Tuesday, November 07, 2006
ID Cards Likely to be a Dodgy Legacy for Blair
i) the dangers of identity theft which White reckons has reduced the utility of similar schemes abroad. However clever we are the fraudsters are only a lap behind us and always seem swiftly to end up in front.
ii) the problems government have had with complex IT schemes have been notorious- £20bn lost on the NHS scheme no GPs wanted to use; the Criminal records cock-up; family tax credits; and the Child Support Agency. White cites the successes like vehicle licensing and online income tax but one has to wonder if there is a track record here on which taxpayers can rely when their billions are invested.
iii) Early in 2006 an LSE study produced an estimated cost for the project of £19-24bn, rather than the fraction of that sum the government claim it will cost.
iv) Simon Hoggart, in his sketch also raises, for laughs, the quite serious question of what happens when we lose our sodding card or it gets damaged. Won't it be an almighty nuisance and, probably hugely expensive to replace? Polls show 80% of us are in favour of the idea but baulk at the likely price.
I haven't mentioned the civil liberties argument yet. In June 2004 the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas told the Home Affairs Committee that he was 'increasingly alarmed' by a plan for which he did not see 'sufficient rationale'. However Polly Toynbee argues, unusually for a Guardian columnist perhaps, that such opposition merely reflects 'the wish of the middle class to be victims too' and goes on to defend the 'benign state' against its opponents who on this issue come mainly from the 'anti state individualistic right'. She's right I'm sure, but actually, I would have thought there were just a few opponents of the scheme on the left as well....
Blair (Eric) would have been happy to know that he had 67 years still to go in 1948.
Loved trhe example and it does prove the point I think
Thanks, I was pleased with it too; God knows whose it is...
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