ID cards: Scots screwed again

A superb post by Mr Eugenides on the ever-entertaining ID cards scheme: if you’re in Scotland but don’t live near one of just 11 processing centres, you’re stuffed.

The true insanity of the scheme is demonstrated most starkly by the fate that awaits the good people of Orkney and Shetland – some 40,000 souls in all. There are apparently to be no processing centres for ID cards on the islands – any of the Scottish islands, as far as I can see – and so every single inhabitant of Orkney, Shetland and all the others is going to have to go to the mainland to be registered.

The nearest centre is in Wick, which is nearly 200 miles away from Shetland. But it’s not too difficult to get there. From Shetland’s capital, Lerwick, simply hop on a ferry to Kirkwall in Orkney (7 and a half hours), then it’s a short bus transfer to Burwick (45 minutes), a ferry across to John O’Groats (45 minutes) and another bus to Wick (about an hour). But make sure you don’t show up at lunchtime; there’s usually a queue.

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