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

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"Are you going to impeach the M.P.s (that you elected)who voted for this bill?"
No, of course the MPs voting in support of this Bill should not be impeached, as the ID scheme (in some form, and on a voluntary basis) was a manifesto commitment. However, please remember that only 22% of the British electorate actually voted for Labour in 2005 (the second lowest share Labour received since World War II), so it's not really reasonable to argue that this Bill should be supported on grounds of popular approval.

"Do we not think the security services know a little more than the average citizen about the importance of knowing who the good guys are in this wide open country of ours."
No, I certainly don't. Besides which, if you are referring to the ID cards' suggested ability to combat terrorism, it is important to note that even the government itself has admitted that any effect will be minimal (e.g. the government quite explicitly stated that ID cards would have made no difference whatsoever to the London Transport bombings).

"...the importance of knowing who is in our country..."
And how exactly are ID cards going to help with this? Quite apart from the IT problems and the predicted multiple-registrations, anyone who really *is* here from abroad for illicit purposes will not have a card... besides which, it is commonly accepted that the majority of potential terrorists in the UK are likely to be *from* the UK, so would have ID cards anyway.

"My teenage children all think it is a great idea ,most of their friends agree."
Yes, the government's advertising campaign has certainly done a reasonable job of selling the idea to a large number of people, but that is no reason not to look for independent verification of the details being given out. Try the LSE report, for example, and compare the level of academic rigour in that report with that of the government's prediction of costs.

"What have you got to hide anyway"
Sigh. It doesn't matter whether you have anything to hide or not - it is a simple question of entitlement to information. I have done nothing wrong, nor do I plan to, thus I (and the tens of millions like me) deserve better than to be treated with suspicion, which is essentially what this amounts to.

"the credit people know everything about us..."
They know only what each individual chooses to tell them. More importantly, while credit companies/banks/local government/etc do certainly tend to know a lot about us *between them*, no single group has a complete picture (and laws prevent them from sharing this information amongst themselves without consent). With the National Identity Register, all of this information will be stored in one place, which will make it a vastly more tempting target for abuse.

"I want maximum protection for my family."
Very understandable, but you have to look closely at the evidence and decide whether the ID card scheme is actually capable of making the country any safer - and the balance of evidence is that it won't. All it will do is take a vast amount of public money which could instead be spent on, e.g., the NHS, which could one day be required to provide some *genuine* protection for your family.

"Lets get the 1 million who should not be here out now..."
Sorry, which one million are you talking about? Illegal immigrants, perhaps? If so... do you really think the NIR could make any appreciable difference to this? If so, the weight of professional opinion is against you.
Nic Shakeshaft, 14 years ago.

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