Leading article: Jumping frogs

They say that if you want to boil a frog, you don't throw it into scalding water as the creature will simply leap out. Instead, you turn up the heat slowly.

The Government's strategy on ID cards has been to turn up the heat slowly on us all. Foreign nationals will be the first to receive them; then Britons who work in tight security zones such as airports. People who renew their passports will be next to be given then. Eventually, a general roll-out.

Except that there are already signs of resistance. The airline pilots' union, Balpa, is objecting to the fact that its members who work from Manchester and London City airports will be expected to carry the cards from next autumn. They regard it as an unwarranted and excessive intrusion by the state.

Good luck to them. The more frogs that jump out of the pot, the more likely we are to upset this entire costly and illiberal project.

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