Tuesday, February 14, 2006

ID cards in two years as rebellion fails

Now that the government has got its version of the ID cards bill through the Commons, it remains to be seen how firm the Lords will stand on their amendments. With Blair stuck in South Africa, Gordon Brown had his day in the sun:

Mr Brown had interesting things to say on the ID cards bill, which came through its latest Commons stages last night without further damage. A combination of timely concessions and the fact that there always were relatively few Labour rebels on this issue ensured that the bill had less political shipwreck potential than some eager forecasts. But the government has been all over the place about why ID cards are deemed so necessary - and it still is; the emphasis in Mr Brown's speech on the need to fight identity theft simply adds yet another ingredient to that intellectual confusion. The fact remains that this is a bad bill that will soon be a bad law. It is characteristic of an exaggerated, draconian and headline-chasing response to the genuine challenge of Islamist terror that has marked the Blair government and now seems likely to mark a Brown government too.

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