savings?

  2. "ID cards" ARE compulsory. If you apply for a job you have to prove you have a right to employment. If you open a bank account you need proof of identity. If you need benefits of any type, e.g. medical, you need some sort of ID.

    Few people in the UK would even know how they could live without any sort of ID, and even fewer would want to.

    Yes, there is merit in "trying" to stay off a central database. French Jews paid the ultimate price of having their "ethnicity" indicated on their ID cards in 1940.

    But it is absurd to say that there is no need for some sort of ID, it is absurd to say that we don't have "ID cards" just yet, and it is absurd to say that an "ID card" has to mean a central database where ALL the data is compiled.

    Anyone who understands how data is best safeguarded knows that the current system in the UK is far far worse than just a simple "driving licence" type card, that only confirms identity.

  3. 'ID cards' in this context is shorthand for 'the Labour government's ID card scheme, including a central database.'