It’s difficult to top politicians sometimes. The lack of knowledge combined with desperate thrashing around for a justification for whatever can – and does – produce the most awful drivel at times. Such is so with this from Frank Field and Nicholas Soames concerning National ID cards. They even manage to base an entire article in The Times on their ignorance. If only the Windrush generation had had ID cards!

Had ID cards been universal, the position of the Windrush generation would have been safeguarded. ID cards would have ensured that they quickly established their identity and residence rights with a small pocket-sized document. Much injustice and anguish could have been avoided.

Indeed, if anything, the Windrush affair has shown how an ID card could complement our sense of fairness, love of liberty and respect for the law. The public reaction to the Windrush debacle has underlined society’s essential decency and humanity, rather than cast doubt on it.

Well, except for the fact that none of that is true. HMT Empire Windrush docked with its first cargo of Jamaicans in 1948. The wartime regulations requiring an identity card were in place until 1952.

That is, Windrush had ID cards. 1948, 1952, you know?

The whole argument is drivel, isn’t it?

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Tim, the argument is that everyone everywhere in the UK should have been forced to carry ID cards for the whole of my lifetime (a bit longer than yours) just so that the Home Office couldn’t make a mistake. Obviously any time someone’s wallet/handbag got stolen they would be detained in custody until enough reliable witnesses could be found to testify to the victim’s identity and mine would have needed to be updated every few years as I changed from a round blonde-ish baby to a skinny light-brown-haired child to an adult whose hair is a darker brown and getting… Read more »

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole

It’s difficult to top politicians sometimes.

Nah, a stout hempen rope and a sufficiently long drop will do it every time. Or was that not what you meant?

Philip Scott Thomas
Philip Scott Thomas

Ah, well. Nicholas Soames. What can one say? Grandson of Winston Churchill. Valiant trencherman. After his divorce from his first wife, Catherine, she said that sex with Sir Nicholas was like being fallen upon by a very large wardrobe with a very small key.