Unperturbed with concerns and revolts over ID cards in his last term of Government, Tony Blair is back for another try. This time it’s not terrorism, it’s not illegal immigrants, it’s not access to services, it’s ID theft. Hurrah! ID cards to the rescue again!
Of course, as ever, we’re not told exactly how the ID cards will solve this problem. The fact that ID cards only prevent ID theft in person at point of contact, and actually provide a handy, one-key-fits-all source of ID in an easily theftable format, are things that are glossed quickly over. No, instead we’re supposed to believe that criminals are shaking in their boots at the prospect of these cards and don’t have the slightest idea where to begin forging them. Nope, criminals throughout history have been stumped by identity documents of all kinds and never use them.
And we’re being fed a truly bollocksy, we-made-this-one-up - it-sounds-scary - and-if-we-keep-repeating-it-people-will-believe-it figure of an annual cost of £1.3 billion from ID theft. Never mind this figure is conjured up from many different kinds of fraud, a large percentage of which is done remotely through processing of paperwork and electronic communications and any ID card would not make the slightest difference to.
So Tony, please, for once, quit spinning lies and come clean about this scheme. ID cards have only one guaranteed effect; control and surveillance of law-abiding citizens. They will provide zero protection from terrorism, fraud, illegal immigration and criminals in general. Stop pretending otherwise. And once in place any ID system makes the abuse of rights and privacy sooo much easier.
What’s your next spin? What other hot-topic are you going to try to pin on this donkey? ID cards; the solution to anti-social neighbours? ID Cards; ensuring healthy school dinners?