What’s so bad about ID cards?

There is lots of criticism for David Cameron and his party regarding their plans to restore the economy.  The Labour party accuse him of wanting to cut public spending, while the Liberal Democrats say he is “bottling” tough decisions.  People, the government and the public, do not like to hear about “thrift”.  The idea that we have to spend less is not very appealing.  No one likes to face the fact that they have less money to spend, therefore, they have to spend less.

Public spending should be cut but Mr. Cameron and his crew have not outlined their plans on where those cuts will be.  One idea that he would like to see scrapped is the ID cards.  There has been a lot of issue about this, but coming from the US, I have no idea why the British hate this idea.  Increasingly, people are being carded in order to buy tobacco and alcohol (unless you appear truly or deceptively older than 25).  In order to prove your age, you will need some form of ID.  Many people have driver’s licenses, but not everyone drives.  If you don’t have a driver’s license, then you can use your passport. But not everyone has a passport, either.  And those who do are not in the habit of carrying it on their person.  An ID is easy to carry around in your wallet.  There are other times when the ID can come in handy.  Such as, at the library when you’ve lost your library card.  I’m not even going to mention establishing your identity with the police, as that seems to be where a lot of the contention is about.

Though it is not mandatory in the US to carry ID cards, it is encouraged.  It may help in identifying dead bodies, if they were lucky enough to have been carrying it with them and not have it removed by theft or part of a murder.  Even those under 16 are advised to have IDs in case they (the kids) go missing. In the US, the ID card is not mandatory.  In fact, most people don’t have it.  Not because they don’t like the idea, but because most people of driving age have driver’s licenses.  It makes life a whole lot easier if you have a picture ID of some sort.  If you write checks (an outmoded way of doing business to some people), pick up prescriptions, whatever.  It’s amazing the number of times you have to prove who you are.  Maybe the British are not used to this way of life, but it may become necessary in the future.  After all, you have lots of immigrants whose forms of ID are their passports and a foreign driver’s license.  They might not carry their passports, and can you understand all the foreign languages?

If they scrap the ID card, would people be required to carry their passports around?  Or, perhaps, all people will be encouraged to get driver’s licenses.  Or, do the British not care about people having to establish their identities?

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6 Responses

  1. The main purpose of the ID card is to act as proof of entitlement to the benefits of the welfare state and thereby to prevent the 1 million plus people who have arrived here illegally over the past 12 years from gaining access to that to which they have no right.

    The argument against is very simple. Why should I have to carry an ID card I do not want in order to address by the back door a problem which the government not only refuses to address at the front door, but have actually made much worse by such foolishness as the EHRA?

  2. I guess that’s why it’s hard for me to understand this ID issue. It shouldn’t be mandatory for everyone, but it should be available for those who do not hold a driver’s license as a means to prove identity. Immigration is a big problem that needs to be addressed pronto – I totally agree with that. But you’ve lost me on the reference to EHRA – what’s that?

  3. European Human Rights Act. The thing that stops us deporting people like the Afghan hijackers etc.

  4. Oh, yes. I remember fuming about Abu Qatada. But it’s not just terrorists, it’s also the other thugs and criminals – you know, the ones we paid to leave jail early.

  5. I do not want to share my Id with the government. I do not like being spied on by unseen security teams running CCTV cameras. I do not want to have to prove who I am. Please do not force me to have or to carry an Id card. I live in a free country (thanks to my dad and many others in the 1940′s).


  6. So far, we’ve had responses from native Britons regarding ID cards and neither like them. However, for you, the ID cards are optional, not mandatory. For non-EU nationals, the ID cards are mandatory. How do you feel about that? Are they worth having? Will they prevent illegal immigration, etc.?

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