20 February 2007

Thanks, Tony - But No Thanks

I received an email from Tony Blair yesterday. Not that this was so special, since he also sent it to the other 28,000 people who had signed an e-petition calling for ID cards to be scrapped. You can read the missive here (and if you're feeling really left out, you can copy it into an email to yourself and pretend that it came from our Tone).

What's particularly galling is that this email essentially says "thanks for your request, but get lost", and then goes on to repeat all the tired old misinformation about the ID card scheme's cost, its efficacy against terrorism and how it will reduce identity theft. Although I could pick some of its arguments apart, I'd rather leave it to the master himself, The Reg's John Lettice:

The National Identity Register will allow police to add the entire adult population of the UK to their suspect list, giving them the opportunity to check fingerprints left at scenes of crime against those collected from ID card and passport applicants, says Tony Blair. Nor are fingerprints in other EU countries necessarily safe - the introduction of biometric technology, he adds, will "improve the flow of information between countries on the identity of offenders.

Blair made the pledge to collar the lot of us, and some, as part of a rag-bag of warmed-over, half-baked, misleading, and just plain untrue claims issued in an email to the near-28,000 signatories of the Downing Street petition calling for the scrapping of the ID card scheme.

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