Prime Minister’s Identity Crisis?
Ferdinand Mount in The Daily Telegraph has a point when he says that:
There is no need for the Government to make such a fool of itself. In all these cases, and plenty more, private individuals and institutions are working out their own solutions, at their own pace. Government intervention adds nothing much except confusion, intrusion and the making of martyrs.
The trouble is that the death of old-style socialism has left a huge gap in Labour’s agenda, and this vexatious legislation is all they can think of to fill it.
Thank you Olly (Researcher to Boris) for your great summary on the ID Cards Bill:
ID Cards Bill Scrapes Through
Labour’s plans for an identity card scheme scraped through the Commons last night with a massively reduced majority. 314 MPs voted for the Government and 283 voted against – a majority of just 31. Labour’s normal Parliamentary majority of 67 was cut by the defection of some 20 Labour rebels, among them Kate Hoey, Clare Short, Diane Abbot, Jeremy Corbyn, Glenda Jackson, Bob Marshall-Andrews, Mark Fisher, Linda Riordan and Katy Clark. Shadow Home Secretary, David Davies MP, condemned the Bill, suggesting that Labour’s enduring legacy would be the creation of “surveillance from cradle to the grave”. The Bill will now be passed to Committee, where it is expected a tough passage, before coming back in amended form to the Commons where it will once again be debated before being passed on once more, this time to the Lords. It is thought the Lords may well vote against the Bill, breaking a long held unwritten convention whereby manifesto pledged legislation is given free passage through the upper House.
Summary of the Bill
– The Identity Cards Bill will establish a national ID card scheme in the United Kingdom. There is, at present, no legislation providing for such a scheme, so the Bill attempts to provide the necessary statutory framework.
– As part of this framework, the Bill: creates a new National Identity Register, setting out its statutory purposes; sets out what information is to be held and the safeguards to try and protect an individual’s data; provides a power to issue identity cards and to designate certain existing documents as documents with which ID cards would be issued (such as passports) along with other documents to serve as ID cards themselves; and allows biographical checks to be made against other databases to confirm an applicant’s identity.
– The Bill also: creates new criminal offences relating to misuse of ID cards and other issues relating to ID fraud; establishes power allowing for the linking, in the future, of access to specified public services and production of an ID card; and, includes, crucially, a power to make it compulsory for people to register, including sanctions for failing to do so.