ID cards by stealth

Nineteen Eighty Four by George OrwellThe British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has the unenviable job of foisting identity cards on us. She knows that forcing us all to pay for one right from the start would not work. So she has announced that airport workers, immigrants and students are to get them first.

You may think that airport security is a Good Idea (that’s why workers already undergo police checks and wear ID badges), immigration needs to be controlled, and anything which makes student life easier is to be welcomed (showing two pieces of identification when opening a bank account is a major hassle). But make no mistake – you will be next.

When your personal data is on a vast government database (or a laptop left in a taxi), and you need an identity card just to take the dog for a walk, don’t say you didn’t realise how far the State planned to take this scheme.