ID Card bill passes

The identity card bill has passed by some 31 votes. Charles Clarke had the affront to suggest that far from ushering in a surveillance society the ID cards are now a protection against one.

Mr Clarke responded to fears about civil liberties, saying: "There would be no compulsion on anybody to show their ID card in the street."

Odd thing to say because if there was no requirement then the card has no hope of doing it's job.... or might this requirement change? After all, these were, once upon a time, optional 'entitlement' cards.

David Davis pointed out that we're taking a very nasty direction here as "If, 10 years ago, I had gone on the radio and said that within a decade a Labour government would try to do away with jury trial, remove Habeas Corpus, eliminate the presumption of innocence, introduce punishment without trial, and put house arrest on the statute book, they would have locked me up."

This is a black day.

To summarise:

  1. The bill will not prevent terrorism (witness Madrid)
  2. Foreign terrorists coming into the UK would not have the card anyway
  3. It may well aide ID theft (big hacking target, over-reliance on one 'foolproof' card can reduce vigilance, the card will be forged).
  4. It won't prevent illegal working (it's illegal, remember?)
  5. In order to be effective, regular spot checks would be needed. Do you really want to have to prove ID just to walk down the road or spend cash in a shop? In Spain I was asked for ID when visiting a supermarket.

There are many other objections, but I think I'll leave it there for now.