w00t! Europe does the right thing

Just once in while, a bunch of politicians get together and get something right, like today when the European Parliament decided to throw out the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive. Translating that into English, it would have meant that software ‘inventions’ could be patented, killing off innovation and allowing […]

Buzzwording the Unthinkable

One of the great political truisms of the modern age is that whenever a Government department, usually with some sort of think-tank in tow, announces that its being allowed to ‘think the unthinkable’ whatever follows that statement is going to be: a. Deeply unpopular, and b. So full […]

Harry Potter and the Database Key

More second reading stuff… Tony McNulty (Minister of State, Home Office) My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews) was wrong in his supposition that there will be an open book for adding data to the database. Clauses 1, 3 and 43 and schedule 1 […]

Harry Potter and the Biometric Fingerprints

In part two of the ID Cards debate bullshit guide I’ve decided to look at the ‘but we need to do it anyway’ arguments being put forward in relation to the inclusion of biometric information in passports. We’ll start with a couple of extracts from the debate itself… […]

Harry Potter and the Fork-Tongued Home Secretary

I’ve set up a new subsection called ‘ID Cards second reading’ specifically to make a series of posts, using extracts from the second reading debate to look at the questions asked by members and the Government’s response to them. Think of this as a handy-dandy, easy to use, […]

The ID Cards Debate sketch

Citizen: Ah. I’d like to have a debate about Identity Cards, please. Receptionist: Certainly sir. Have you been here before? Citizen: No, I haven’t, this is my first time. Receptionist: I see. Well, do you have any proof of identity. An identity card, perhaps? Citizen: Well, actually no. […]

If the cap fits.

The Identity Cards Bill passed its second reading with a majority of 31 and, unsurprising, the Government have moved a programme motion – otherwise called a ‘guillotine’ – restricting debate at the committee stage of the Bill to 19th July and leaving no time for either the Public […]

ID Cards: “function creep” already exists

On November 15th 2004, The Children’s Bill 2004 received the Royal Assent and became the Children’s Act 2004, having passed its third reading in the House of Lords by a mere 12 votes. Reading what the DfES has to say about this Act it would seem benign enough […]

I see no opposition

Forget the complaints from Opposition MP’s about the scheduling of the second reading of the ID cards Bill to coincide with today’s Internation Fleet Review marking that the start of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The Government could not have chosen a more […]

Can’t see the wood for the refugees

In the annals of official stupidity, a report is today’s Times that the Home Office has, over the last month, been deporting asylum seekers to Zimbabwe of all places, and is due to deport many more over the next few weeks, deserves a page all of its own. […]