Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Public support for ID cards

Depressing reading – the latest polling figures on public support for ID cards. 52% still in favour; 60% agree that if you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve got nothing to fear.

More promisingly, 63% reject the suggestion that they could be used to prevent terrorism, 80% acknowledge that no matter how secure the system someone will always find a way of forging the things, 71% reckon the data on their cards won’t be secure, 75% think they’ll be more expensive than the government claims, and 60% say they’ll be a huge inconvenience.

So, erm… why do 55% of you still want the damn things? People are idiots


  1. Because, old son, the 55% aren't reading this blog or anything else with long words and no pictures. The anti-ID card squad isn't on the telly, yes?

    Among more thoughtful people, one line of argument that needs to be countered is that everybody on the continent carries ID cards, and most of them live in functional democracies whose admitted flaws are not directly attributable to this practice. A colleague, educated in France and long resident in Belgium, was pushing this line to me only the other day.

    I think the point here is one of the dynamic. We need to explain that other societies got ID cards in times when they were less free than today and they have evolved ways of living fairly freely with them. We have never had them (except during the war), we have evolved ways of living reasonably securely without the damn things. To add them to our burden is therefore a move in the opposite direction to that taken by those freeish countries which have traditionally carried them.


  2. the 55% aren’t reading this blog or anything else with long words and no pictures. The anti-ID card squad isn’t on the telly, yes?

    what a pretentious twat!

  3. People are idiots
    You'd have made a great politician.

    Totally agree though. Utterly maddening. 28% realised that "determined criminals", the ones the card is supposed to affect, would always find a way of forging the cards but still thought it was a good idea. Why? Idiots.

  4. the 55% aren't reading this blog or anything else with long words and no pictures. The anti-ID card squad isn't on the telly, yes?

    what a pretentious twat!

  5. The ID scheme proposed for the UK is completely different to those on the continent, or anywhere else for that

    We really need to stop talking about the ID cards and start emphasising the ID database.

    Liberals like me may have an ideological objection to being compelled to own an identity card but, as Chris says, it's hard to show that ID cards in other countries have significantly contributed to a more authoritarian state.

    On the other hand, the ID database that accompanies the proposed scheme is something that would be massively unpopular if people knew anything about it. Here's why:

    It's never been attempted before.
    It's a huge government IT project, which fail more often than not.
    It would be a honey pot for hackers.
    And, on a more, uh, cerebral level, it would hold an unprecedented amount of personal data, with serious implications for what government agencies and businesses can find out about you at the click of a button.

    The other point, of course, is that to get an ID card will be very expensive, and that if you want a passport, you will automatically be entered onto the database. This is necessary because nobody in their right mind would pay for the priviledge of being entered into the database unless they had no choice

  6. Bloody hell, people are thick aren't they?

    I've been slightly less subtle over on my blog.

  7. These are probably the same people who support hanging and who would happily believe that a paedophile is living down the road from their children's school, as long as they read it in the Scum or the Daily Wail.

    In fact, they would certainly support hanging the paedophile.

  8. Because people are bored and turned away easily and quickly. Specific; my sister asked for the link to my blog, she and her boyfriend looked at it.

    She was my boss. She's smart and capable, they're buying a house and she's 8 months due. Run a few businesses as well.

    They found the blog 'too confusing', although it 'looks nice'. That's from Friday through yesterday. When all the posts have been short summaries and links because I'm busy.

    The uninformed;they can do a plot summary for their soap of choice, give a full breakdown of Big Brother, but Galloway and Blair are the only politicians they can name.

    Television; the drug of the nation. Is Chomsky right?