Take a Stand against ID cards
2003-01-12 22:17:33 UTC
I'm feeling virtuous because I've just made a response to the consultation on ID cards. Given that I do so little political work, that feeling is probably not one I am entitled to. I did it via the wonderful Stand website. Here's what I wrote:
I oppose the introduction of an ID or entitlement card as described in the consultation paper. While I can see that there are some advantages to the use of such a card, I do not believe that they come close to outweighing the disadvantages.
In addition to the disadvantages described in the paper I would like to add the following:
Page 7: "By giving a clear indication that the holder of an entitlement card is lawfully resident in the UK, a card scheme could be a powerful weapon in combating illegal immigration."
Regarding the subject of illegal immigration in general, I believe that in most cases it should be legal. We already go to ridiculous lengths to prevent immigration and we cause more harm than good by doing so. The last thing we need is a new and expensive way to prevent immigration.
Page 7: "It would also help to prosecute unscrupulous employers who employ illegal workers for less than the minimum wage and undercut legitimate companies."
This seems highly unlikely and you have done nothing to argue for it. An unscrupulous employer is, by definition, unscrupulous. If they are violating the law regarding minimum wages, why would they not also violate the law regarding checking ID cards?
Page 8: Identity fraud costs £1.3 billion.
Page 10: ID cards cost £1.5 billion.
This does not look like a bargain.
Furthermore, ID cards would not stop 100% of identity fraud. The idea that ID cards will work perfectly while all previous ID systems have been fallible is laughable.
Also, on the subject of criminalising all uses of a false identity:
Page 44: "Defendants would need access to a reasonable defence to cover the more innocent uses of a false identity such as adopting another identity when fleeing an abusive partner."
The last thing I want to do is to haul the poor souls fleeing abusive partners into court and to put them to trouble of proving that they have a legitimate reason to use a false identity.
Besides, I frequently give false information to companies who want it for marketing purposes. I'd prefer it if that didn't make me a criminal.