Thursday, March 06, 2008

Happy House

Sorry for getting all political but ID cards really annoy me. Labour MP Jackie Smith was on the Today program this morning talking about the plans for the introduction of ID cards. Initially they will be foisted on foreign workers in the UK, I guess Kasia and Martina will both need one. Apparently by 2010 the government will start offering these cards over to young people. She made one specific point about how ID cards would help them in particular because at the moment they need to take in 5 types of ID to register for a bank account. I couldn't help thinking that its the government which made registering for a bank account so difficult in the first place in a misguided effort to cut fraud (given the level of fraud hasn't changed I don't think it worked).

I wonder if this is government strategy, to help acts pass make life deliberately difficult and then pose the act they want to be passed as the answer. I think back to the rumours going round London about the congestion charge, that prior to the introduction of the charge the traffic system was slowed by reorganising of the traffic lights. So that immediate gains in congestion could be proven straight away. Is it paranoia is are we sleepwalking into a big brother state?

I really cannot see ID cards being anything other than an expensive and overreaching system. No matter how good the security measure I imagine there will be a cottage industry around fakes within a few months of their launch. On PM a security firm ridiculed the inconsistencies in the security and the many pitfalls in the system. In the end no matter how secure the system is the weak link are the actual checks done at ground level by staff. The same staff who for example who let a Brazilian cleaner get away because she ran, and the self same ones who allowed a male journalist to use a fake passport with Jackie Smiths picture on it.

I went for lunch with Sarah, the second time in a week. She seemed a lot more at ease today, last time I think her work had rather been taking its toll on her. We ate in the Bollin Fee, I had a cheese, bbq chicken and bacon panini it was really rather tasty. I feel a lot more relaxed with her now and we seem to have really enjoyable conversations, I am always sad we only get an hour at lunch.

This evening I watched the assassination of Jesse James with Martina and Phil. It was a very long film, beautifully shot but I found it a little drawn out and self indulgent. Martina really enjoyed it, Phil seemed so tired he barely concentrated.
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