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An identity crisis

A Telegraph opinion piece sums up the Home Office’s attempts to introduce compulsory ID cards in the UK:

Benefit fraud, illegal migration, the terrorist threat since September 11: all have been pulled out of the Government’s hat as reasons for introducing compulsory identity cards. The Home Office, which has long favoured them, is aware of the political charge they carry. It has, therefore, tried to deter accusations of seeking to curtail basic freedoms by the euphemism “a universal entitlement card scheme”, and by using whatever emotive issue is to hand as an argument for their introduction.

It is more than half a century since the wartime national registration card was abolished. An illiberal Home Secretary is now trying to use the age of terror and his failure to adopt sensible immigration and asylum policies as a means of setting up a system of national surveillance. The Cabinet should rebuff him without further ado.

Hear, hear… If you stay tuned, you will.

Note: Everyone over 16 would be required to register with a national citizens’ database and would be issued with a personal number. The card is expected to carry core information about the holder, and biometric details such as fingerprints or iris patterns. The cost would be met by adding about £25 to the fee for a driving licence and passport.

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