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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Is a u-turn imminent on ID cards?

This morning's Times suggests that the new Home Secretary, Alan Johnson is about to perform a spectacular u-turn on the government's flagship ID cards policy. They report that he has launched an urgent review of the £6 billion scheme:

The home secretary told officials that he wanted a “first principles” rethink of the plan, which was launched by Tony Blair following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and has since been championed by Brown as a way of fighting terrorism.

“Alan is more sympathetic to the civil liberties arguments than previous home secretaries,” said an insider.

“He is genuinely open minded. He wants to see all the evidence and then he will make his decision before the end of the summer.”

Whether he goes ahead and actually abandons this scheme has yet to be seen but if he does so he could knock £2 billion or more off the Government's spending plans as well as make many Labour backbenchers and civil liberty campaigners very happy.

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I also think the pressure from the Tory Leadership on Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell is helping to concentrate minds. How can the Cab Sec advise Cabinet to commit huge amounts of public expenditure to a project so close to an election when the Opposition are stating that they would scrap it?
 
I so hope that's true.Apart from the cost ,we are so watched,identified data capture and spied on than any where I know.
May be unpicking some of this surveillance would cheer us all up a tad.
 
Although, I personally am so far to the left that even the democrats appear to me to be "right-wing," I consider myself to be a strict constitutionalist. It is my opinion that since its inception there has been an organized and systematic assault by the conservatives in the United States on the civil liberties written into the US Constitution. The “War on Drugs”; “War on Terror”; “War on Communism” and a host of other wars waged by the right wing are really nothing more than a War on People--an excuse to erode civil rights to the point of non-existence. I invite you to my website devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on freedom: http://pltcldscsn.blogspot.com/
 
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