New statistics say 43 % of UK public in favour of ID cards

Posted: January 31, 2009 in Politics and international affairs
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While the government in the UK forges full-steam ahead with plans for ID cards, it’s interesting to see that they’re carrying out market-research on the issue. I just had a very chilly (perhaps in more ways than one) half-hour probe from a market-research company by the name of TNS on that very topic.

My girlfriend, as a foreign national, will be one of the first to be subjected to the new system. As a foreigner, her criminal tendencies will be put to test by this glorious new dawn (brave new world?). Interestingly, the guy asking the questions was in the same boat – and all in favour of biometrics in ID cards.

There were many questions that slip my mind, but a whole range on how I felt about ID cards, whether I think they’d work in preventing a range of problems. I wasn’t asked if I felt that particualr issues, such as illegal immigration, were a bad thing – it was assumed by the tone of the questions. Then again, it was unlikely I’d demand free reign for terrorist groups. However, so close to Stockwell, perhaps I would be inclined to worry about mistaken identities…

All in all, it has led me to wonder – are they as committed as they say they are, presuming they will listen to the results that come back? I remember the Iraq-war demonstrations, and I remember that the government did not listen to the voice of the public. However, that was when the public disagreed. The man from TNS probably should not have told me so freely, but the results coming back show 43% of the public (presuming we can take his stats as gold) in favour of ID cards, far above those not in favour. So there you have it, basically. ID cards are coming, and no amount of principled backbenchers will be able to do a thing about it, whether or not it really is a good idea of an extremely expensive scheme that will fall flat on its face once it results in a massive increase in cases of ID theft, as opposed to the opposite.

Link to No2ID

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  1. Andrew Watson says:


    So it seems you were stopped in the street and polled by TNS on behalf of the Home Office? Was the survey the one discussed in this posting:

    If so, notice how biased it is – asking you to list every advantage you can think of for the ID scheme ,then asking you if ID cards are a good idea.

    If the lastest IPS survey results have 43% in favour of ID cards, that represents a considerable drop in support from the last (baised) IPS survey, which found 55%. If so, it shows NO2ID is making a lot of progress.

    The ID card scheme is *not* inevitable, and we *can* beat it. Why not join your nearest NO2ID group and help?

  2. billcode says:

    It was actually a door to door survey, and I have to stress that I was told in an off-the-cuff remark of the recent results coming in. So, while I wouldn’t stand in one of our majesty’s finest court rooms and swear the undeniable accuracy of that 43% – it is still interesting if you say there’s been a drop there.

    One thing of less doubt perhaps – the questions did feel a little biased towards helping me think about the positives of the scheme, as opposed to the downsides.

  3. billcode says:

    And yes, it appears to be the same. I distinctly remember asked how important I felt this benefit was

    “helping protect against identity fraud, making it easier for police to trace and identify suspects, thus making society safer”

    If I remember rightly, I asked to skip that one!

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