Re: German ID cards
The big difference in Germany is that they have laws against collecting and/or keeping data that they don't need, whereas the Blair vision of these things always seems to include recording one's every interaction with the ID system in perpetuity.
I'm sure that if the UK is ever stupid enough to implement such a system, things like parental porn viewing records will make it that much easier to control unruly journalists/scientists/etc. ... perhaps removing the need to do tiresome things like helping them to commit suicide.
The irony is that those laws in Germany were imposed after WW2 by allies who have since demonstrated that they have rather more need for legal bulwarks against fascism. It's a shame that they didn't take the time to insert similar laws into their own systems at the time.