Of course lots of other countries have ID cards - if you’re a technocrat designing a national infrastructure it’s the completely obvious system architecture decision. Single database, single globally unique primary key, unique access token. Everything’s nice and neat and simple to define. I can completely understand why it appeals to people, like me, who think like this.
Bird on a Fire wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:01 am
Any claimed consequence of introducing ID cards in the UK should be easily backed up by demonstrating those consequences in a significant proportion of those countries. Interested to see everyone's favourite examples of how ID cards enabled those governments to do something dastardly that would otherwise have been difficult/impossible.
This is a remarkably disingenuous line of argument. Nobody has said ‘ID cards lead to fascism a significant proportion of the time’.
The point, also in respect of ‘fascists gonna fascist with or without ID cards’, is that a card that becomes routinely used in everyday transactions, plus a database that stores details of those transactions, makes it potentially much, much easier to overreach. Imagine today’s government wanted to, say, stop anyone suspected of being a terrorist from buying petrol or a train ticket. Doesn’t sound implausible to me that they might if they could, and sounds pretty Daily Mail-friendly. Today that would be completely unworkable. If everyone has to carry the ID card and every checkout has to be equipped to check it (as petrol stations would already need to be, cos they sell cigarettes) - suddenly possible by executive order. I’m sure most other national ID schemes don’t currently enable that, but it’s absolutely what the 2006 proposal would have enabled.
To make ‘UK ID cards would have stopped Windrush’ stand up, you have to assume that the card carries details of the holder’s immigration status - in what proportion of the red or blue countries on the map was that true in the 1950’s? Or you have to assume that at the point it’s decided to add that information to the card because there’s a moral panic about it, the Home Office hasn’t yet destroyed the records. Windrush deportees IIRC didn’t generally lack evidence of their lifetime spent in the UK, the Home Office just didn’t care to listen to them.
I went to see whether Shelter say
proving ID is one of the top issues facing renters - they don’t. I went to see whether JRF say
proving ID is one of the top issues facing those excluded from financial services and they do mention it, but only among a complex mixture of factors; in any case, the documentation you need to open a UK bank account is to satisfy anti-money-laundering rules, not just a simple proof of ID. Is a national ID card alone enough to open a bank account in every red and blue country on the map?
Last of all, let’s shove all the middle-class pearl-clutching stuff to one side and just take as read for now that there are amazing convenience benefits awaiting the UK from having an ID card. How much UK taxpayers’ money* would you like to spend on achieving that, please?