For those, like me, interested in what happens with the British Identity Card debate, here is a piece from the Guardian which gives some more insight into what is going on. If anyone thought this scheme wouldn't turn political, here is a recent press release from Privacy International – which sounds like it means business:
The watchdog civil liberties organisation Privacy International today accused the UK Shadow Cabinet of perpetrating “an offence against democracy of historic proportions” by agreeing to vote with the government on the controversial Identity Cards Bill.
Privacy International’s Director, Simon Davies, warned: “The Tories have taken one their biggest political gambles for many years. If public opinion turns against the ID scheme as dramatically as it did in Australia they will inevitably fall to third place in the forthcoming elections”.
Privacy International has for fifteen years been the key opponent of identity card schemes, and has been instrumental in overturning card proposals in several countries.
The Tories now stand alone in their support of the government’s proposals. The Liberal Democrats, the UK Independence Party, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and others political parties have declared their opposition to the scheme.
“The Tory Cabinet decision will result in a fatal split in the party,” Mr Davies predicted. “The decision will cause a crucial divide between the authoritarians and the libertarians. The liberal minded members with conscience will ultimately oppose the decision.”
Mr Davies, who is also Chairman of the non-partisan NO2ID coalition, and who directed the huge 1987 campaign against the Australian national identity card, predicted that public outrage would fill the political void created by the ill-judged decision of the Opposition.
“If this debate cannot be engaged in the Parliament, it will take place on the streets”, he warned.
Privacy International’s background and analysis of the scheme is here.