Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Straddling both Side of the Fence

On January 23 2002 the motion before the House of Commons was “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide for an identity card for British residents; and for connected purposes.” Norman Lamb is listed in Hansard as voting in favour.

Last night Norman Lamb voted against the introduction of ID Cards. I look forward to his explanation for his change of heart. I’m used to LibDems sitting on the fence but to straddle both sides requires a special talent.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical LibDem, what do you expect? But I fear they'll fall the wrong side of the fence here. I usually vote LD but am in favour of ID cards. I'm not sure if it will stop me voting for them, but that plus their tax-raising, soft on crime approach may just...

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, you're talking my langauge. Let me know how I can tip you over the edge. You know you want to...

Liam said...

I have checked and, hilariously, the majority of Conservative MPs voted AGAINST the 2002 motion but the party voted in FAVOUR yesterday!

Explain THAT change of heart, Iain! As usual, you have made an accusation without bothering to check your facts. Lazy, frankly.

Incidentally, I think Norman Lamb's position is easily explained. First, the 2002 motion was not about COMPULSORY ID cards. Secondly, the scheme has now been costed and (at least arguably) isn't worth it - a minimum of £35 per person (and likely to rise as these things do) plus billions in "government" money (i.e. our taxes).

I would be interested to hear why, Iain, you think the billions are better spent on pieces of plastic than on police, hospitals, schools or simply tax cuts. I would also be interested to hear what you would say to persuade a poorer constituent that a minimum of £35 for the pleasure of carrying one of these things (plus extra taxes) represents value for money.

Iain Dale said...

Oh dear oh dear. Clutching at straws aren't we? It's Christmas so I'll be charitable.

Liam said...

Okay - here are a couple of questions for you to answer:

1. Why did the Tories change position from 2002 to 2004?

2. Why is the scheme worth the sums of money being talked about?

Anonymous said...

I really think that the Tories are just as guilty as the Lib Dems on this. On an edition of 'Question Time' in Liverpool a few weeks ago the tory (I can't remember who- aren't they all the same?) jumped on the anti ID bandwagon in the studio and said the tories had serious doubts and he didn't agree they should be brought in. That is a big U-turn in just a few weeks.

David Davies was aginst a year ago and now is in favour, same with Blair, Clarke and others (as shown a recent edition of Newsnight). Tories put a whip on their vote- and told those against the ID card scheme in their party not to vote at all. How democratic.

I say look at your own party before accusing others of doing the same.

Iain Dale said...

Michael Howard has been entirely consistent on ID Cards. I'm not saying there are not differing views in the Tory Party on this subject. Of course there are. It would be a little odd if there hadn't been.

I think it is entirely reasonable of me to point out that our MP has done a U turn on this issue. Isn't that partly what I'm there for?!

Others (ie James) can feel free to make their own points.

With regard to the cost of the the scheme I share James's reservations and I think David Davis made this point either in his speech or in the media.

Iain Dale said...

Michael Howard has been entirely consistent on ID Cards. I'm not saying there are not differing views in the Tory Party on this subject. Of course there are. It would be a little odd if there hadn't been.

I think it is entirely reasonable of me to point out that our MP has done a U turn on this issue. Isn't that partly what I'm there for?!

Others (ie James) can feel free to make their own points.

With regard to the cost of the the scheme I share James's reservations and I think David Davis made this point either in his speech or in the media.

Iain Dale said...

Don't know why that appeared 3 times. Maybe it was just soooo good.

Liam said...

But if an MP has "reservations about the cost" as you put it, Iain, doesn't he ultimately have to decide whether to vote for or against on that basis?

Norman Lamb has apparently looked at the cost and decided it isn't worth the money. That is new information which was not available in 2002.

It is terrible fiscal irresponsibility to say (as the Tories do) that you have doubts about the cost but then vote to incur the cost anyway.