I have lived in two countries with ID cards - Japan and Belgium. They
work perfectly well although you have to carry them they are seldom
needed unless you are doing something that requires checking ID or get
yourself arrested. In the latter case failing to carry ID is added to
the list of charges if you do not produce the card when arrested.
It is a lot easier than having to take fingerprints of suspects on the
spot (my Japanese ID card had my fingerprint on it - and you should see
the Americans squeal about having their fingerprints taken for the ID
card). It is done with invisible UV ink to avoid giving offence.
What about the list A list B crap that UK banks use as "proof of ID"?
It is trivial to forge a utility bill and most are now online only so
come as a poxy JPG in a PDF - you can fake one in minutes. The only
people who are inconvenienced by banks wanting proof of ID are genuine
customers. Money launderers know exactly where to go to get adequately
forged documents to meet their needs and banks are happy to accept them.
I'm really not sure why people are so against identity cards. But are
happy enough to have to use other means when needed (or do without the
service that needs proof of identity - unlikely). As has been stated, not
everyone had a driving licence etc.
*'Progress' and 'Change' are not synonyms.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
Christ on a bicycle. By going down in person. Even staff at council
offices ought to be able to look at you, look at the photo, and agree
these are the same person. They're only going to make you such a card
if you're on the electoral register, so bringing up your details and
scanning the photo to go on the card should be the work of a moment.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an
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