Thursday, May 26, 2005

Do... you... understand?

Some really good analysis of that £1.3 billion figure from the Register - clear enough, even, to print out and post to my MP as some background reading.

Apart from tearing apart the government's claims of costs caused by ID fraud, it also highlights a survey issued by Detica that mentions not just public support for a scheme, but also the public's understanding of the issues at stake, too: although 94 per cent of people are aware of the ID card scheme, "two thirds have little or know knowledge of how it will work."

Isn't this an important aspect of democracy - education? It's hard not to be so sceptical of a government when it praises democracy, but keeps banging on about its own, flimsy figures while doing extremely little to actually explain the thing to the people it quotes.

Furthermore, the second article also addresses an interesting point regarding anti-scheme arguments: "the civil liberties arguments have not worked and will not work, and arguments (as pursued at some length by The Register, links below) that ID cards are an expensive irrelevance to the issues they profess to tackle also cut little ice. But the cost of the scheme and the public's lack of confidence are different matters." Indeed.

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