My first concern is honesty. Since ID cards manifestly cannot fulfil any of the functions for which government ostensibly desires them – prevention of terrorism and organised crime seem the most childishly simple to debunk since terrorists and organised criminals with access to planes, guns, bombs and currency laundering will just as surely access fake IDs with complete impunity – I would appreciate my government telling me honestly what it really wants these cards for. My suspicion is that it just wants them, and that rather as it is the nature of bees to collect pollen and the nature of teenage boys to collect fictitious tales of their sexual adventures it is the nature of government to collect information about citizens. If they cannot advance any sensible reason for wanting these things then we must conclude that they are driven merely by a compulsion, and should be treated like smokers or heroin addicts – with compassion, certainly, but without going so far as to indulge their craving.
Second I would like some admission on the part of the project\’s instigators that they are familiar with the concept of a sunk costs fallacy, or at least have become so since the Concorde project. That a lot of money has already been wasted on the project is really no argument to continue spending more money now. If there is no good cause to keep plugging away at the thing they can, and should, write the costs off now.