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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


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Warwick Pearmund:

With respect, it appears that you are considering only half of the issue. You have asked yourself whether there are any reasons why the ID scheme *should not* be introduced (the alleged human rights issues, and so on), decided that you are not convinced by the arguments, and concluded that you support the introduction of ID cards. In my view, you have missed a vital part of the question; namely, whether there are any reasons why the scheme *should* be introduced.

Regardless of your views about the civil rights argument (and I can't argue with you on this, as you are of course perfectly entitled to your opinion), you cannot deny that the scheme would, if introduced, require a vast amount of public money to set up and maintain (which could instead be used to bolster the failing education or health services, for example). This expense can surely only be justified if it can be shown that there are clearly achievable benefits expected - and the balance of independent opinion seems to be that there are none: the financial gains from the reduction in benefit fraud are far outweighed by the cost of the scheme itself, any impact on identity fraud can last only as long as it takes criminals to crack the system (and there can surely be no doubt that they will, sooner or later), and the suggestion that the scheme is a necessary counter-terrorism measure is frankly laughable. I could go on, but these points have been made elsewhere in far more detail than I could manage.

So if you're not convinced by the arguments *opposing* the scheme, fair enough... but that's no reason to be convinced by the arguments in favour.
Nic Shakeshaft, 13 years ago.

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