Re: "appalled that [city mayor] Sadiq Khan has approved such....surveillance technology for London"
" the problem isn't ID cards per se, although we do have a little bit of a problem with folks who stop us and ask us for our papers"
Spot on. For the government to be able to provide various services, and for citizens to be able to use these services, it is convenient that to have a form of identification that is universally available and universally accepted. (And as a database/ BI specialist, I also kind of like unique identifiers!)
Everyone having an ID card / unique ID number doesn't give any busybody the right to request to see it (aka papers, please, citizen). Equally, the convenience has to be balanced by - does the gov REALLY need a unique identifier for each citizen? They would say yes but UK society seems to work well enough without.