Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the full City Council. For me, the most interesting and important part was the debate on ID cards, where the following motion was put forward by two LibDem Councillors:
This council reaffirms its resistance to Identity Cards. Despite widespread political and public opposition, the Government appear intent on pursuing the implementation at a reported cost of £4.74billion for British and Irish Nationals and an additional £311million for Foreign Nationals over the next 10 years.
- Abolishing this invasive scheme would save enough money to employ 10,000 more police on our streets.
- The new IT systems implemented at the Post Office, Passport Office, Probation Service, Police Service, Courts Service and Child Support Agency have all run massively over budget, the ID card scheme would be the biggest and most expensive public sector project ever undertaken.
- The implementation of the NHS computer system has cost billions and resulted in the reduction of frontline services as maternity and A&E departments are closed across the country.
- The ID card will undermine the contract between the Police and the Public resulting in an increase in harassment and discrimination
- There is no proof the ID card will help fight crime and terrorism – tests have proved that criminals have the capability of duplicating ID cards with little or no difficulty, rendering the ID card worthless.
- There is no proof it will prevent illegal working, the fact that illegal immigrants will not be able to get ID cards will not change anything as long as there are unscrupulous employers and lax Home Office enforcement.
Given the UK's current financial situation, the financial loss to the individual and implications to civil liberty this council objects to the implementation of ID cards.
I agree with every word of this and wholeheartedly voted for this motion, as did all of the Conservative Group.
As the 'named' vote was called, all of the Labour members suddenly seemed a lot more interested in their BlackBerries. Not one used the voting machines to vote Yes, No or Abstain - they even abstained from abstaining!
I can't see how the government can carry on with this scheme when they don't even have the support of their own elected members - they should scrap it now.