The first thought I had when I heard late yesterday morning of the government’s loss of sensitive personal data was this should be the death blow to the government’s expensive, intrusive and insecure personal data computer scheme with ID cards. I encouraged the Opposition to make that the main point for the future coming out of the Customs and Revenue disaster.
In a way the loss of Child Benefit data sums up this government. Its systems are intrusive and costly, yet they do not work properly. The very people who should be protecting us and our personal details are the most cavalier with our identities and our personal safety. It is this government which presides over hospitals where infection is so common, this government which fails to control our borders and keep out criminals, and this government which now loses the bank accounts, addresses and identities of every family in the country.
Why on earth should the public trust the government to hold all the crucial data about us on one central identity computer? Why should we believe next time they will look after it better? Why should we believe they will be able to control the numbers and details of our data on such a system, when they have issued many more National Insurance numbers than there are workers in the country, and when passport forgery or false issue is all too common?
ID cards have become a NuLab soudbite, the answer to every criticism of their lamentable record at keeping our borders secure and dealing with serious crime. We all know if they carry on with them they will arive late, massively over budget and unable to do the jobs they are said to be able to do. ID cards will not keep us safe. They will cost us more, make all the law abiding have to fill in yet another intrusive form, and allow the government to carry on running the borders and the criminal justice system badly.
Let’s hope there is a silver lining to the black cloud of yesterday’s news – that even this government now udnerstands the British people will njot put up with more of their money beign tipped down the ID drain, and will ot trust this government to put onto one massive computer disc all the details fo everyone in the country just feady for fraudsters and terrorist to steal it, hack into it or be sent it in the post.