Brandishing an example of the baby pink and pale blue polycarbonate document, Jacqui Smith promised it would combat identity theft, help prevent illegal immigration and enable people to prove their identity more easily.
Wow, all by itself? How’s it going to do that, then? Not just a card that lets the government keep track of all your details on one giant database, but SuperCard!! Faster than a speeding bullet, it combats IdentityTheft (though folks do say behind its back that Identity Theft is actually SuperCard’s nebbish alter-ego), zooms round the country batting illegal immigrants back into the sea, and shows up, shiny-faced and bright-arsed, squeaking “I know that person, officer! Now just wait till I look them up and I’ll be able to tell you who they are, who they work for, what they earn, where they live, what serious illnesses they’ve had, if they’ve ever been picked up by the police before…” Or possibly, SuperCard will tell the police all about the person with the ID number that’s just one digit off yours. Who knows?
PS: A voice from 2006, Philip Johnston points out that back in 1996, before Tony Blair had come to power with a large majority in Parliament, Bambi’s thinking was that “Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local community.” (My Vision of a Young Country, Tony Blair, 1996).