Feeds

Commons walks all over Lords' ID card proposals

Compromise rejected

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.