Tom Loosemore | 11.01.2003 10:08
Consultation - and the Home Office couldn't be more excited.
Lord Falconer continues to tell everyone who'll listen that
over 1500 people have responded, and the majority of them
were extremely positive on the idea.
Hands up everybody who's really excited about the introduction of universal Identity Cards for every man, woman and child in the country!
Well, that can't be right. Lord Falconer says that in one of the widest ranging consultations conducted by a government, they've been fair swamped with positive endorsements of the Government's Entitlement Card plans.
With just a few days to go before the end of the consultation, the Home Office is saying that overall the public's reaction is hugely positive.
The cynics amongst you might comment that that's because the only people who have been really gee-ed up about downloading a 13MB PDF (here's the HTML version we knocked up), scrutinising its every word and then writing up their fascinating points of view are those with an axe to grind about ID cards in the first place. Like the IT companies who are desperate to sell the government a brand new solution. Or the civil servants who've been hankering after this massive simplification of their dozens of databases for decades. Or the private companies like credit agencies who would dearly love to have a single ID to store all the data they're collecting on you.
Or, even, those in power who'd love to have a single place they could find the name, address and personal details of every person in the country or prevent them accessing vital state services with a flick of a switch.
And we think you'd be right.
In fact, as a cynic - in particular, a cynic who uses computers - we think you're desperately unrepresented in this consultation.
We've listed some of the more cynical (and, we think, accurate) truths about ID Cards for your consumption below. If any of them meet with your gritty, realistic approval, just tick the checkbox and click 'Next Step...'. You'll see a draft of a formal consultation response, drafted based on your opinions. You can add or edit to it as much as you want.
Confirm that draft, and we'll send your comments directly to the Home Office's Entitlement Card Department and they'll get incorporated into the final report.
Will it change much? Maybe: ID Cards are one of those ideas that the public never votes on, but governments always propose. When you're a minister, having an easy-to-get-at list of everyone in the country sounds a terrific idea. But when you find out quite how many people don't share that opinion, you're tempted to think again. Especially when those people are voters.
Oh, sure, that's us speaking cynically. But cynically speaking, we think, is better than not speaking at all.
So, we've made submitting a response a simple 3 step process:
* Step 1: Choose those aspects of the ID card proposals that most upset you
* Step 2: Add your name and address, and a few of your own words
* Step 3: Click Submit. We'll then send your submission to the consultation
Go to http://www.stand.org.uk/ to have your say...