Blair sets up first battle with rebels over ID cards

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, May 13, 2005.

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  1. From today's Independent. Link to full article. Any views?
    • Blair sets up first battle with rebels over ID cards
      By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
      13 May 2005

      Tony Blair is to provoke his first trial of strength with Labour rebels since the election by pressing ahead with contentious proposals for identity cards.

      The Government could be hit by a major backbench revolt within weeks after the Cabinet agreed to reintroduce the ID card plans as a priority in the Queen's Speech next week.

      Earlier this year, 19 Labour MPs voted against the measure, and dozens abstained. It is also opposed by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, and the shadow Home Secretary David Davis is a vehement critic of ID cards.

      With the Government's majority now down to 67, a flagship measure of the Queen's Speech could in theory be defeated by 34 rebels.

      Ministers are convinced any rebellion will fizzle out, arguing the measure has widespread support. They are also preparing minor concessions designed to answer fears about the security of the database that would underpin the scheme.

      Labour opponents of ID cards, who are about to hold talks on their parliamentary campaign of resistance, said yesterday they were holding firm.


      Ministers argue there is overwhelming public support for the introduction of ID cards, with 80 per cent of voters backing it.

      Mr Blair denied he would be hamstrung by his reduced majority, saying it was "fatuous" to think the Government could not get its programme through the Commons.

      A Labour source said: "If people step out of line, there will be recriminations."

      The campaign group No2ID plans to lobby Labour MPs who had privately said they were opposed to ID cards. The group said it knew 80 backbenchers who opposed the scheme.

      The ID Cards Bill was abandoned in March just before it was due to begin its detailed passage through the House of Lords.
  2. Come on you 34 Labour MPs. I am in favour of ID cards and if memory serves, so were the Torys. However, I would expect the oppostion to vote against it in the hope that enough Labourites follow suit. Could be very interesting if this happens. I would expect to see B Liar's resignation shortly after.
  3. I too am in favour of an ID card, but what to have on it and how to use it is another matter.

    Given this government's track record I would vote against until everyone knows and accepts its purpose and cost-effective implementation is assured.

    I've seen how this lot handle IT projects - w@nkers!.
  4. I am in favour of an ID card for 'asylum seekers' and new immigrants. No card = No benefits , accomodation or job. Failure to register = Deportation ek dum.

    I am NOT in favour of an ID card for the established indigenous population.
  5. Thats reasuring, he might receive a sound kick in the nads if he pisses of too many of his backbenchers.

    Im glad to see that David Davis is a critic of ID cards as i was under the impression that some of the tory front benchers were quite taken with the idea of ID cards.
  6. Some tory on Question Time put it perfectly:

    If I want to drive, I will need a driving license, because driving is potentially dangerous and I have a duty to show I know what I'm doing. Similarly with shooting - I am happy to get a shotgun certificate, to demonstrate that the authorities are content that I'm not a convicted criminal. But the idea of needing an ID card, which is effectively a license to stand outside and enjoy the air of my own country, is utterly opposed to everything that being an Englishman means.

    Or words to that effect. For perhaps the only time in my life, I agree with a Tory.

    ID cards are just plain wrong, even if you ignore the fact that they will cost a fortune, won't work and won't actually do any good even if they do.
  7. PTP

    Asylum seekers and new immigrants already have to carry ID cards with them, what makes you think that replacing the card they carry is going to make it work.

    Anyway, for everyone else who supports ID cards, you might trust this government with the information they will collect (all your biometric data, your spending habits [the cards will be linked to all bank a/c you have]). But do you really belief that in 20/30/50 years time we might not have a government who will abuse the information they collect.

    For a detailed FAQ on how an ID card will NOT work, start here and read down.
  8. Thanks for that link Countryman.

    I understand that in Australia the govt. proposed an id card system a few years ago, and the public was broadly in favour. Then there was a fairly well informed national debate, and the public woke up to the con being perpetrated upon them - result, no ID card. I think the same will happen here.

    Not many people still support id cards after they have thought about it a bit.
  9. Countryman , I didn't say I am in favour of a 'new' card . I am in favour of them having an identity card.

    I am not in favour of the rest of us having to carry one , ever.
  10. Would it be overly cynical to suggest that a compulsory ID card (ie, a licence to breathe) that we would have to pay for is, in effect, a one-off Poll Tax?
  11. How about an ID card with an embedded RFID (radio frequency identification device) chip.

    Every time you come within range of a scanner, your physical location, the date and the time are posted to your dossier.

    Please, let's not hear any sentimental rubbish about "invasion of privacy."

    If you haven't been doing something wrong, you have nothing to fear.
  12. How would PC Plod know that an asylum seeker wasn't a member of the indigenous population? If I get stopped by the police at the moment I don't have to show anything, he has to take my word for it that I am who I say I am. Unless the whole population, a la most of Europe, has to carry ID cards, then they simply wouldn't work.

    I have no problem, in theory, with a simple card. But to be effective and to prove it really relates to me it would have to contain information that I, or a forger, couldn't see and if it does that, I don't want one.
  13. NWD

    Do you have your tongue firmly embedded in your cheek?
  14. Usually.

    I'm not being facetious about RFID technology though.

    In the USA, it's used for tracking inventory, livestock, dogs, and convicts in home detention.

    I fully expect to see it used on almost everyone over here as a result of passage of the "Real ID" law in the senate.

    The utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham drew up a proposal for a new type of prison known as a Panopticon.

    Its distinguishing feature was that it was designed so that the warders could watch the inmate at every moment.

    That's our rulers' vision for the society of the future.