Re-posted from archive of infinite ideas machine 2004:
Mr Lettice’s delicious ‘How to fool ID card system – give a false ID, say UK gov’ article in El Reg points out just how useless / ineffective / unadministrable(? you know what I mean…) ID cards will be, unless it is made compulsory to carry them or, e.g. the police get to carry portable (NIR-connected) biometric scanners.
If David Blunkett thinks that the police are going to be happy to take the flak that this fundamental change in their relationship to the general public would cause, then he is sadly mistaken. In fact, it was precisely the routine stopping of law-abiding citizens and requiring that they show their ID papers that brought the wartime scheme to an end in 1953!
As the Lord Chief Justice of the time said, “such action tends to make the public resentful of the acts of the police and inclines them to obstruct them rather than to assist them”. And that was back in the far-more-respectful-of-authority ‘good old days’…