During today's vote on the controversial Identity Cards Bill 2005, the Opposition in the House of Lords offered a dubious compromise to the Government over the question of "compulsion by stealth" via Designated Documents such as the Passsport.
Their Lordships divided: Contents, 211; Not-Contents, 175
The idea seems to have been to delay the "compulsion by stealth" proposal until 2012, i.e. after the next General Election, so that it could be an election issue.
All well and good, but the amendment did concede "compulsion" after 1st January 2012, which is totally unacceptable to us, and would have been a betrayal of principle, if the Government had accepted the Motion, and the Bill had gained Royal Assent by tomorrow evening.
However, it seems that the Government does not want to be seen to compromise at all, so there will be another vote in the Commons tomorrow to reject this latest round of ping pong.
If the cost / benefits and privacy protections and security of the Identity Cards scheme were so obviously overwhelming, then the Government should have no fear of a truely voluntary scheme, as people would be clamouring to sign up to it. This is obviously not the case and therefore the Government is having to force its wretched plan onto us, by hook or by crook.
According to Hansard (full edition to be published tomorrow):
Lord Phillips of Sudbury rose to move, as an amendment to Motion A, leave out from “disagreement” to end and insert “and do disagree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 22E and 22F in lieu, but do propose Amendments Nos. 22G and 22H in lieu—
22G Page 4, line 44, after “individual” insert “and is made on or before 31st December 2011, that application may, if the individual so chooses, include an application by that individual to be entered in the Register.
(2A) Where an application to be issued with a designated document is made by an individual and is made after 31st December 2011,”
22H Page 7, line 42, leave out from “card” to end of line 2 on page 8 and insert “may, if the individual so chooses, in the prescribed manner, include an application to be issued with such a card in any application made by him to be issued with a designated document, where that application is made on or before 31st December 2011.
(7A) An individual who is not already the holder of an ID card must, in the prescribed manner, include an application to be issued with such a card in any application made by him to be issued with a designated document, where that application is made after 31st December 2011.””
On Question, Whether the said Motion (A1) shall be agreed to?
Their Lordships divided: Contents, 211; Not-Contents, 175.