On the cards

A lot of liberal folk are up in arms about the UK Government’s plans to introduce ID cards. Dave Wilson isn’t one of them.

“Forget about a chip and a chair; give me a hand and I’ll stand.” – Warren Karp.

A lot of liberal folk are up in arms about the UK Government’s plans to introduce ID cards. A lot of people think that The Right Honourable David Blunkett’s scheme is just a complete waste of public money that will do very little to enhance the security of the gentle folk that live in our green and pleasant land.

How wrong they are, dear reader! It’s so obvious to me that this most altruistic of all Governments is merely thinking about the security of us, the public, and the best ways to keep us out of harm’s way.

Look, let me give you an example. Just the other day, some rather irresponsible chaps from the wrong side of the tracks decided to light a fire in the farmer’s field which faces my house.

Despite some rather heated exchanges between the teenagers and my neighbours, they refused to put the fire out. Finally, afraid that the fire was getting out of hand in the dry field of hay, I called the police and the fire department.

Unfortunately, by the time the boys in blue got there, there was no-one in the field except the farmer and a couple of his pals who had seen the smoke signals on the horizon. And the fire was already out.

Now imagine a replay of this scenario several years from now, after the introduction of the ID card scheme. How different things would be and how much safer the neighbourhood would feel!

You see, these cards are really going to frighten the sorts of chap that set that fire in the field, aren’t they?

First off, they’re going to be intimidated by the fact that they must carry a piece of plastic through which the police could obtain basic identification information about them – including their name, address, gender, date of birth and a picture. Not to mention their fingerprints or iris or facial scans.

And secondly, they’ll genuinely be rather awed by the fact that, should they run into any trouble with the police, their details could all automatically entered into a large database, creating a permanent record of their bad behaviour that could remain on the police files for ages and ages after the event.

It’s a genuine deterrent that will make the neighbourhood safer for years to come.

And what if I’m wrong? Well, I rarely am. But if I am, and the cards don’t fall the way they should, maybe we ought to scrap the two-year contract we’ve already signed with PA Consulting to develop them any further and hand the money over to Ricardo so they could build the coppers some faster cars instead.

A reader replies:


The idea of an ID card isn’t silly. Living in the city and having the “Chav” culture, complete with poor taste in clothing, cars with drain pipes instead of exhausts, music so loud the cars are carried forward on sound waves, it does make sense. Maybe deployment of these cards could get young people back to a state where they respect something other than some c—p hip-hop artist who’s fleecing them with poor samples from 60’s records and bad poetry? At least give it a chance. Oh, and lets be honest, the new driving licence is the place to start. It’s got all the basics, and we could just issue it as ID from an earlier age to start? They talk about banning smoking in public, how about not being allowed into pubs without your ID card?

Iain Print.