Apparently new Home Secretary Alan Johnson is an ‘instinctive’ supporter of ID cards. Strange then to give the impression he’s walking away from them:
A compulsory identity card trial for pilots and 30,000 other airport workers due to start in September has been abandoned by the new home secretary, Alan Johnson.
But he intends to accelerate other elements of the scheme including plans to issue £30 voluntary ID cards to young adults across north-west England. Johnson is also looking at making ID cards free for over-75s.
Longer-term plans to make ID cards compulsory for critical workers at rail stations have also been dropped.
British citizens would not be forced to carry ID cards, insisted the home secretary. Johnson said: “Holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens – just as it is now to obtain a passport.
Hmm. He pulls the compulsory scheme from airside & rail workers, yet continues with young people and the national rollout? Ok so if there really is to be no compulsion will he confirm people won’t need one for a student loan? Will you not now be forced onto the National Identity Register merely by renewing your passport?
No compulsion my ass, this is classic New Labour spin. So maybe he does harbour leadership ambitions after all.