ID cards: not with a bang

This is the only way we can beat New Labour. Not by reasoned debate or peaceful protest, but just by relying on their incompetence.

If a civil servant says something can’t be done as opposed to starting something then making it last as long as possible, preferably until he draws his index-linked paid-by-taxpayer final-salary pension years earlier than a private sector worker – it means it really won’t work. And now the grey men are saying it about ID cards. New Labour’s love of complexity may, finally, be the thing that kills off this depraved scheme to build a relational database holding everything on everyone. (The cards, of course, aren’t the problem. It’s the database, and the minimum-wage guy who holds the key to the server cupboard.)

It’s one way of beating New Labour, I suppose: do nothing and let them drown in the glutinous tangles of their own chaos. But with each failed Blair project costing unrecoverable billions – the Child Support Agency, the NHS, Iraq – it’s a bloody expensive one.