Just what kind of brute is John Reid? Obviously it was never going to be a fair fight, but putting up Joan Ryan to defend ID cards against D "DD" Davis was surely a crime against humanity.
As we know, the £19bn ID cards disaster has been abandoned. The officials concerned are on the record rubbishing it, and contract tendering has been postponed indefinitely. But because Blair's face must be saved, the Home Office has to pretend otherwise.
So they've given responsibility to this Joan Ryan character, who dutifully presented herself in the HOC blood-pit for a DD mauling:
"In justifying ID cards, the government claimed that identity fraud cost the clearing banks in the UK Payments Association £504.8m. The banks themselves say it is less than £37m. Who is right?
The Home Office has been accused of exaggerating what an ID card would save by the banks, by the insurance companies, even by Customs and Excise in their own government. At best it will save little and will cost a fortune.
ID cards are likely to make the problem of identity theft worse, not better. Microsoft's national technology office says that ID cards could trigger massive identity fraud.
One of the FBI's leading identity fraud consultants said the ID card could be replicated by criminals perfectly in six months. In order for the House to be absolutely sure, can the minister guarantee that the ID card will be 100 per cent secure against fraud? Yes or No?"
You really couldn't watch.
Thank God such a lightweight isn't in the government.
Oh...she's in charge of nationality and immigration you say.
OH. MY. GOD.