Tory peers cave in and let the Identity Cards Bill become an Act

Tory peers have accepted an amendment to the Identity Cards Bill allowing people renewing passports to opt out of getting an ID card until 2010. However they still have to register on the system, which means this “compromise” is nothing of the sort. So much for the Tory party defending civil liberties.

More details here.

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ID card roadshow in Edinburgh tomorrow

Apparently, the government’s identity cards “roadshow”, a charm offensive the govt is using to try to win over the public on the proposals, will be hitting Edinburgh tomorrow according to the Glasgow No2ID website:

On Sunday 11th September, it was announced that the Home Office would be starting a 7 day “biometric roadshow” to try to sell the concept of ID cards to the British public. The roadshow started today with Andy Burnham MP, minister for ID cards, visiting Manchester Airport on Monday to show off the Home Office’s dreams for biometric technology – BBC story (appeared Sunday afternoon).

The Home Office are trying to keep news of these events secret before they occur. On Monday afternoon they flatly refused to let me know if there were any plans for the roadshow to come to Scotland. The Home Office did not make a press release about the Manchester event public until it had already started.

Despite the Home Office refusing to tell us about future dates and venues, we have learnt that the roadshow will be at the Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh on Wednesday 14th September. Andy Burnham will be there from 11:00 to 12:00.

If you can possibly get to Edinburgh on Wednesday to join in a small protest, hand out a few leaflets and challenge a minister to answer some of the questions that they have been avoiding, then please let me know. Or just turn up, if you prefer.

Sorry about the short notice, but the Home Office are trying to keep this quiet. We need all the help we can get – please get in touch: glasgow@no2id.net

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New No2ID pledge

Following the success of the earlier No2ID pledge, a new pledge has been set up, aimed at those who are opposed to ID cards but feel they cannot incur the fines or possible jail sentences associated with refusing to get one. The new pledge reads:

I will actively support those people who, on behalf of all of us*, refuse to register for an ID card, and I pledge to pay at least £20 into a fighting fund for them but only if 50000 other people will too.

The originator of the pledge is a mother called Franky Ma, and as the website explains this pledge is aimed at those who for whatever reason feel that they can’t join in a campaign of non-compliance directly:

“As the mother of a young child I can’t risk her rights with mine by contesting ID cards directly, but I want to do everything I can to make sure she grows up in a free country.” – Franky

*Many people, including Franky, have told NO2ID that they really want to refuse to register but they feel that their professional or family responsibilities mean they cannot personally contest registration–which could stop them travelling, working, and exercising many other civil rights.

The government’s so-called ‘voluntary’ phase is a lie. Linking your passport to the National Identity Register and ID card WITH NO OPT-OUT is coercion, not choice. It may, in fact, prove to be a violation of human rights conventions.

NO2ID has already found over 10,000 people willing to test this–and the government’s apparent intent to starve out the non-compliant. They will need your support.

The aim is to collect 50,000 signatures for this pledge by 31st March 2006. Given that they got 10,000 signatures for the earlier pledge in a matter of weeks, with a 9th October deadline, I’d suggest they’ve got a good chance of achieving this.

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Over 10,000 pledge to resist human livestock bill

The Register reports that the No2ID pledge set up by Phil Booth, the No2ID National Coordinator has reached its target of 10,000 signatures with several months to go before the October 9th deadline. The pledge states:

“I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 10000 other people will also make this same pledge.”

It was set up back in June, and has thus reached its target in under 2 months.

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The MPs who voted for the ID cards bill.

Noting the project set out in this article at the Samizdata blog, below is a list of the MPs who voted for the Identity Cards Bill on the 2nd reading, which took place on Tuesday 28th June. If they represent you, you might want to tell them what you think of their support for this bill. If so hop over to www.writetothem.com and you can send write a message to be faxed to them.

Michael Taylor’s project above of course focusses on the “behind the scenes” backers, however it seemed to me that making public which MPs voted for the bill would be a good starting point.

