ID isn't the problem
I've said it before, there's not any point having a "no ID cards!" attitude if the environment is one when many essentials (shelter, work, healthcare) require you to present ID.
For all the huffing and puffing that the British do about this, there didn't seem to be any real objections to the creation of this environment. So either people did not realise what was happening, or felt that the objections to ID checks would be silly.
In the Netherlands we've got a digiID system, where you have a central ID, and pretty much all other services require you to use that to authenticate and confirm stuff. I've not got an actual ID card (passport and GBA suffice for most things) and I've only been asked for my papers in reasonable circumstances.
"Beyond the privacy implications and the simple, there is no way I'm prepared to give the government that much data about myself "
That seems an odd attitude. Either the government already has that data on you, by being born in the UK. More so if you're on the electoral roll, have a passport, drivers licence, own property etc. Oh, and if you have a bank account or mail delivered to your house or are the chief tenant.
So the only way the government doesn't have information on you is if you're not from the UK, entered illegally and live illegally while not working, driving or renting. Which seems pretty much an edge case.
"It's also important that government backend databases are not all automatically linked to each other"
Nah, that would be helpful and stuff. They'll just keep feeding into GCHQs central database of goodies.