The Home Secretary Charles Clarke has admitted that the controversial Identity Cards Bill has been abandoned, for now.
Speaking on BBC News 24, Home Secretary Charles Clarke wittered on about how the Identity Cards Bill would somehow, magically, be a solution to "terrorism" and "identity theft", neither of which, the Government has bothered to try to explain in detail, how the particular scheme which has been proposed, would be cost effective against. Then, of course, he tried to blame the Tory opposition:
"and I am deeply shocked today, that the Conservatives have decided to kill the Bill. I very much regret it. We will put it in our manifesto, and we will make it an early priority, if we are re-elected, to get a proper identity system in place"
If re-elected, as seems likely, the Labour Government would be well advised to consult properly this time, on any future identity card scheme. It will be intolerable if they simply try to rush the same badly drafted and excessively complex, expensive and intrusive scheme through Parliament again.
None of the necessary proper detailed technical and practical consultation or detailed Parliamentary scrutiny happened with either the Draft Identity Card Bill, or the now dead full Identity Cards Bill, which attempted a huge, multi-billion pound change in the trust relationship between the UK Government and all 60 million or so UK residents.
The cross party umbrella organisation NO2ID, which has been leading the opposition to the Identity Cards Bill, vows to continue to oppose any re-introduction of such a Bill, unless and until it is radically altered to be simpler, cheaper, more practical and far, far less privacy intrusive.
It looks as if the struggle will likely continue after the General Election.