Feeds

ID scheme to die in pre-election cull?

Blame the Tories, get re-elected, bring in new Bill

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

A further signal that the Government was prepared to write off the ID Card Bill and blame the opposition was provided this morning by former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who told Radio 4's Today programme this morning that he hoped the House of Lords wouldn't block the establishment of the Serious Organised Crime Agency "as they appear to be going to block ID cards."

Blunkett is not of course Home Secretary, but he's still a key ally of Tony Blair, still has a very expensive house, and is likely to return to office after the election, on the completion of his period of rehabilitation. So this particular aside is likely to have derived from inside knowledge of how Labour intends to play the election. Assuming this goes ahead in May, the Government will need to cut deals with the opposition in order to deal any legislation pending. The ID Cards Bill was - until last week's flurry over the Prevention of Terrorism Act - the most obviously controversial, but the SOCA Bill could also present serious problems. Its central objective is to establish the 'British FBI', but it also substantially increases police powers of arrest and includes the proposed 'religious hatred' offence.

Blunkett's words appear to indicate that the Government is prepared to sacrifice ID cards, and bring in a new Bill after the election, in order to get SOCA through. Both Bills would face difficulties going through normal Lords procedure in the time available before the election, and the Tories would find it difficult, considering their heavy misgivings about the current ID Cards Bill, to support it going through unchanged and unexamined on Parliament's dissolution. Killing two Bills however might look bad for them in the election campaign, so Labour probably calculates that the Tories can be forced to nod through SOCA, then be blamed for spiking ID cards.

Blunkett's rehabilitation campaign, incidentally, proceeds apace. He's been doing the rounds of the newspapers portraying himself as the victim of press intrusion into his private life, and discoursing on identity and being proud to be English. This is perhaps an appropriate time to remind ourselves who it was who used his public office for his private convenience, and who was dragging private lives into matters on the day he resigned. ®

Related Stories:

Tory group report attacks ID scheme as a con trick
Clarke takes charge of Blunkett's Fear Agenda
ID checks could have stopped cockler deaths, says Blunkett

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
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
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?