The Samovar

A new way to scupper ID cards?
February 15, 2007, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Politics

From the BBC

Greenpeace has won its High Court bid to make the government rethink its programme to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.

The basis for this is that the public consultation was not full and fair

“There could be no proper consultation, let alone the fullest consultation, if the substance of these two issues was not consulted on before a decision was made,” said the judge.

“There was therefore procedural unfairness and a breach of Greenpeace’s legitimate expectation that there would be the fullest consultation before a decision was taken.”

Could we do the same for the ID cards consultation? You know, the one where the government ignored 5000 responses against it and reported that a majority were in favour.



In the UK, we’re not quite so au fait with the common US tactic of holding the government to its word. (or to the law or to the constitution). New Labour has been particularly adept at looking good by doing the easy thing. We’ll ‘consult’. We’ll introduce paternity leave (but not pay for it, mind). We’ll enact The Human Rights Act (and seek ‘derogations’ the moment it becomes the slightest bit inconvenient).

On another site (where contribution is becoming increasingly pointless), I’ve been having a good old argy-bargy about the HRA in particular. The arguments against it (as far as I can decipher) seem to be: a) It’s political correctness gone mad; b) people should think more about their duties; c) it’s a pernicious attempt from Brussels to stop smokers from carrying properly curved English bananas up ladders. Or something d) It might sound good, but it’s toothless.

Only this last one has any merit. What I’d argue is that it’s a fine piece of legislation that nobody in their right mind could argue with (if they bothered to actually read it). So let’s go out and use it!

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

The cat’s out of the bag now. Everyone who signed the petition got an e-mail from Blair (Hmm. I thought he claimed not to use e-mail? Maybe he only uses the ‘other’, secret system – the one he uses to chat to Lord Levy) stating the advantages of ID cards. Seemingly one of these will be to allow the police to compare scene-of-crime fingerprints against a massive database. Which is precisely what they said they wouldn’t be used for.

Incidentally – isn’t the re-use of e-mails collected through petitions etc. illegal under te Data Protection Act?

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

Yes I got that email yesterday. I skimmed over it quickly but hadn’t had a chance to read it thoroughly yet. (I have to psych myself up to reading such bullshit.) Apparently this was discussed on R4 this morning.

Comment by Dan Goodman

That’s where I heard it. A fairly bland item – not necessarily worth seeking out on Listen Again. There was some attempt at justifying it as “Maybe that’s not exactly what Tony meant.”

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

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