Monday, January 22, 2007

The madness of ID cards - "We can cut crime" campaign

The Liberal Democrat "We can cut crime" campaign, launched today, is very impressive.

Just take point one of the five-point action plan: "More police on patrol - Don't waste billions on ID cards". The point highlights that "Labour are already wasting £97,000 a day on their expensive, illiberal ID card sceme. We would scrap it and use the money to pay for more police officers."

If ever there was a prime example of New Labour madness, ID cards are it. They won't even help to fight crime, as our "10 reasons to oppose ID cards" makes clear:

The police do not generally have a problem identifying people they arrest: the problem is in catching the criminals in the first place. ID cards would not present an obstacle to most terrorists either. The terrorists who attacked New York on September 11th 2001 and Madrid on March 11th 2004 carried valid identity documents. Knowing someone’s identity does not necessarily help you to predict how they are going to behave. The government believes that one in three terrorists use multiple identities, which would be much harder to do once compulsory ID cards were introduced for everyone. However, this leaves the modus operandi of 2 out of 3 terrorists unaffected, to say nothing of the way the one third with multiple identities might change their behaviour in response to the scheme.

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