Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Card Declined, How Britain Said No to ID Cards Three Times Over / SA Mathieson

This is the first half of a double shot. Look for BigAl's take on this book this afternoon.

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Politics

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


SA Mathieson is a journalist and author. He specializes in healthcare IT and management and contributes regularly to blogs and publications such as the Guardian newspaper on these subjects.

You can learn more about the author on his website.


In Card Declined… the author traces the historical facts regarding Britain’s use, abolition and attempts to reintroduce an identity card scheme over the period 1945 – 2011.


This is a difficult book to review simply because it is so niche – the focus, as previously outlined, is on the identity card scheme in the UK, which has, over time, caused significant controversy. As this has been, and continues to be, a political process the narrative is intertwined with politics, politicians and therefore farce.

From a technical perspective the book is extremely well written, the author is clearly a very experienced writer. I could not find fault with the grammar, prose, punctuation etc. For such a potentially dry subject the author manages to generate interest and the events flow with surprising speed. It is clearly extremely well researched too. 31% of the book is given over to references, some 269 separate items.

However, unless the reader has a specific interest in identity cards and politics the subject matter may be a turn off. I’m not an incredibly political person myself and I drifted every now and again. Although I recognize and stress that this is entirely a personal view.

Overall Card Declined… was engaging, very well written and meticulously researched.


No issues.

Format/Typo Issues:

None. Very well edited.

Rating: **** Four Stars

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