The Scottish Identity Card Scandal

Scottish ID card

This is an Edinburgh pensioners' bus pass
-  which is really a National Entitlement Card
-  which in truth turns out to be a national identity card
... linked to a National ID Database

We introduced the free national bus pass.
First Minister Jack McConnell,The Politics Show, BBC1, 15 April 2007

Early in 2006 the then Labour controlled Scottish Executive introduced national identity cards into Scotland for the first time in fifty-four years. Disgracefully, it did this by conning the most vulnerable members of society - the elderly and the disabled - into believing that they were merely being given a new kind of bus pass. And most shockingly of all it did this in total secrecy and by going behind the back of the Scottish Parliament.

The new ID cards (see illustration above), backed up by a National ID Database, are so intrusive that they would be forbidden in Germany and other European countries which already have ID cards. One of the pensioners who applied to renew his bus pass, retired academic Dr John Welford, said:

“It is a national scandal that the Scottish Government should have behaved so dishonestly towards the elderly, and heads should now roll. I have returned my ID card to be destroyed, but despite months of fruitless correspondence with the Executive it has refused to send me the bus pass I applied for and am entitled to."

Fortunately, here in 2017 we have an SNP Scottish Government at Holyrood that has been firmly opposed to a UK identity card scheme. That’s the good news. The bad news is that remarkably it remains completely untroubled by the Trojan Horse Scottish ID card for which it now has full responsibility. So what is really going on here? Has the SNP Government just been playing politics with the Westminster-based ID card scheme in the past? Or does it remain as thoroughly duped as the Scottish pensioners and disabled?

CAMPAIGN NEWS!! - read the latest (16 July) here -->>

Further Information


Powerpoint Presentation: 'Experience of a National Entitlement ID Card in Scotland'

Given at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Public Meeting, Buswells Hotel, Dublin, 11 October 2017

Access to the presentation:

Herald small image



"The deception was deliberate, comprehensive and meticulously carried out"


"This 'bus pass' would not be legal in Germany"


The Scottish Identity Card Scandal, An Open Letter to Readers, The Herald, 6 June 2013:   full page image (2.4Mb),   text only (115Kb).



Campaign leaflet: The Trojan Horse ID Card (2 pages):    trojanhorse.pdf (377Kb)

Report: The Scottish national entitlement card: an exercise in wholesale systematic deception by Dr John Welford (12 pages):    report.pdf (180Kb)

Analysis paper: Entitlements and identity: three cards compared (a formal comparison of the former Edinburgh City bus pass, the Scottish national entitlement card and the UK identity card, 2 pages): 3cards.pdf (156Kb)

Card application form (4 pages):    appform.pdf (428Kb)

The English ID cards scandal website:

Useful Links -->>

Downloadable Images

The following table provides details of images which you may wish to download and use. Click on any one of the thumbnail images in order to display the equivalent full-size image. Then to download the relevant JPEG format file to your computer just select Save As... in your browser's File menu.

Thumbnail - Edinburgh bus pass
City of Edinburgh bus pass, c. 2005
bus.jpg (160Kb)
Thumbnail - Scott ID card 1
Scottish national identity card - Winston Smith, 2015
snec.jpg (53Kb)
Thumbnail - Scott ID card 2
Scottish national identity card - John Welford, 2006
snecjw.jpg (116Kb)
Thumbnail - IK ID card
UK identity card, c. 1944
idcard.jpg (128Kb)


NO2ID Placards  -  Holyrood, Edinburgh

Used at the NO2ID Scotland demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament
21 August 2007

NO2ID placards

Scottish Greens co-leader MSP Patrick Harvie has said (Feb. 2015):
"This scheme mirrors the last UK Labour government's aborted ID card scheme. We're now seeing a proposal for a system which will give every citizen a unique reference number linked to a central database, linked to a card scheme, sharing information across government and controlling access to public services."

CAMPAIGN NEWS!! - read the latest (16 July) here -->>


13 July 2020