UK ID Cards: Popular According to Whom?

British pols are considering a scheme to force citizens to carry so-called “identity cards.” PM Tony Blair, who has spoken in support of the idea at least “in principle,” says the jury is out on whether the plan will be implemented. If Blair decides to sanction an ID-card program, word will come during next month’s scheduled speech by Queen Elizabeth II. From the UK Guardian:

Earlier this week the home secretary, David Blunkett, complained that not all cabinet members were behind his identity card scheme, after a leak of a letter from the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, in which he warned that the project could end up a political debacle.

He warned that the cost and feasibility of the project meant he would be arguing against it, but at PMQs today, Mr. Blair argued that they were “the right thing to do” if the problems of cost and logistics could be overcome.

Labour’s Nick Palmer backed up Mr. Blair, saying that if people claimed benefits from the state, it was “not unreasonable” for them to show who they were.

“There is overwhelming support for the principle of identity cards so we have a society where people claim what they have the personal right to claim,” he added.

But is the public overwhelmingly in favor of the idea? British blogger Loz of Blah Blah Flowers doesn’t think so.

If you repeat the lie enough times… Presumerably Nick Palmer is unaware that the truth of the matter is that there is NOT overwhelming support for ID cards. He’s the MP for Broxtowe, I don’t suppose anyone reading this blog lives in that area and would like to Faxyourmp to set him straight?

It’s also interesting that he says that people on benefits should definitely have an ID card. People on benefits are often, by the very fact they’re on benefits, the poorest people in the country. Yet they should have a piece of plastic that will cost them between –40 and –100? And how will this stop all the fraud that ministers regularly claim is going on that the current systems in place don’t? And if he thinks those on benefits should have a card, does that mean he supports the rights of those of us who aren’t on any form of income support not to have the card?

Very good question.

If you’re a UK reader, what do you think about the idea? Let us know via Comments. And take Loz’s advice: Fax your MP and tell ’em your feeling about the issue.

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