The Government, aided by the Conservative party Opposition, forced through the controversial Identity Cards Bill past its Second Reading on Monday with 385 votes, a majority of
Only 93 Members of Parliament had enough principles to vote against the Bill, including the Liberal Democrats and a only 19 Labour and only 10 Tory rebels.
Some 170 or so Members of Parliament stayed away from the Commons , but not all of these were abstainers.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke's speech was almost word for word what he had written in The Times
Des Browne accused his opponents of "trotting out" various arguements, whilst he himself kept repeating some of the Home Office's canards which allegedly prove the case for ID cards, although there is no factual basis for these whatsover
e.g. He intervened in Douglas Hogg's speech to "trot out" the £1.3 billion per anum figure for alleged "Identity Fraud".
culled from Annex B of the Cabinet Office report "Identity Fraud - a study" published in July 2003, which also features in the Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Bill, signed off, by Des Browne.
We will highlight a few more points made in the debate when the online edition of Hansard appears in a few hours time.
Anyone who wants to add to the informed debate on the devilish detail of the Bill, which looks as if it is going to be rushed through the Committee stage in only six sessions, by January 27th 2005, is welcome to peruse and add to the clause by clause analyses and comments on the full text of the Bill at our Identity Cards Bill blog (including the Explanatory Notes). We have also created a similar blog for the Regulatory Impact Assessment, such as it is.
Neither a Movable Type web log nor a Wiki are quite what is needed to allow public group scrutiny of such deliberately complicated and often poorly draughted UK legislation.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a "better" approach ?