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ID cards poster girl laments her £30

'It is simply tantamount to theft'

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Angela Epstein, the Manchester-based columnist and ID cards poster girl, has written a furious lament for the scheme - and she's so angry she's started a Facebook group.

"I never wanted to be a poster girl for the ID project," Epstein rages in her latest treatise for the Manchester Evening News.

"I never had any kind of evangelical wish to make other people register for an ID card," she protests.

Epstein is occupied mostly as a "real life" reporter for voyeuristic gossip magazines, cold-calling bereaved parents and such. However, she shot to notoriety in December as the first member of the public to voluntarily lay down £30 for an ID card, even as the scheme was obviously doomed.

The definitely-non-evangelical columnist compared the experience at the time to the birth of her daughter. "It's a seminal moment," she also wrote, apparently warming to her reproductive theme.

But with the coalition's swift decision to scrap ID cards she now feels exploited, and the need to tell the world via the angry writer's weapons of mixed metaphors and long sentences.

"Our new Government delivered a knee-jerk response and scrapped the scheme, preferring to appease the so-called civil libertarians who hysterically clamoured that the introduction of ID cards was a blow for privacy and further damning proof of an ever encroaching nanny state," Epstein explains.

"If this wasn't a blatantly cynical exercise in tactical popularism* then I don't know what is," she continues, seemingly ready to abandon her career as a political pundit in disgust.

But like the greatest of the abused and downtrodden in history, Epstein is able to target her fire for her cause: the outrage of her missing thirty quid. David Blunkett was probably joking when he said he might sue over the cost of his ID card, but Angela Epstein definitely isn't.

"I want my money back. Otherwise, it is simply tantamount to theft... I have decided to sue and am filing my form to the small claims court," she writes.

"What's more, I exhort anyone else who feels short-changed both financially and ideologically to do the same and have set up a Facebook page to marshall support."

Sadly she doesn't include a link. She does however link the scandal of her missing £30 to the "disgraced" Liberal Democrat David Laws, briefly chief secretary to the Treasury, and his "expenses swindle".

Epstein closes with a warning to his boss, the Deputy Prime Minister, that will chill Westminster: "Nick Clegg says scrapping ID cards is giving more power to the people and less control to the state. He doesn't know the half of it yet."

And with that, it's farewell Angela Epstein, reluctant poster girl. ®

*We think Angela means "populism" here, "popularism" being an ideology associated with Christian Democrat parties on the continent.

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