So Manchester has been chosen as the place to trial the UK's ID Card scheme. What a dubious honour for a city with radical roots and a long history of non-conformism.
In today's society no-one would deny that citizens need to be able to prove who they are when they are accessing certain services or crossing international borders. Passports have served very well for this for many years. What's the need for yet another way to prove who you are?
Does anyone seriously think that a would be terrorist or indeed any other criminal is going to be put off by the need to carry an ID Card - I think not. Reports that failed asylum seekers are able to abscond and become invisible to the authorities just shows that having an identity is not essential to living and working in this country.
At a time of financial uncertainty the last thing we need is more and more bureaucracy paid for by the taxpayer. Even people who previously thought compulsory ID Cards were essential to the security of our nation have now suggested that a cheaper option would be ensure that passports are more secure and less easy to falsify.
A straw poll in the office here doesn't see a great rush to go out and become a pioneer of the new scheme. If other Mancunians feel the same, this unnecessary scheme might, at last, be kicked out for good.
Posted at 3:27pm on 7th May 2009
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