Yesterday's Observer had a slightly confused leader commentary on the UK ID card system.
It came down plainly against ID cards on cost grounds but included this:
"The government claims that imminent changes to the passport system, foisted on the UK by Europe, make the case for ID cards convincing. This is not so. Yes, there is a need to make the new generation of passports incorporate biometric technology such as fingerprints or iris scans. But this does not justify making it mandatory for everyone to possess a piece of plastic with so many other biometric components."
How is supporting biometrically embedded passports really that different to supporting biometrically embedded ID cards, except in the sense that only those who want to travel abroad need passports? Where do they get the notion that "there is a need" for passports to include fingerprints or iris scans? As for the piece of plastic, if we're using iris scans and fingerprints why do we need a card at all? After all we won't lose our eyes or fingers as quickly as we'll lose the cards.
The leader is just one more example of the amount of confusion about the specific detailed issues thrown up by the proposed ID card system