Dear Sir, THE anti–reaction to the introduction of ID cards in the UK again is based on this hoary old argument about the potential loss of 'civil liberties' brought up by the lefty, anorak do–gooders. It is however exactly what an ID card is surely all about. The civil liberty of a genuine citizen of not being defrauded; the civil liberty of a genuine citizen of some further protection against terrorism; the civil liberty of a genuine citizen of preventing illegal immigration and settlement; the civil liberty of state benefits for genuine citizens and not scroungers. The argument from the anti–card groups such as Liberty include the warning that 'ethnic, foreign looking minorities' are likely 'to be hassled' by the police to show some ID. What on earth is wrong with that? Illegal immigrants are foreigners (and very often look that way) and if they have a card they can go on their way, if not send them packing! If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, the chances are that it is a duck surely? One of the sections in 'Liberty's' anti–ID card pamphlet points that those with severe mental illness could not cope with them– with arguments like this who exactly is nuts? The cost is then brought up as a negative. Free for children and pensioners, 10 pounds for people on low income, 35 pounds for others. For me 35 pounds to get rid of tens (or possibly hundreds) of thousands of scroungers and illegal immigrants from the UK (totally disregarding the various fraud and terrorism aspects) is cheap at twice the price. Ten years to introduce these measures of carrying ID (which must be made compulsory) is far too long; it must be started right now! Incidentally, that buzzing sound, is Enoch Powell spinning in his grave! John Rule
Sol de Mallorca
Price capping
Dear Sir, PRICE capping legislation would be idiotic. Idiotic because it would cost a fortune to enforce– of taxpayers money.
Idiotic because experience everywhere, not least in the ex–communist block, shows that price caps don't work. They cause shortages and poor quality, not affordable, available services. Idiotic because businesses wouldn't seek to “trade up” to this “higher quality” tourism that Majorcan governments so love if they could not charge accordingly. But most of all, idiotic because it would be yet another fascist intrusion on the rights of individuals to trade value for value as they see fit– nobody forces tourists to spend money in bars and cafs, and business owners are the best placed to decide on the best prices for the services they offer. I am tired of hearing politicians and journalists citing so called “rip–off” businesses who supposedly make easy money by hiking up prices. Reality is different– the bar next door and ultimately the customer's option to go without altogether prevent this from being a viable strategy, and usually leads not to easy wealth, but to empty premises and bankruptcy. I'd love to see these expert commentators put their money where their mouth is and open up shop– we currently in the trade could surely pick up some great tips from their armchair genius. The best solution would be to put volumes and volumes of stupid legislation like this proposal through the shredder. That would lower the barriers to new entrants, and let the free market rip, resulting in more choice, more competition, better prices and better quality. The legislation would achieve exactly the opposite.
David Bertelsen, Palma

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