I am not ideologically opposed to ID cards, as every marketing company, DVLA, NHS, and god knows how many other organisations seem to have my details it would seem to be no big deal. Personally my major gripe is that the proposal was we were being told to have something and then given a bill for the privelege. As we have to pay more for passports, driving licences and various other 'ID' forms, a further high cost card seems unnecessary and designed to annoy the poeple a little more than they were previously. The media says there is a climbdown by Jacqui Smith and the government in makign the statement:
We have always said that there will be no requirement to carry and present a card. That has not changed, and will not change. And there will be no compulsion, either, in having to apply for a dedicated identity card for the purposes of proving your identity.
But I wonder, as ever with these things the devil is in the detail. Within her speech, Smith talked of the selling points for young people having an ID card would be:
It will make it easier to enrol on a course, apply for a student loan, open a bank account, or prove your age
But does this hint that without clear photographic proof young people would be unable to go to college or university, get their loan, have an account ot put it in, or have a drink in the student bar so getting an ID card would be inevitable? It is an interesting idea to ensure that the next generation of youth will need to have an ID card and so mean that in the long term they will become a part of everyday life, but is that what Brown and Smith have in mind while they also make it all seem voluntary.