Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

No IDea

What is the biggest issue with the ID cards, the design of which was unveiled by Jacqui Smith this week?

Was it the growth of the single database recording everyone’s highly sensitive details in one place, especially given the Government’s impressive track record (cough) in protecting confidential data?

Was it the prinicple of the State holding such a quantity of data in the first place – knowing that once such a system is in place, it will be very tough to dismantle it?

Was it the irony that in a so-called free country, one shoudl not be able to walk out of one’s own house without a government-issued piece of plastic in the back pocket? (And please don’t start with the “it’s only voluntary” line – the card will be useless unless possession and presentation become compulsory.)

Was it the flimsiness of the “if you have nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear” justification? After all, if I’ve nothing to hide, why should I have to prove it if I’m not a suspect of a specific crime? And anyway, who decides what’s worth hiding?

No, all these concerns are all lower down the list of searching and urgent questions to be asked of the ID card scheme – according to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 today – than the one key question;

Does the new design sufficiently represent the UK and all its constituent “nations”?

Yep. In the weird and wacky world of the BBC, it is the critical issue of whether all the Celtic fringes get their fair crack of the whip on the card design.

The conclusions? The English contributor (Rod Liddle) though it too European (fair point), the Scot was happy, as was the Welshman, and the Ulsterman thought it would start another argument between Unionists and Nationalists.

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