Since we're talking about ID cards

Former Lib Dem MP and all round knowledgeable person Richard Allen chimes in:

There are a number of red herrings in the Government’s case for ID cards (Guardian p4 26th May).

The biggest of these is the card itself. The most important element of the proposed Bill is not the issuing of an ID card but the national identity database. Identity cards are only an optional and expensive extra to this database. So when the Government ‘concedes’ that it will not be compulsory to carry the card, this is meaningless as it is common practice for us all to carry our irises and fingers from which the Police will be able to extract the information they need to check against the database with portable scanners. As live scanning technology becomes cheaper, it is quite possible that the cards will be quietly dropped in favour of direct checking of biometrics against the database in a range of situations.

Which makes it all even more worrying, since ID theft can't even be countered by cancelling a card. Great!