Thursday, December 07, 2006

I've not heard this one in a while, but thanks to anyonebutblair for bringing it up.

"We will introduce ID cards including biometric data like fingerprints, backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports"

My opinion on this particular argument is that it is a bit of a mess up by whoever wrote this bit of the manifesto. Voluntary in this case meant "it will not be compulsory for everyone to have an ID card initially". Most people I suspect would not interpret to mean this, but I would put it to you that this kind of wording is open to interpretation.

A manifesto is a statement of a party's intent, but I don't think that it's wording should be interpreted in the same way as one might interpret a tightly worded legal document. I'm of the opinion that an ID card scheme will be of maximum benefit when they cover 100% of the population. This delay, I feel would have been one of the first nails in it's coffin.

The issue remains whether the manifesto could be interpreted as misleading the public. On this issue, I would say that anyone who objected to ID cards would simply not have voted Labour and would unlikely have been swayed by the idea that for a short while the scheme would be voluntary.

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