Nothing new in politics

SOME weeks in parliament are busier than others; and some days are completely hectic.

Tuesday this week we had the combined delights of the Tory leadership election and the Identity Cards Bill.

There’s nothing new in politics I suppose.

Tory leadership elections seem to come along every five minutes these days.

ID cards are not as novel as some people make out.

Many European democracies have them, as did this country during the 2nd World War.

I was always fairly agnostic on the subject, until I talked to the Ely Healthy, Wealthy and Wise older persons group a couple of years ago.

They convinced me that in the modern era of CCTV, internet, credit cards, mobile phones, and identity fraud the old arguments didn’t really apply.

Nevertheless it remains a controversial subject for many, so the Government have made the cards voluntary to begin with.

They could only become compulsory if there were further votes in Parliament at some future date.

In reality with the USA going over to biometric passports, it makes sense to aim for an integrated passport and ID card system.
One minor consequence if we didn’t would be that British citizens would have to buy an expensive biometric visa before they could visit America.

I predict that in 10 years time we will all have got used to ID cards, and will think no more of having one than we do of having a credit card; and we’ll still be living in a democracy whoever the Tories elect as leader.