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A small glimmer of Conservative principle?

Hard to believe! That Tory leader Michael Howard, the second most repressive Home Secretary in living memory, should support mandatory ID cards is hardly a revelation, but that up to 40 Tory MP’s, including some on the front bench, might vote against or abstain regardless of the demands of the whips, well that is quite a pleasant surprise.

Mr Howard has come down in favour of the Government scheme because he was preparing to introduce an ID card Bill himself when he was Home Secretary in 1997 and fears charges of hypocrisy if he does not support it now. Some MPs complained that he has been heavy handed in whipping the issue. One said: “I think it is disgraceful. I don’t know where our leadership is heading.”

I know exactly where it is heading…


14 comments to A small glimmer of Conservative principle?

  • Ian Grey

    A toilet might make a better point than a drain!

  • John Harrison

    For all the talk about not making rash spending promises or “irresponsible” pledges to cut tax, Michael Howard has bounced the Shadow Cabinet into a massive irresponsible spending commitment in backing the Government’s ID card scheme. This must have come as quite a surprise to many MPs and candidates in the 2005 election. With the tendency of the current Conservative leader to make up policy on the fly, it is getting increasingly difficult to remember what this week’s policy on anything is. If the billions needed for funding ID cards is really sitting there in departmental budgets waiting to be spent I would rather see the Conservative Party pledge to give it back in tax cuts.

  • Pham Nuwen

    Oh, I think I know where it is going, but it isn’t down the drain so much as here!

  • I somehow think Howards right on this one – the public is not that concerned about the libertarian issue and are more concerned about terrorists and immigration.

    Not drain but brain.

  • sark

    The public is brainless then, Giles. The idea ID cards will do a damn thing about terrorism is hilarious… do you have any idea how many countries with ID cards ALSO have endemic terrorism? Schmuck.

  • Rob

    Once the public have to start buying and carrying their ID cards, I suspect the mood will turn against them. It’ll probably take so long to implement that it might even be a Conservative government that has to manage their introduction too, like an even bigger version of the Dome!

  • ernest young

    Looks like we are going to have a Labour government for a long while yet! – not that it would make much difference if it was not so…

  • Julian Taylor

    Howard, writing his opinion [Link] in today’s Telegraph, claims that , “I have listened to the police and security service chiefs. They have told me that ID cards can and will help their efforts to protect the lives of British citizens against terrorist acts. How can I disregard that?”.

    Well they would, wouldn’t they? Nobody yet seems to be abl, or willing, to inform British citizens exactly how these measures will protect their lives against terrorism.

  • John K

    Michael Howard is an authoritarian. He is also not much of a success as Tory leader. They are no better in the polls now than they were when IDS was in charge.

    So what if the chief securicrats favour an ID card? They probably also want a national DNA database too, and black box recorders in all motor vehicles. That’s their mindset, it does not make it right.

    Does Howard not have any concept of a cost/benefit analysis? This never seems to be done in the public sector, because the cost is passed on to the drones who pay taxes. If we really need more “security” then there have to be dozens of ways in which £5 billion could bring better results, and in the near future, not 2012. The fact that the slave card cannot be in use in less than 8 years proves it is nothing to do with the current terrorist situation. It is a huge power grab by the state. More fool us if we fall for it.

    Only the innocent have anything to fear!

  • drscroogemcduck

    It’s probably cheaper to buy everyone a handgun. heh

  • Rob

    Even some Labour MPs are voting against this, as are the Lib Dems. The Tories are passing up a perfectly good chance to put the government under real pressure. Some “opposition” that is!

  • Julian Taylor

    Only 18 Labour MP’s voted against the Government but at least they voted. The two-line whip served on the LaboraTory Party essentially told those in opposition to the bill to, “go shopping or go to a restaurant or something, just don’t vote against the Government.”

    A very sad day indeed.

  • I oppose ID cards because, while I have nothing to hide, I also have nothing to prove.

    Stupid Tories.

  • Fair dinkum, I cannot believe the Tory Party has asuch a complete arse for a leader. If they ever try that garbage down here, there’ll be blood in the streets.