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About me

ID Cards and the Constitution


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 16 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 16 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 16 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

A trail starts on Monday of the proposed ID cards…but what do you think of them? I’m personally against them really, since I don’t think they will be of benefit. The arguments put forward for them are, generally…

Prevent illegal immigration
I can’t see how this can be the case. Why will an illegal immigrant find it any more difficult to ‘disappear’? They don’t have any identification documents at the moment, so why will not having a card hinder them? Unless, of course, we’re going to be forced to produce them at request, which is a dangerous route to take.

Prevent illegal working
Most employers who have illegal workers know that the workers are illegal. Besides which, we all have National Insurance numbers that can (and do) do this anyway.

Aid anti-terrorism measures
If I’m going to fly a jumbo into a towerblock, why will a plastic card stop me? The Spanish have identity cards, and they’ve suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks of modern times.

Tackle identity theft
This depends very much on how they are used, and if they are used as I suspect, as a single identity document in themselves, then stealing this card immediately opens you to identity theft. Biometric data is only useful for those who have readers, and photographs don’t prevent someone passing themselves off as someone else, as we see with stolen Passports every day.

Reduce benefit fraud and abuse of public services
We have a number of systems already in place to ensure that public services are only used by those entitled. If these were properly enforced, which would be a much cheaper option, then there would be no need for any new system (eg you are supposed to take your NHS Card each time you go to the doctors….Do you?)

Enhance sense of community
Tell me this is a joke. If I was racist, I would still be racist whether or not the other person had a card.

I do understand that they would be a handy form of ID, but that’s an argument against them. When you have to provide two forms of photo ID, it’s hard to find them, you have to go searching to dig out your passport and driving licence (or similar). If you have this card on you all the time, and your Driving Licence, then there’s two forms of photo ID that are stolen right off the bat if your bag is stolen.

The whole point of this ID process is that it’s difficult for the real person, and so almost impossible for a fraudster.

So why ask us all to pay £35 for a card that is pointless?

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 84th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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Comments and responses

Trackback from elsewhere on the site

6th February 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Conservatives plan to scrap ID Cards

Comment from Roxanne

    23.50, 29/01/2008

I couldn’t agree with you more, only now we are going to be forced (not asked) to pay £93 for a pointless card

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