Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Identity crisis

From the Independent:

Tony Blair's majority was cut by more than half last night as concessions over plans for ID cards failed to prevent the first major Labour rebellion since the general election.

Twenty Labour MPs rebelled over the measure, and others abstained, sending a warning message to the Prime Minister after Charles Clarke made a string of concessions designed to quell a wave of opposition to the scheme.

MPs backed the ID Cards Bill by 314 votes to 283, a majority of 31 after a heated day-long debate as Mr Blair won the first significant parliamentary battle since the general election had reduced his majority to 67.

They reinforced their message, forcing a series of technical votes on the timetable for debate and funding for the scheme.

Mr Clarke pledged to cap the cost of the cards, floated the idea of cut-price fees for people on low incomes and promised to produce a full outline of the scheme's cost before the ID Cards Bill completes is passage in the House of Commons.

I loathe the idea of compulsory ID cards, especially when they’ll cost you £100 or more a pop. But even leaving the ‘police state’ implications aside, think of the practical consequences.

You think it’s a panic when you can’t find your passport? Imagine the hullabaloo when you lose one of these things down the back of the sofa.

1 comment:

martpol said...

The most irritating thing is the way that Clarke & co. keep referring to the cost of ID cards as if it's just a minor addition to the cost of your passport. He clearly doesn't realise that we need to buy a passport because it gives us the privilege of entering other people's countries; whereas we'll need to buy an ID card in order to lose something, like protection from any old public servant accessing our private records.