Truth will out

Hugh Muir writes in the Guardian’s Diary column:

Yes, truth will out. And yesterday must have been a sad day for the sad Labour types who actually believed that we might embrace identity cards. The Queen’s speech put paid to that: ID cards rest in peace. People such as former home office special adviser Clare Montagu, who put her money where her mouth was and got herself a voluntary ID card – the like of which her department was until recently billing as a “secure and convenient way for people to prove their identity”. And wielding the card, she ventured into a branch of HSBC to withdraw money. Alas, the cashier took one look at it and called the manager. Said manager took it away and came back moments later, saying she had merely wanted to see what an ID card looked like. Curiosity satisfied, she declared that without a driving licence or a passport, Montagu could not withdraw a penny. Oh, Montagu protested. It’s an ID card, she said. A legitimate travel document throughout the European Union. But for all her talk, there was nothing doing. It seemed a good idea, but it just didn’t catch on. And now, glory be, it never will.