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16 May, 2005

The illusion of democracy

NØ2IDIf the Government are so convinced that Identity Cards are 'a good thing', why are they resorting to sneaky tactics of rushing the legislation through Parliament before a meaningful opposition can be mustered?

A few months ago, I prematurely gloated that the ID Cards Bill seemed to have been quietly abandoned. Unfortunately not.
The 'revalidated' (yeah, right) Government has restored the Bill to the Parliamentary schedule, with the intention of getting it through a second reading within the next fortnight. Quite apart from probably leaving insufficient time for a protest campaign, it takes advantage of post-election instability in the Opposition parties. In short: it's to be forced through before there can be proper debate.

Let's hope the Government's reduced majority makes a difference, at least in forcing some concessions aimed at convincing waivering MPs, but I'm not optimistic.

Several earlier postings on this issue.


They have been saying on the BBC today that the Conservatives, Lib Dems and many Labour back benchers are against it, and so may cause some problems with the Bill going through. Let's hope so.

I was astonished earlier to hear a member of the cabinet stating that over 80% of the population are for the introduction of the ID cards. I have no idea who they polled, but I don't know anyone who can see any advantage to be gained by their introduction. I have heard very few commentators on TV, radio, the newspaper, or anything on the web which indicates that there is any real justification for the cards. Nice to see Blair's new, "listening Government", paying attention to public opinion.

Similar cards have been shown universally to not create a reduction in crime. History has shown that a determined criminal will always find a way around security measures. By combining all efforts and information into a single card, rather than many different sources, all the forgers need to do is break that one card, and then they have your entire identity. Better to use the money to pay to improve criminal clear up rates, rather than reducing civil liberties.

Posted by Richard at May 17, 2005 04:09 PM
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