Sir,We at Stand.org.uk were both surprised and disappointed to note that the Guardianhas made no mention of the Cabinet memo, leaked over the weekend, regarding DavidBlunkett'sproposal for compulsory ID cards for all British residents, with a price tag of atleast 39 per person.
This matter is provoking no little amount of debate elsewhere and we are pleasedto recall that the Guardian was one of the many newspapers pointing out some ofthe flaws inBlunkett's original "Entitlement Cards" consultation when it was launched around ayear ago.After the controversy caused by the Home Office's misleading statements that couldlead one to conclude that they were trying to ignore the thousands of anti-ID cardresponsessent through our www.stand.org.uk portal before the concept of any price wasmention, it might be timely to remind the Home Secretary that our 64-page reporton ID cards,submitted as our response to the consultation, is available from our website.Not only would the introduction of such a scheme be the effective imposition of a"police state poll tax", levying a new tariff against everyone resident inBritain, at a ratemany believe to be underestimated, but we were alarmed and entertained to notesome of the claims Blunkett made to his Cabinet colleagues in the memo.The Home Secretary claimed that "we are strengthened in our liberty if ouridentity is protected from theft; if we are able to access the services we areentitled to; and ifour community is better protected from terrorists and organised criminals".Whilst all these points are true, he fails to note that the introduction of an IDcard scheme could well INCREASE the risk of having our identities stolen and, ashe admittedin the House himself, would make no difference whatsoever to terrorism andorganised crime (particularly if, not being obliged to carry them at all times, weonly have toreport to a police station within two weeks, like with drivers' licences; wesuspect that terrorists might not bother, somehow). Furthermore, the main reasonwe would beunable to access government-provided services without an ID card would be if thescheme required it. It is obvious, then, that these are all false wins.Despite the Home Secretary's flagrant courting of populist tabloid issues, itstill seems as though the vast majority of the British public is against any IDcard scheme, atany price. We would call on all members of the Cabinet to reject this expensiveand ineffective idea.Yours,[signed]Owen Blacker, volunteer at Stand.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org (London, GB)James Cronin, volunteer, email@example.com (London, GB)Yoz Grahame, volunteer, firstname.lastname@example.org (London, GB)