Feeds

ID cards protect civil liberties – Blair

Run that one by us, again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Prime Minster has given his strongest support yet for the introductiuon of identity cards in UK.

In what was billed as a make-or-break speech at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth today, Tony Blair presented ID cards as a way of guarding against bogus asylum claims.

"In a world of mass migration, with cheaper travel and all the problems of fraud it makes sense to ask whether identity cards were no longer an affront to civil liberties but a way of protecting them," he told conference delegates.

The theme of ID cards was touched on only briefly in Blair's 50 minute speech, during which he defended the government's decision to go to war with Iraq. He struck an almost-Thatcherite stance in saying his government would press ahead with controversial policies such as setting up foundation hospitals and introducing University top-up fees.

"I can only go one way, I have not got a reverse gear," the Prime Minister told conference delegates.

Home Secretary David Blunkett, who speaks on the conference later this week, has always been more enthusiastic about the concept of ID cards than the Prime Minister.

Blair's remarks take on an added significance following earlier reports that Cabinet members, including Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt, were opposed to the idea of introducing ID cards on economic grounds. Peter Hain, the leader of the Commons and Charles Clarke, the education secretary are also reportedly against the idea of introducing next-generation ID cards on the basis that the biometric cards would cause far more to introduce than might be saved in reduced benefit fraud.

in June Blair reportedly spiked the idea of introducing ID cards - but they're back. It looks increasingly likely that a bill to pave the way for ID cards in Britain will make its way into the Queeen's speech in November.

Ian Brown, director of influential think tank the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR), told The Register that Blair tends to "oscillate" between supporting and opposing ID cards.

"Of all the arguments that might be made in support of ID cards, suggesting that they back up civil liberties is the least backed-up I've heard. This sounds like spin for the benefit of the conference," Brown said. ®

Related stories

Blunkett states ID card aims - but can he achieve them?
Cabinet stalls on ID cards, Blunkett says he'll win anyway
Smart cards, ID cards, nice, nasty, inevitable?
Want to visit Britain? Join the fingerprint queue
Passport biometric trials point way for ID cards
Now Blunkett wants to charge £39 for ID cards
UK ID scheme complex, costly, won't work, says expert
Public opposes ID cards, govt admits

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.