Re-posted from archive of infinite ideas machine 2004:
There are a couple of ‘classic’ quotes in today’s Scotsman’s article, Identity crisis as ID trial gets brush off:
Professor Alan Marshall, a specialist in human rights based at the University of Strathclyde, claimed the pilot scheme was intended to “soften up” the public to the concept of ID cards. He said: “What this shows, is there is no overwhelming public appetite for, or recognition of, ID cards as being high on the list of tools to beat terrorism.”
“Rather than having a debate on ID cards the government have decided on having a voluntary scheme.”
“It would have been helpful for them to have people who supported the scheme being involved in it.”
This, on the discovery that less than half the number of people expected and/or required have signed up for the trial – even after all its recent publicity! Patrick Harvie seems to sum things up well:
Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who picketed Home Office minister Des Browne when he arrived in Glasgow to launch the trial, said: “The pilot scheme was set up to learn lessons about how the cards system will run, and they should clearly learn a lesson from the fact that nobody wants it.”
“If there are less than 7,000 in the country who want this enough to spare half an hour of their time to find out about it, then how many people can be in favour of it?”
How many indeed?
Even if the general attitude remains ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear’ the Home Office is going to have an increasingly difficult time equating this with active support for ID cards. Face it folks, no-one really wants to pay for the things – and few who look into it believe that they’ll actually do what the Gov’t says they will.