The BBC gives the Free-born Englishman's view
The argument over identity cards may strike many foreign observers as peculiar, especially in continental Europe where they are long established.
The French embassy in London seemed bemused at being asked whether anybody in France objected to identity cards. They were an accepted fact of life and they allowed you to travel in other European Union countries without a passport - that was the message.
In Germany, everyone has to carry an ID card from the age of 16. A German diplomat told me: "Nobody thinks about it, nobody questions it... if you're in trouble, you just show it... we don't mind giving information if it's necessary."
The traditional objection of the free-born Englishman, as he would see himself, is summed up in the sentence: "Why should I have to prove who I am?"
What I actually said yesterday was:
An Englishman's Castle: Papers Bitte!
"I'm a free born Englishman and I shouldn't have to prove who the fuck I am to anybody, just so I can walk around my country."
Is someone listening to me?