James Kirkup, Political Correspondent, Daily Telegraph, 7:37pm GMT 22/01/2008
Crime and terrorism are not going to wait for the Identity and Passport Service to get the National Identity Scheme ready. The scheme has already diverted too many hard-working and intelligent people from the effective measures which can be taken now.
It's time to cancel it and to re-embrace reality.
Off the hook
Having given it five years thought, Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL) suggest how the government can get off the ID cards hook.
Everyone who has thought about it knows that the ID cards scheme cannot work. It is bound to be a waste of time and money, and ...
"... there is no point the government suffering all this unpopularity given that the ID cards scheme cannot achieve its objectives. The government cannot stand by and watch its political capital being destroyed. It is irrational to proceed with the scheme. This is a time for difficult decisions. But they should not be allowed to crowd out the easy ones – the ID cards scheme must be cancelled".
But how do the government get off the hook? BCSL provide a three-point plan.
Will it work? BCSL provide a 10-point review.
In a nutshell? We already have an ID cards scheme. There is no need to spend a fortune on a second one. Our mobile phones are effectively ID cards. In fact, they are effectively voluntarily adopted electronic tags. They're a darned sight more effective as ID cards than anything the civil service has thought up. And they're already here -- we don't have to wait for 20 years while the civil service try to get their scheme working.
Which civil service? Good question -- the European Commission.
Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL):
Press contacts: David Moss, BCSL@blueyonder.co.uk