The Government of Wonderland

In that direction," the Cat said, "lives a Hatter and in that direction lives a March Hare... They're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
Alice didn't think that proved it at all.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few days, you must have heard that the UK Government has managed to lose the personal details of 25 million people. I've just been listening to Newsnight, and Jeremy Paxman was interviewing the hapless minister who was wheeled in to put his head under Paxo's axe. One of the questions asked was "Does this mean the end of the plans for a UK National Identity Card System?". The answer literally made my jaw drop. "No, because if we had everyone's biometric data, it would be much safer". WHAT??!! Unlike bank details, biometrics can't be changed - a point that was actually made by one of the other interviewees prior to the minister's imbecilic comments. How on earth would increasing the amount of sensitive (and in the case of biometrics, irreplaceable) data they collect make it "safer"?

The fact that the people responsible for losing the data actually believe that this tale of mind-boggling incompetence can actually be used to JUSTIFY collecting more of it is utterly, utterly astounding. It is quite frankly terrifying that a group of people who have decided they are going to force us to register on a National ID Database are so completely clueless about both the technology, its implications and the potential abuses of the data they are insisting we give them.

I think as a result of this cock-up of all cock-ups, the storm of protest against ID Cards is going to make the Poll Tax unrest of the 1990s look like a vicarage tea party.

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