I see no ships

In his Daily Telegraph article of 6 November 2006, the Prime Minister says:

"... That leaves the cost to the individual. Here, too, there has been some confusion. I simply don't recognise some of the figures that have been attached to ID cards which, too often, include the costs of biometric passports. This is unfair and inaccurate".

There is no "confusion" on this matter. He should recognise these figures. The LSE have tried to take into account all the likely costs involved in deploying the ID cards scheme, and documented their assumptions and methodology, painstakingly and professionally. Unlike the government's Section 37 cost report.

The Prime Minister must realise that it will cost something to install ID card readers and biometric verification equipment in every GP surgery, hospital, school, university, benefits office, police station, law court, prison, bank, insurance company and local government office in the land, none of which would we need for biometric passports alone. He must realise that it will cost something to install and maintain the telecommunications needed to link these terminals to the National Identity Register.

Nelson clapping his telescope to his blind eye was heroic and his intention was clear.

It is a worrying mystery what the Prime Minister is trying to achieve by pretending bizarrely that he can't see the obvious.

He also says that:

Then there is the argument that ID cards and the national register simply will not work. This rests largely on the past failures, which I accept exist, of IT projects of all governments. This, however, seems to me an argument not to drop the scheme but to ensure it is done well.

The OGC review of the ID cards scheme tells him that it is not being done well. And yet he wishes to proceed with it.

How many blind eyes does the Prime Minister have, to clap a telescope to?

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