Inevitably, when times are really tough, even governments are forced to cancel projects to save money. And it seems obvious that the projects to cancel are the wildly unpopular ones that aren’t going to achieve anything, but are just running because some ex-minister had invested all his (or, in this case, her) political capital into it.
So it’s reassuring to hear that the Chancellor has decided that (despite it’s technically not his decision to make) we don’t need ID cards any more. Apparently, the biometric passports that we already have are actually good enough.
And that’s great. To be honest, I don’t think the Americans are going to get anything out of the biometric passports they’re insisting upon, but we already have passports, they seem to work and the Americans are happy enough (which is always important, isn’t it?) Granted, they’re usuriously expensive, but we are already used to it. What with one thing and another, we can now muddle by the same way we have for the last couple of thousand years without have to cart our papers around, like the Germans.
But, as is ever the case with the unspeakably authoritarian Labour Party, only half the truth is really being shown: there is no sign that the National Identity Register, which is arguably more pernicious than the physical bit of laminated paper that we would have to carry around, is being dispensed with.
And if we are still being recorded for the state’s pleasure, then we are no better off than we were with the bit of laminated paper in our wallets.
(I bet Angela Epstein is going to be annoyed, though. Which is good.)