I refer to Ray Fleming's viewpoint in Sunday's edition over why the British are happy to see the new coalition government scrap future spending on national identity cards.
The development of the cards has been expensive and many British citizens see this process as an infringement of their civil liberties. Many could have been persuaded of the benefits of carrying such a document until the last government announced that citizens would be expected to pay around 100 pounds for the pleasure. A fee many can not afford and consider expensive for the limited benefit. The cards would have been in addition to and not replaced the need for passports, for which fees are already quite high.
I would have no problem in carrying an ID card if I felt it served a valid purpose-indeed I carry numerous cards already. Experience however shows there will soon be a business in forging these ID cards as there currently is with passports and other documents. We have not forgotten that the expensive introduction of chip and pin for our credit cards, which was going to do away with credit card fraud has proved to be a great failure.
As for removing the threat of terrorism - yes the Spanish carry ID cards but that did not stop the Madrid train bombings or the more recent bombing tragedy in Palma.
Whether we like it or not, the criminal underworld seems able to recruit some highly intelligent and IT literate people, who are able to counteract whatever security measures are put in place. The powers that be often arrest the foot soldiers but never seem to catch the brains