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ID Cards: Yes and No

Tony Blair’s official spokesman has made an announcement about Big Blunkett’s plans to introduce compulsory national Identity Cards for innocent British citizens. The statement is confusing and seems to be an attempt to patch over the splits in Cabinet.

According to the statement, Ministers have agreed in principle that there would be major benefits to such a scheme. However they have also agreed that the practical issues are immense. Of perhaps most interest is this sentence:

We will legislate to enable the scheme to be introduced and plan on the basis that all the practical problems can be overcome but we will reserve the final decision on a move to compulsion until later this decade.

That could be seen as a victory for either side.

So long as this enabling legislation is in place the threat of compulsory National Identity Cards will remain. We must make it clear to the government that proceeding any further down this road will lose them the next election.

Cross-posted from The Chestnut Tree Cafe

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