There has been much bluster and babbling over the idea that we should have to prove who we are when we vote. ‘It will prevent many people from voting! Those who have no voter ID will be excluded!’
Actually I had a simpler idea. We are all sent a voting card. Put a dotted line down the middle and mark one half ‘To be retained by voter’ and the other ‘To be retained by poll station staff’. When you vote, one half of the card is yours to keep, the other half goes in a box at the polling station. That card cannot be used again. You cannot hand it to someone else and even the dodgiest of polling staff cannot make use of half a card.
It even works with postal votes. You include the relevant half of the card with your postal vote. No half-card, the vote doesn’t count. No photo ID necessary.
Amazon have a new thing for deliveries. It has long been necessary to sign for any package containing whisky (I know there are other types of alcohol but those are irrelevant) and more recently, to sign for anything sharp – from a cleaver to a craft knife. This allows the delivery person to show they have seen you and determined that you look to be over the relevant age limit for those things.
Well, it seems one Amazon delivery driver once thought an under-18 was over 18. So, if you order any of the age-limited items from Amazon now, you have to sign and show photo ID. Yes, you have to prove who you are in your own home. Even a wizened old curmudgeon like me. It’s an irritant but I have a driving licence and passport so it’s a minor and somewhat amusing bit of silliness. Not so funny for the Amazon drivers. Instead of just ‘sign here please’ they now have to wait for every householder to go hunting for a photo ID and if they don’t have one or can’t find it, well… they aren’t allowed to hand it over and will probably have to try again tomorrow. The wasted time must be enormous.
Where are the howls of ‘But Uncle Bob doesn’t have photo ID. How will he be able to order vodka and machetes from Amazon?’ The silence is deafening.
If you miss a signed-for delivery from the Post Office, you have to go to the depot to get it. You will need to show ID. Not necessarily photo ID, not yet. Still, you have to show ID. If you are picking it up for someone else you have to have proof of their ID.
Want to open a bank account? You need ID. Want to claim benefits? Show your ID. You cannot function in this country without some form of ID and if you want to leave it, you need a passport.
That has nothing to do with Brexit. I have seen the wailing and rending of cloth of those whose ‘fathers came to this country and will not be able to leave because they never had a passport’. How did they get in then? The UK has never been in Schengen. You have always needed a passport to get in and out. It’s the only legitimate way.
Unless you are prepared to drift across the Channel in a dinghy or cling to the bottom of a truck load of frozen pizza. Those seem to be legitimate ways too, these days.
The funniest part of it all was when Labour, who cry the loudest for Votes for People Who Aren’t Real, had a conference that nobody could get into without showing ID.
You need to show ID for almost every move you make, certainly for every interaction with authority and increasingly for interactions with shops and deliveries. Why not with something as important as deciding who’s going to run the country?
As I said above, everyone is sent a voting card. Currently you don’t even have to take it to the polling station with you. It’s a waste of card, ink and postage. Why not make use of it? Use it as the voter ID and the problem is solved.
Who’s going to object? The usual suspects of course.
And we all know why.