27 January, 2006: Ping

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So, an ID cards update and some miscellanea.

On ID cards, there is finally some good news. The House of Lords has amended the Identity Cards Bill to require the Government to prepare an estimate of the costs and benefits of the scheme, and for the Auditor General to write a report on that estimate, and lay both before Parliament before most of its provisions can come in to effect; and to remove the power of the Home Secretary to compel people to register in the National Identity Register, either explicitly or by the subterfuge of making them do so at the same time as applying for a passport or another ``designated document''.

Of course, we shouldn't be too hopeful. The House of Commons can always back out the amendments, and while a voluntary ID card scheme was a Labour manifesto commitment, the Labour Party isn't known for keeping to those, and nor, it seems, are they all that troubled by responsible use of public money. So it's perfectly possible that both amendments will be removed by the time the Bill becomes law. This will, of course, offer the entertaining spectacle of Labour MPs being heavily whipped to vote against one of their own manifesto commitments, but such is politics.

In other news... I've been horribly busy, hence the lack of posts here. See my linklog for interesting(ish) stuff I've been reading on the web lately; you may also be amused by Postcodeine, a trivial geographical toy.

Sorry, no holiday photo this week -- must get some sleep....

Copyright (c) 2006 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.