The language of official disapproval
The language of the new era of official disapproval and control is worth monitoring. “Disappointing” was a word applied to many of us at school, and it still contains that note of sorrowful condescension when deployed by politicians, who use it to describe the unworthiness of their subject as well their own moral and intellectual superiority.
It appeared on Tuesday in a letter to the Daily Telegraph from the former home secretary David Blunkett who wrote, complaining about the paper’s columnist Mary Riddell, “… it was disappointing to read her repeating the economically illiterate, but often quoted suggestion that, by abandoning ID cards, there could be massive savings.”
He went on to argue that the bulk of the expenditure for operating an ID card system will be taken care of by the existing plans for biometric visas and passports. This is far from the truth. The ID card will cost us upwards of £5bn, and as taxpayers and individuals we will all benefit when it is scrapped.
To use his word, it was disappointing that David Blunkett did not mention in his letter that up until recently he was the paid adviser of the US systems company Entrust, which has pitched for the British ID card. …
Also worth noting that David Blunkett resigned twice from Government under a cloud.