The Parliamentary ping pong continues, between the two Houses of Parliament, regarding the Identity Cards Bill 2005 , over the important issue of "compulsion by stealth" (linking Passports, unecessarily, to the National identity Register) during the allegedly voluntary initial phase of the ID Cards scheme.
The Lords have voted by 218 to 183, a majority of 35 to insist on their decoupling of Passports from the NIR amendment.
The House of Commons will vote again on this tomorrow, Thursday 16th March 2006.
This is a reduced majority from the previous votes, mostly due to a drop in support from the Cross Bench peers, rather than from any of the political parties. See this NO2ID web forum thread for analysis of this.
This debate was noticably more intemperate than previous ones, especially when Lord Gould of Brookwood (Why does he remind us of the Science Fiction Stargate SG-1 villains the Goa'uld ?) and Lord Foulkes of Cumnock , made purely "NuLabour were elected, therefore obey us" political points.
Strangely the Bishop of Chester chose this late stage to make a "Second Reading speech" in support of the principle of ID Cards (something which is, by tradition, mildly frowned on when a Bill has got to this stage of its Parliamentary progress), apparently on the the basis of historical fatalism.
He, together with 3 other Bishops, voted with the Government.
Why is the Church of England now supporting "compulsion by stealth" ?