The list below is taken from the Parliament website, which records the divisions (votes to you and me) in the House of Commons. The Ayes were:

Nick Ainger
Mr. Bob Ainsworth
Mr. Douglas Alexander
Mr. Allen
Mr. David Anderson
Janet Anderson
Hilary Armstrong
Charlotte Atkins
Mr. Ian Austin
John Austin
Mr. Bailey
Vera Baird
Ed Balls
Gordon Banks
Ms Barlow
Mr. Barron
John Battle
Hugh Bayley
Margaret Beckett
Miss Begg
Sir Stuart Bell
Hilary Benn
Mr. Benton
Roger Berry
Mr. Betts
Liz Blackman
Dr. Blackman-Woods
Mr. Blair
Hazel Blears
Mr. Blizzard
Mr. Blunkett
Mr. Borrow
Mr. Bradshaw
Mr. Gordon Brown
Lyn Brown
Mr. Nicholas Brown
Mr. Russell Brown
Mr. Des Browne
Chris Bryant
Ms Buck
Richard Burden
Colin Burgon
Andy Burnham
Ms Butler
Mr. Byers
Mr. Byrne
Mr. Caborn
David Cairns
Mr. Alan Campbell
Mr. Ronnie Campbell
Mr. Caton
Colin Challen
Mr. Chaytor
Paul Clark
Mr. Charles Clarke
Mr. Tom Clarke
Mr. Clelland
Ann Clwyd
Mr. Coaker
Ann Coffey
Harry Cohen
Michael Connarty
Mr. Robin Cook
Rosie Cooper
Yvette Cooper
Jim Cousins
Mr. Crausby
Mary Creagh
Jon Cruddas
Mrs. Cryer
John Cummings
Mr. Jim Cunningham
Tony Cunningham
Mr. Darling
Mr. David
Mr. Davidson
Mrs. Dean
Mr. Denham
Mr. Dhanda
Mr. Dismore
Jim Dobbin
Mr. Donohoe
Mr. Doran
Jim Dowd
Mr. Drew
Angela Eagle
Maria Eagle
Clive Efford
Mrs. Ellman
Mrs. Engel
Jeff Ennis
Bill Etherington
Paul Farrelly
Mr. Frank Field
Jim Fitzpatrick
Mr. Flello
Caroline Flint
Barbara Follett
Mr. Michael Foster (Worcester)
Michael Jabez Foster (Hastings and Rye)
Dr. Francis
Mike Gapes
Barry Gardiner
Linda Gilroy
Mr. Godsiff
Paul Goggins
Helen Goodman
Nia Griffith
Nigel Griffiths
Mr. Grogan
Andrew Gwynne
Mr. Mike Hall
Patrick Hall
Mr. David Hamilton
Mr. Fabian Hamilton
Mr. Hanson
Ms Harman
Mr. Tom Harris
Mr. Havard
John Healey
Mr. Henderson
Mr. Hendrick
Mr. Hepburn
Mr. Heppell
Lady Hermon
Stephen Hesford
Ms Hewitt
David Heyes
Keith Hill
Meg Hillier
Margaret Hodge
Mrs. Hodgson
Mr. Hood
Mr. Hoon
Phil Hope
Mr. George Howarth
Dr. Howells
Mr. Hoyle
Beverley Hughes
Mrs. Humble
Mr. Hutton
Dr. Iddon
Mr. Illsley
Huw Irranca-Davies
Mrs. James
Mr. Jenkins
Alan Johnson
Ms Diana R. Johnson
Helen Jones
Mr. Kevan Jones
Mr. Martyn Jones
Tessa Jowell
Mr. Joyce
Sir Gerald Kaufman
Ms Keeble
Ms Keeley
Alan Keen
Ann Keen
Ruth Kelly
Mr. Kemp
Jane Kennedy
Mr. Khabra
Mr. Khan
Mr. Kidney
Mr. Kilfoyle
Jim Knight
Dr. Kumar
Dr. Ladyman
Mr. Lammy
Mr. Laxton
Mark Lazarowicz
David Lepper
Tom Levitt
Mr. Ivan Lewis
Martin Linton
Tony Lloyd
Ian Lucas
Mr. MacDougall
Andrew Mackinlay
Mr. MacShane
Fiona Mactaggart
Mr. Mahmood
Mr. Malik
Judy Mallaber
John Mann
Rob Marris
Mr. Marsden
Mr. Marshall
Mr. Martlew
Mr. McAvoy
Steve McCabe
Chris McCafferty
Kerry McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy-Fry
Mr. McCartney
Siobhain McDonagh
Mr. McFadden
Mr. McFall
Mr. McGovern
Mrs. McGuire
Shona McIsaac
Ann McKechin
Rosemary McKenna
Mr. McNulty
Mr. Meale
Gillian Merron
Alun Michael
Mr. Milburn
Mr. David Miliband
Edward Miliband
Andrew Miller
Anne Moffat
Laura Moffatt
Chris Mole
Mrs. Moon
Margaret Moran
Jessica Morden
Julie Morgan
Mr. Morley
Kali Mountford
Mr. Mudie
Mr. Mullin
Meg Munn
Mr. Denis Murphy
Mr. Jim Murphy
Mr. Paul Murphy
Dr. Naysmith
Dan Norris
Mr. Mike O’Brien
Mr. O’Hara
Mr. Olner
Sandra Osborne
Dr. Palmer
Ian Pearson
Mr. Plaskitt
Mr. Pope
Stephen Pound
Bridget Prentice
Mr. Gordon Prentice
Dawn Primarolo
Gwyn Prosser
Mr. Purchase
James Purnell
Bill Rammell
Mr. Raynsford
Mr. Andy Reed
Mr. Jamie Reed
John Reid
John Robertson
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson
Mr. Rooney
Mr. Roy
Chris Ruane
Joan Ruddock
Christine Russell
Joan Ryan
Martin Salter
Mr. Sarwar
Alison Seabeck
Jonathan Shaw
Mr. Sheerman
Jim Sheridan
Mr. Simon
Mr. Singh
Mr. Slaughter
Mr. Andrew Smith
Ms Angela C. Smith (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Angela E. Smith (Basildon)
Jacqui Smith
Anne Snelgrove
Sir Peter Soulsby
Helen Southworth
Mr. Spellar
Dr. Starkey
Ian Stewart
Dr. Stoate
Dr. Strang
Mr. Straw
Graham Stringer
Ms Gisela Stuart
Mr. Sutcliffe
Mark Tami
Ms Dari Taylor
David Taylor
Mr. Thomas
Ms Thornberry
Mr. Timms
Paddy Tipping
Mr. Todd
Mr. Touhig
Jon Trickett
Dr. Desmond Turner
Mr. Neil Turner
Derek Twigg
Kitty Ussher
Keith Vaz
Joan Walley
Lynda Waltho
Claire Ward
Mr. Watson
Mr. Watts
Dr. Whitehead
Malcolm Wicks
Mr. Alan Williams
Mrs. Betty Williams
Mr. Wills
Ms Rosie Winterton
Mr. Woodward
Mr. Woolas
Mr. Anthony Wright
David Wright
Mr. Iain Wright
Dr. Tony Wright
Derek Wyatt

