The Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has published the uncorrected transcript of the oral evidence of the 8th of June into ID Cards from:
Roger Smith, Director, JUSTICE, Peter Williamson, President, The Law Society, Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty, and Simon Davies, Director, Privacy International;
Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner, and Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Commissioner
"Mr Thomas: Could I perhaps make a very short opening statement before addressing your particular question? When I came to see you last time, Chairman, I used the language of "healthy scepticism" about the government's proposals. Having looked at the detail now I have to say that that that is beginning to change to rather more "increasing alarm". I think that as we see the detail of these proposals it is now clear that we are talking not about ID cards as such. This debate is primarily about a National Identity Register and all the consequences of that."
"The point I want to make to you is that this is a very comprehensive scheme. I think it would probably be the most comprehensive and ambitious scheme anywhere in the world. Leaving aside all the technology aspects this would be an unprecedented scheme.
Q739 David Winnick: Shades of 1984?
Mr Thomas: I would rather not be drawn down emotive routes, Mr Winnick.
Q740 David Winnick: I think we will come to our own conclusions, Mr Thomas, after what you have just told us"
Will this evidence lead to a Home Affairs Select Committee Report which criticises the vague objectives, the overbroad Government powers in the Draft ID card Bill, the massive cost and the loss of civil liberties that the Compulsory Biometric Centralised Database and SmartCard ID scheme would involve, with no clearly defined benefits to society ?
On past form, the Government will simply ignore any such criticism or reccomendations, just as they did with the report by the Joint Committeee on the Draft Civil Contingencies Bill about the constitutionally dangerous Emergency Powers that the Government plans to grant itself. Will they then guillotine any debate in on the actual Bill in Parliament and force through their plans regardless ?