I've got nothing better to do...
... so I'm going to actual field some responses here. Yes, it's a Friday!
@Alfred - "What, exactly, is the difference in faff between holding a passport in your hand, and holding a card in your hand? Is the size and weight difference really that much of an issue for you?"
The difference is nothing more than convenience - the fact that I can put the thing in my wallet and always have it on me, rather than having to scrat around trying to locate my passport is a modest benefit, as is being able to do same and not have to hide the thing away somewhere in a hotel in a foreign land.
I never claimed it was a *big* benefit.
@gerryg - "Please try obtaining some context. Read the back story here and elsewhere.
The point about Labour's ID card was that the plan were for you to need it to walk down the street not leave the country."
I know the back story and the context. My stated position (elsewhere) has always been "It makes little difference, as if the country is that curious about your habits, they can find it out already." An extra card wouldn't have made the slightest difference.
And yes, I agree that the walking down the street part of it was completely ridiculous - although you'll note I haven't actually included it in my musings on potential minor benefits in the original post. In some countries however - I know for a fact it used to be the case in Germany - this has been implemented for a long time.
Oh, and with the bank accounts, Labour only changed it so photo ID was required, rather than preferred. You still needed to tip up with four or five bits of paper to prove your ID and address because of money laundering laws. Nothing else really changed there - I remember opening a joint-account a few years ago for paying bills with my flatmate being a bit of an affair.
@Richard 39 - "Internal flights - Driving License perhaps?
Bank account - Driving License perhaps?
and the icing on the cake
"easier to carry ... than having to carry your passport" etc."
I'm not sure if your photocard licence is suitable for internal flights (within the UK) - it's been a long long time since I had to take one. It's certainly not accepted for flights to elsewhere in the EU. Your point about the bank account is valid, although counterproductive as if you're happy to carry a photo drivers licence, why not another bit of plastic with a slightly different function? Especially as the photo drivers licence actually means nothing without the counterpart paper.
As for the entry visa to the US, well, they have a labyrinthine system at the best of times. Nothing the UKGov can do about that. In this case, you'd only replace the card with the actual paper passport, so you're not INCREASING the number at all, you're just not DECREASING it.
@Campbelltonian - I see at least one person sees my point. Thanks!
@CynicalObserver - "In all those countries that stamp a visa on a PAGE in your passport. (Or as in Turkey, they affix a nice paper stamp - not dissimilar to a postage stamp, and then cancel that)
Where does that go on the plastic card?"
You OBVIOUSLY (or, perhaps, deliberately) missed the part of my post where i said "internal and EU" flights. But don't let that get in the way of a perfectly irrelevent comment.
I'm also going to refer you back to the part where I said the biometric nonsense was completely unneccessary as well, just for good measure, and the part where I suggested if it just got issued as PART of your passport instead of a replacement for everything etc. etc.
Sometimes, and in some jobs, it's handy to have Government backed ID such as this and the driver's licence. Sometimes, you might need more than one bit of ID. The associated National Identity Database and what-have-you was the part of it that had people up in arms.