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The Queen’s Speech

Today, the Queen set out the government’s legislative programme for the next parliamentary session. The full speech is available online here. As expected, the human livestock bill Identity Cards Bill has been reintroduced, as has the proposal to make “incitement to religious hatred” a criminal offence.

Both of these have implications for civil liberties. The former will give the government another means by which to interfere in people’s lives and keep tabs on what people are doing whilst the latter is likely to make criticism of religious beliefs a risky affair and thus restrict freedom of speech.

A list of the bills being introduced can be found here. It is likely that the Identity Cards Bill and the incitement to religious hatred bill will not be the only legislation attacking civil liberties if this government’s record is anything to go by.

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Scottish Parliament votes against Labour’s ID cards plans

Today, on the basis of a motion put forward by the Scottish Green Party, Members of the Scottish Parliament voted, by a margin of 52 to 47, with 15 abstentions, against the govt’s planned identity cards:

The Scottish Parliament has voted against UK Government plans to introduce identity cards.

The measures were branded “regressive” and a threat to personal freedom during a debate called by the Scottish Greens at Holyrood.

Labour insisted that the system would actually strengthen civil liberties.

MSPs rejected ID cards by 52 votes to 47 after the Green motion received cross-party support, although the matter is reserved to Westminster.

It should be noted that whilst the Parliament cannot oppose the measures outright, they can prevent the cards being required to use public services in Scotland and thus can minimise its impact.

None of the Scottish parties other than Labour could support this measure, not even the Tories who say they’re in favour in principle.

The Lib Dems abstained, claiming that the motion did not go far enough in opposing ID cards outright, as opposed to the govt’s specific plans. Whilst this was true, it seemed to me that defeat of the motion would have been a blow to the campaign against the cards and that a stronger motion would have seen the Tories oppose, thus making it likely the motion would be defeated.

Nevertheless, this is a welcome development for those opposed to the ID cards and the database associated with them. Thanks should go to the Scottish Green Party who gave up one of its few slots in the Parliament for this debate and the accompanying motion.

Now for the House of Lords…

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