The issue of national ID cards is raising its head in the UK for the umpteenth occasion (FT: Blunkett puts the case for ID cards).
For 30 years, Britain survived the IRA entirely without the imposition of ID cards. But now, in the wake of the US terror attacks, the government may well succeed in turning its wish for compulsory ID into something more than a topic for idle debate.
According to a survey conducted last week by Mori, the vast majority of UK adults are actually in favour of ID cards. Also they appear unconcerned about the privacy issues surrounding such a move.
Mori asked 513 adults 15 questions over the phone on behalf of the News of The World, the UK's biggest-selling Sunday tabloid. The first few questions were about response to the attacks etc. etc. and showed a clear majority in favour of retaliation, which falls when innocent deaths are mentioned.
Then, question eight says: "There has been talk recently about the government introducing a national identity card that people could carry with them. On balance, do you support or oppose the introduction of a national identity card scheme?" An whopping 85 per cent supported it, with just 11 opposing.
If this wasn't bad enough, a depressing 72 per cent said ID cards didn't infringe personal freedom (22 per cent said yes). Then, if that wasn't bad enough, they are asked what they wouldn't mind being on the card.
- Date of birth: 96, yes; 3, no; 1, don't know
- Photograph: 97, yes; 3, no
- Eye colour: 92, yes; 7, no; 1; don't know
- Finger print: 85, yes; 14, no; 1, don't know
- DNA details: 75, yes; 21, no; 4, don't know
- Religion: 67, yes; 31, no; 2, don't know
- Criminal records: 74, yes; 23, no; 3, don't know
Check out the pollhere
So, more than two-thirds of people reckon a compulsory card should have someone's religion on, while 74 per cent think any criminal record should feature. And seventy-five percent want DNA details (!) encode.
Please tell us the figures were a blip; that the 500 or so were from a freak group of easily-swayed imbeciles who have been sat at home frothing at the mouth and staring at every Sikh that walks past to check that he isn't Osama bin Laden. Please? ®
The Mori poll
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