I've just had a peek at BathNick's blog and he's got some interesting links about BAE and Accenture pulling out of the bids to be the supplier of ID cards.
Here's a quotation from one of the suppliers no longer in the running to manufacture these awful bits of plastic:
“Our biggest bugbear was that they [the IPS] still haven’t decided what it is they really want. They don’t know whether they want something that is all about security, or whether they want something that is all about customers/citizens. The two require different solutions. There’s just too much confusion still in play."
Also a quotation from The Register 26 Jan 2008, which we should all find worrying and appalling:
"Leaked documents yesterday revealed that ID cards are unlikely to be issued to British citizens until 2012 - two years later than originally planned. The project is also suffering from the government's seeming inability to go more than two days without losing a large amount of private data. ...[the documents also] reveal the Home Office will target teenagers for early take-up of the cards. Anyone wanting to open a bank account, apply for student funding or buy alcohol or cigarettes will be forced to buy an ID card." (My italics and emboldening).
So there we go -want a bank account? You'll need to pay the government £90+ first. Buying alcohol or cigarettes (perfectly legal activities) will require you to pay the government £90+ before you'll be allowed to continue doing so, not to mention allowing retailers to build an enormous an valuable database of your habits. Also not to mention the indignity of having some snotty nosed adolescent refuse a sale if you haven't got an ID card.
Thanks for the info, BathNick.