2 forms of ID – this is about the cards

Are the letters ID inherently evil in that specific combination? They form an acronym for two of the main topics that spark up rants here – Intelligent Design (the belief that everything except evolution is so complex that God must have planned it in detail) and Identity Document (the UK’s psychiatrically-certifiable ID card scheme.)

It’s been a while since there was any complaint about the ID card scherme here. However, far from vanishing when it’s not in the news, it’s been creeping towards existence. THe BBC put up a page in December with arguments for and against. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/A2319176  The Fors basically consist of  “there would be less illegal immigration, benefit fraud , ID theft and crime in general.” None of these arguments are convincing. Nor, even if they were all true, would they seem to constitute enough of a public good to justify the full-scale imposition of  such constraints on traditional freedoms. Surely benefit fraud is the responsibility of DWP, Immigration of the Home Office, crime of the police. Aren’t they up to doing their jobs any more? The truly comical argument for ID is this, though.

Enhance sense of community: The government believes that identity cards would create a sense of shared citizenship, belonging and security

(I wondered what that lovely warm feeling I get from my bus pass was.)

If you don’t even need to know what the BBC gives as anti-ID arguments, you have probably decided a long time ago that the whole plan is both silly and dangerous. (See http://www.no2id.net/IDSchemes/faq.php if you want to read the arguments and find out about campaigns.)

You have probably heard people saying “But it’s inevitable.”  You almost certainly feel that it doesn’t matter what you think about what the government does because it never makes any difference anyway, look how mass protests stopped the Iraq war involvement (not)

Well, there is actually one way you can let the Government know that it is a deeply unsavoury plan. Go to http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/IDcards/ and sign the online petition against ID. I normally regard petitions as utterly pointless but there are reasons why this may have some impact. It’s on a site set up by the government itself to get input. If they can be made to see that this is no vote-winner, even a potential “poll tax” issue, they are going to step back sharpish.

The fiasco of the government’s current IT systems is already a scandal. Every IT project seems to cost untold millions; comes in millions over-budget; leads to civil service redundancies so services get worse;  and it doesn’t work properly when it’s finally implemented. The ID card scheme requires a huge outlay on even more new systems. A minister would need to have either some very powerful friends who needed an IT contract or a strong ideological commitment to the idea of ID to want to keep pushing this expensive and unworkable plan in the face of serious evidence of opposition.

The Government had to give way on the medical records plan to the extent of allowing us to refuse to have our medical records open to any NHS employee (or journalist, nosy neighbour, private detective, etc.,  who knows an NHS employee). They may indeed give way on this scheme. Just wait till the cost to individuals sinks in to those people who don’t think ID is a bad thing in itself. We’d be doing the Government a favour by stopping them  pushing the ID plan through.