(hat-tip Andrew Watson)
ANYONE tuning into the Radio 4 the other day may well have frozen half way through a mouthful of cereal or choked on their coffee. They were listening to Meg Hillier, the “Minister for Identity”, being asked why the people of Manchester should spend £30 on an Identity Card, ahead of this week’s launch of the Government’s voluntary pilot scheme. Ms Hillier’s response was astonishing.
“Really for a lot of people it’s a convenience thing… For a lot of young people… often take their passport to prove their identity in nightclubs and bars… I’ve got one and it’s very useful… the way I’m using mine at the moment is to prove who I am at the post office when I pick up a parcel.”
So let’s get this clear. The Government thinks you should pay £30 and give them 49 separate pieces of personal information, so you can go for a beer and collect some mail. They can think of nothing better for the ID Cards to be used for. As former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: “This is a far from robust defence of one of their most expensive follies.”