Turns out the House of Lords is actually a good thing after all; they’ve just bounced the ID cards bill for a fifth time, to the great annoyance of the government.
Labour seem willing to go to the wall over this issue, and it’s slowly being revealed as a more and more nefarious and unpleasant piece of legislation. Remember how they said it wouldn’t be a compulsory thing? From the Guardian article linked above:
Labour’s manifesto last year said ID cards would be introduced “initially on a voluntary basis”, but Mr Burnham said today it was always “absolutely clear” the scheme would become mandatory.
Mr Burnham was asked why Labour had not told voters that the cards would be compulsory. He replied: “Actually, we did. During the parliamentary process that the bill went through before the general election, we were absolutely clear on this point. There was no doubt about the link with the passport. We said all along that the right way to proceed would be at the time when we introduced the biometric passport, when fingerprints were introduced into the passport, that would be the right time to introduce the clean National Identity Register.”
Sneaky bastards. Much as I’m loathe to congratulate the Tories on anything, it’s largely their opposition to this scheme, as well as that of the Lords, that has kept Tony and Co. from ramming through a law that the word ‘draconian’ is inadequate to describe.
Why worry? Well, these cards they are proposing, under the banner of preventing benefit fraud and terrorism, are going to be implemented with chip-and-PIN technology. A technology which has already been thoroughly compromised by both fraudsters and terrorists in the past.
I recommend you email your MP and ask him/her to address your concerns. If you have no concerns, I heartily suggest you head to your local library or bookstore and get yourself a copy of a book called ‘1984’, written by a fellow called George Orwell.