Jaqui Smith and the ID cards fiasco

David Blunkett, the man who came up with Labour’s terrible ID card scheme, has admitted it is a mistake (See previous post) but even this is not enough to convince Jaqui Smith to stop wasting the tax payers money.  Then again, why should she since she isn’t exactly known for fiscal good behaviour!  Her reasoning for the cards hasn’t improved either:

“With an identity card, people will be able to prove their identity quickly and conveniently while helping to protect themselves against identity fraud.

“ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists.”

The Telegraph – ID cards cheme to be launched in Manchester

Yes, by storing all your critical data on a government database you’ll be safer from identity fraud as long as they don’t leave your details on a train, or in a taxi, or let them be stolen from unsecured offices.  Forgetting the government’s crap security record just ask yourself “How exactly does an extra copy of my data being stored make me more secure?”  It won’t stop your credit cards being cloned, or your bank account hacked (the most common forms of identity theft), it won’t stop identity fraud at all, but it will make money for the chosen commercial partners and the government whilst introducing another layer of middle management beurocracy to Great Britain.

Now to her second quote “real benefits”, really?  How will an ID card stop me from getting mugged?  Does it double up as a weapon to protect me from criminals?  Will it flash a big red light and sound an alarm when a hoodie steals my wallet? Or will it just be a huge boon to purse snatchers and muggers who will now have not just my cash and credit cards, but also my name and address, my biometric data, and my ID card???  Am I meant to believe terrorists will not fly in to Britain as tourists because they won’t have ID cards?  Or that home grown threats won’t launch attacks because they have ID cards?  The 7/7 bombers carried ID, they wanted it to be known who they were, so how does this card make us any safer?

Realistically biometric passports are a better answer, especially since the US and other nations expect them at ports and places of entry.  Everyone can apply for a passport, either British or their home country and they are an internationally accepted form of identification.  If they are too easy to copy then update them to make it more difficult, don’t just give us another piece of pointless plastic… Didn’t we move to photo-driving licences to have them act as ID as in America?  Why did they stop being effective?

Forget doubts over Gordon Brown’s leadership, can we have questions raised about Jaqui Smith’s competance?

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