Feeds

Commons walks all over Lords' ID card proposals

Compromise rejected

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Commons yesterday stuck to the government's guns rejecting (by 284 to 241) a truce offered yesterday by the House of Lords.

The Lords have seen their attempts to liquidate government plans for covertly compulsory ID cards rejected by MPs three times.

The Lords had proposed a compromise on Monday that they hoped would end the current round of legislative ping-pong. Compulsion would have been put off until 2012, making it an issue for the next election. But that idea's been kicked out of Parliament too.

Before Parliament's vote yesterday, Edward Garnier, shadow minister for home affairs, compared the centres where people would have their fingerprints taken, their eyes scanned and their photographs taken for the government database, to the Soviet gulags.

"If compulsion by stealth is so good and so popular, why do not the Government have the self-confidence to try voluntary take-up? If the public are sufficiently attracted and follow the arguments on cost, they will flock into the gulags and processing places so that their information can be put on the national identity register," he said.

For a moment it almost conjured an image of country as concentration camp... but this evaporated as Garnier was promptly forced to withdraw his remark by home secretary Charles Clarke.

Nevertheless, David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall, North, and a critic of the "jackboot jibes" that have been thrown at the government's ID plans, urged the government not to force a bill with such serious implications for citizenship through parliament without having it proposed clearly to the electorate first.

Which brings us to the New Labour manifesto commitment that has now been parsed ad nauseam: that the cards would be voluntary when someone applied for a passport.

This argument has been wrung dry, leaving the government to argue its case for compulsion on two key points, as it has done since Monday: uncertainty and cost.

As Clarke said yesterday and Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Minister of State for Criminal Justice and Offender Management, told the Lords on Monday, any delay to the imposition of ID cards or voluntary take-up of the scheme would complicate it because the government would have to rewrite the business plan for system and confuse the tendering of suppliers.

Clarke accused opponents of a "deliberate plan for delay and destruction of the process in the Identity Cards Bill."

Opponents said delaying the imposition of ID cards would do no such thing. The government had not even finished drawing up plans for the system and certainly had no idea how much it would cost.

New proposals for ID card readers had only just been floated when the Lords debated the issue on Monday.

"If I wanted to be difficult, I could say that they are making it up day by day. But I don't want to be difficult," said Baroness Anelay of St Johns.®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.