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Friday, May 16, 2008

U-turns in Westminster

The Guardian indicates how the mood has changed in Westminster following the humbling of Gordon Brown over the doubling of the 10p tax rate.

They tell us that the Prime Minister has sanctioned a last-ditch move to secure a deal over the proposed increase in the period of detention without charge to 42 days after deciding he would rather compromise with Labour's rebels than risk a further loss of authority by being defeated on the issue.

Meanwhile, there is further controversy over the Government's ID cards programme. An official report has warned that the government's plans for ID cards may put poorer people at greater risk of fraud, and that ministers are failing to coordinate implementation of the 10-year programme. The Independent Scheme Assurance Panel has told Ministers that people with a "rich biographical record" will have better protection when the cards are introduced by the target date of 2017. They say:

"The integrity of the scheme and trust in it are essential, yet it will never be free of errors (for example, the biometric matching services will always return some matching errors). Public trust in the scheme will be dependent on the protections within the scheme from misuse of personal data, and the diligence with which mistakes are corrected."

Poorer people could be at particular risk of having their identity stolen because their cards could be their only form of ID, unlike holders of credit cards. "Identity verification is a process and should not be dependent upon any one piece of data (biographic or biometric) alone. It is already difficult successfully to pretend to be someone who has a 'rich' biographical record - provided the verifying organisation does adequate checks. Care must be taken that confidentiality and integrity are supported by proper processes and policies are not over-dependent on technology."

Gordon Brown is discovering that it doesn't just rain when things are going wrong, it pours down.


Hello, Peter - you know that you were talked about on the BBC's Question Time last night, do you? A member of the audience got, quite rightly, passionate about you and your concern for our lovely youths. It was that or your growing fan club was just trying to get you some free national publicity for that October leadership bid.


Our David Dimbleby had to intervene and, quite rightly pointed out, that the Welsh Assembly had no place in a serious United Kingdom chit chat (being broadcast from Cardiff) about those grown up and serious issues. :-)

Is it true that your plans were voted down?

I couldn't make sense of all the furore - caused by you.
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