Thanks for all the hundreds of comments you have posted on this subject. I apologise if I haven't responded to some of your points yet. I'm working my way through them. To be honest it is hard work arguing one side of an argument against so many opponents, you have knackered me out. I've learned quite a lot and have been corrected on a few things I got wrong and I thank you all for that. I just hope I have deepened some of your thoughts about this on your side of the argument.
If the ID bill is passed, I just want to explain why those 11,000 who have pledged not to have an ID card will not stop ID cards becoming compulsory. This will not be another poll tax for the following reasons;
1. The poll tax was far more expensive and you had to pay it every year. I had a bill for £425 back in 1989. This was a huge amount of money back than, it was not surprising there was rioting in London. The cost of an ID card will be hugely different. If people opt for the passport/ID card it will cost around £93 for a ten year period. Quite a bit different. A lot of people just travel in Europe, if they opt for the £30 ID card only, it will be cheaper than the present cost of a passport.
2. I was a member of my local anti-poll tax union and I remember the comical situation of one of our co-ordinators explaining why he had paid his poll tax. Oh they all had good reasons, (its my kids, the wife you see), basically when the going got tough, a lot of these middle class people had too much to lose and it was left to the working class to resist payment. Of course the working class are the strongest supporters of ID cards, so the middle class will be on their own this time and a lot of them will bottle it. There is a big difference between pledging allegiance on a website and actually sticking to it. If half of the middle class co-ordinators could bottle it over something as abhorrent as the poll tax, you can bet more than this will bottle it over ID cards.
3. Unlike the poll tax, withholding payment is no problem for the government. The scheme doesn't become compulsory until 2013. I can just see the conversations going on in middle class households in three years time.
"But Annabel, I've promised the pledgebank I wouldn't get one".
"I don't care Tarquin, we just have to go to Florida this year, you have to get a passport."
"Well ok, Anna darling, but don't tell those NO2ID people".
"Oh I don't think they will be bothered Tarkers dear, I saw Roberta down at the NO2ID campaign and she was awfully apologetic about it, but she explained that her and Rupert just had to go to Kenya this year, once in a lifetime opportunity to use her daddy's house over there, apparently".
4. Precisely because of the doom-laden predictions of the NO2ID campaign, opponents are going to be very surprised when the scheme gets off to a smooth start. The longer a successful launch continues the more opponents will wonder what the fuss was about and opposition will melt away. Unlike the administrative nightmare that was the poll tax, the ID database will run smoothly for the reasons I have already outlined.
5. If only 11,000 can bring themselves to pledge to a website, a lot fewer than this will actually take it to court. A few thousand people just won't be enough to stop it becoming compulsory. It would need millions of refuseniks and rioting in central London to stop it, just like happened with the poll tax, and I just don't think thats going to happen somehow.