Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Heard this on the radio this morning, just as I was waking up, and it introduced a new feeling - being really angry while still being asleep. For those who missed it,

Labour's manifesto last year said ID cards would be introduced "initially on a voluntary basis", but the Home Office minister Andy Burnham said today it was always "absolutely clear" the scheme would become mandatory.
Peers have voted for amendments - which the government does not accept - which would allow those applying for new or renewed passports to decide for themselves whether to opt for an ID card until 2011.

Mr Burnham, defending the government's original bill on the Today programme this morning, said that offering applicants a choice would increase the cost of the scheme while reducing security.

Mr Burnham was asked why Labour had not told voters that the cards would be compulsory. He replied: "Actually, we did.

"During the parliamentary process that the bill went through before the general election, we were absolutely clear on this point.

"There was no doubt about the link with the passport. We said all along that the right way to proceed would be at the time when we introduced the biometric passport, when fingerprints were introduced into the passport, that would be the right time to introduce the clean National Identity Register."

You liar.

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