The wonderfully comical Minister of State for the Home Department, Jacqui Smith, has clearly decided that the appropriate way to cope with being totally wrong on an issue is to be more wrong, and be more certain and louder about it.
Thusly, when the press, the public and the majority of MPs – in fact, seemingly everyone except Smith and her cabinet colleagues – are saying that ID cards are an expensive mistake and need culled, Jacqui has pushed on. Because she’s secure in her wrongness, and intends to continue on with being wrong in her wrongness.
It’s likely an attempt to make these bastardish ideas a reality, and difficult for any following government to get rid of. But because it’s obvious that the days of this government are numbered, she’s having to rush to get things in place.
Manchester will this autumn become the first city where people can sign up for an ID card, Jacqui Smith has said.
At a series of meetings on Wednesday, Ms Smith said post offices and pharmacies could play an important role in the success of the ID scheme, allowing people to give their fingerprints and a face scan while “out doing the shopping”.
Translation: the government has looked at the figures, and decided that it’ll have to pass the infrastructure cost onto us and the private sector. But it relies on companies signing up for a programme that can’t be finished until the next government take control, when the next government is almost certain to have a manifesto pledge to abandon the plan.
Which means that any private sector company that signs up at this stage is declaring that they’re really quite keen for the ID card to come in. I hope that they see this as a badge of honour, and put stickers in the doors of their establishment.
Because then I’ll be able to see, at a glance, the businesses that espouse ideas that I find totally abhorrent. And thusly I can take my hard-earned and spend it elsewhere.
A useful idea? From the Home Office? That’s quite useful…