Envy is a nasty thing
Smartcard technology which will help run Scotland's free bus travel scheme for pensioners could be used in a large variety of other services.
The National Entitlement Card means that schemes operated by the 32 councils can be brought together.
Developers said it could be used for libraries, leisure centres, home meals and even a bus stop audio service.
Colin Mair, chief executive of the Improvement Service, jointly run by the Scottish Executive and the councils, said: "The cards that will be issued for travel purposes on 1 April will also be able to be used for a wide variety of other purposes.
Oh lucky lucky Scotch, as they gorge on the free gee-gaws the state provides all they have to do is flash their shiny "Saltaire emblazened" cattle tag and the nice people at the council will give them something else - and guess who else loves this brave new world that is the "envy" of the UK...
Police hunting criminals are increasingly seeking information from electronically stored travel records, such as those created by users of the popular Oyster card in London.
Figures disclosed today show a huge leap in police requests to Transport for London, which operates the Oyster cards used to travel on buses, trains and the underground.