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Jim Lewis: very good points. The thing that EDMUND keeps coming back to, and which I understand least, is clear from this extract (from a comment on 2nd March):
"Can you see no benefits in an I.D.card?
Have you any alternative."
The underpinning argument here (and it's quite a common one) seems to be that it is better to be seen to be doing *something*, whether or not it has any hope of success, than to do nothing at all. I disagree: pointless action is still pointless, whether or not there are better alternatives available. Here, however, there clearly *is* a better alternative: better funding - and better organisation - of public services and the police.
I think it's pretty well established now that the ID scheme, even if it worked perfectly, cannot possibly achieve any of its stated aims: it cannot impact on terrorism, it cannot make any significant contribution to fighting crime, and it cannot stop the vast majority of benefit or identity fraud (and will itself cost more than the small proportion it might prevent). It cannot even reliably prove identity, in fact, because the cost of the biometric readers prevents their widespread use. This is why reiterating the mere existence of problems in our society, serious though they are, cannot be an effective argument. If ID cards can *make no difference* to any of these things, then wasting money on implementing them is criminal.Nic Shakeshaft, 15 лет назад.