On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of speaking at the Edinburgh branch of the NO2ID organisation who are campaigning against the introduction of identity cards by the UK government. I am sure it is entirely coincidental, but the very next day we saw Jacqui Smith make an announcement about how the government intends to step up its bid to introduce these cards.
We are told that they will offer us greater protection against terrorism and identity fraud.
In what way will a little bit of paper with our names on it act as a shield against these threats?
Let's not forget that Spain operates an ID card scheme, yet this did not stop bombs going off on Madrid trains.
People who are so determined to put lives at jeopardy, including their own for whatever extreme ends they wish to pursue will hardly be put off at the prospect of ID cards in the UK. Anyone who believes they will is delusional.
The case for ID cards is extremely weak, and I don't buy for a second the talk from the UK government that they will make life easier for us all. Nor do I buy the talk that there will be no compulsion upon us to carry these cards. Certainly that may be the case in the short term, but surely that would be liable to change. After all, what would be the point of introducing a card that we would be compelled to have if we are not to be compelled to carry it?
This is to say nothing of the outrage that we are expected to have to pay for the 'privilege' of these cards, possibly as much as £90 or more.
Anyway, I am delighted that the Scottish Government is resolute in opposition to these cards and they shall certainly have my support in that opposition.