I am so outraged about this that I’ve written to the local Labour MP (my opponent) Emily Thornberry. She’s a big fan of ID cards and the national database needed to support them. This is the letter I’ve sent:
Dear Ms Thornberry
Today families all over the country will be wondering who has got access to their most private information; their income, their bank accounts, their addresses, even the names and ages of their children.
In losing the records of half the UK population – including at least 20,000 Islington families – the Revenue service and the Government have shown a level of incompetence that is beyond belief. The Guardian calls this “the most fundamental breach of faith between the state and citizen”.
This data disaster shows that your Government cannot be trusted to handle our personal information. It is time to abandon the wasteful and misguided ID card and National Identity Register scheme. The estimated costs for the scheme are now at £5.6bn and rising; and for what? A single national database will put us more at risk, not make us more secure.
You have voted for Identity Cards at every opportunity; despite the growing evidence against the scheme, and despite the principled opposition of other MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn.
Will you now put the interests of Islington residents ahead of your Government cronies, and join the Liberal Democrats in opposing ID cards?
It will be interesting to see if she can resist her normal partisanship and respond seriously to a serious issue.
Jeremy Corbyn, the other Islington MP, is not an ID card fan. In the Identity Cards Bill debate, he was eloquent – and liberal – in opposing them.
Another Labour politician with Islington connections went on the record against ID cards. In opposition, Tony Blair said “Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards as the Tory Right demand, let that money provide thousands of extra police officers on the beat in our local communities.”
Blair changed his mind and introduced the ID card scheme. It’s not too late for his successors to change their minds too, and save us from more data disasters.