Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Change of identity


I wasn't going to blog today, as I am busy, but I couldn't let the passing of the ID Cards Bill go by without comment.

The government got the Bill through, which came as no surprise to anyone as the lobby fodder in the PLP had been whipped or bribed into compliance. Fatboy Clarke announced a number of concessions: the price of the cards will be capped (but could still be as much as £100), there will be a re-examination of the information needed for the National Identity Database (although he didn't specify how), private companies will not be able to access the database and banks (and suchlike) will need the cardholder's permission to access information (although we all know that banks are very good at finding ways to dupe people into giving permission - 'PLEASE TICK THIS VERY, VERY TINY BOX AT THE END OF A FULL PAGE OF SMALL PRINT IF YOU DO NOT WANT US TO HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION NOW AND AT ALL TIMES IN THE FUTURE WITHOUT ASKING YOU AGAIN' should do it). He admitted that "if the card eventually became compulsory, it would be ridiculous to force people to pay for a very expensive one" (Guardian).

Anyway, some Labour MPs were bold enough to vote against, so here's the hall of heroes:

Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington)
Katy Clark (Ayrshire North and Arran)
Frank Cook (Stockton North)
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington N)
Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich)
Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Paul Flynn (Newport West)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)
Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate)
Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)
Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway)
Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood) - nice to see she's rediscovered her conscience recently
Alan Simpson (Nottingham South)
John Smith (Vale of Glamorgan)
Bob Wareing (Liverpool West Derby)
David Winnick (Walsall North)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)

David Taylor (Leicestershire North West) voted in both the Aye and No lobbies. I still don't know how this is possible.

Naturally, my spineless MP, Andrew Slaughter, remained loyal to the government. Anyway, with the DUP MPs voting in favour of the Bill (perhaps they're looking forward to spying on all the suspected IRA members in Belfast and Derry), there was little chance of its being defeated.

The Bill will now go into Committee where, with any luck, it will be savaged.

Keep up with the campaign against ID cards here, and REMEMBER TO SIGN THE PLEDGE - over halfway there already!

EDIT; More here. And here. And here. And here (thanks to NoseMonkey for that last one). And probably loads of other places in the blogoworld.


Anonymous inactualfact said...

Just a couple of points to add:

1. "the price of the cards will be capped (but could still be as much as £100)" presumably any additional costs will be paid for by "the taxpayer" as opposed to the population of the UK.... We could get into proportional payments of tax by the poor vs. the rich, but 100 quid for someone just over wherever the income limit for free cards is set is going to be painful.

2. "if the card eventually became compulsory" this is most disingenuous. If your biometric data is linked to whatever they keep stored on us in some central registry it's going to make no difference whether you carry or not - any "person of authority" with a fingerprint or iris scanner will be able to access your data anyway. As I think we have to keep hammering away at, it's not just the cards, it's the database.

3:27 pm  

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