The second three quarters of an hourof debate on the Identity Cards Bill, has been taken up by some talk around the restrictions on the Identity Card Scheme Commissioner's powers and censorship of his report. Even the Minister Des Browne's speech was curtailed mid flow,. He had spent / wasted some time in explaining that somehow it was not the Government's fault that the response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights was not available before the debate got underway.
All pretty feeble really, if, as is being claimed it was available yesterday, it should have been online yesterday.
It is very disheartening watching your civil liberties being frittered away in this strange Parliamentary theatre.
By the way, when you read the debate in hansard, do not be fooled by the votes, which have been runniing at 330 to 230 for the Governmnet and around 110 to 130 for the Opposition.There are fewer than 20 MPs present in the Commons Chamber at any one time taking part in the debates. Some few MPs may well be watching the debate on TV, but it is much more likely that most of those voting have no clue about what exactly they are voting on, having been given their party orders vias mobile phone or via Blackberry devices which are newly popular amongst MPs.