Monday, February 05, 2007

Davis: We Will Axe ID Cards Scheme

The LibDems seem to take great delight in asserting that they are the only Party which is totally opposed to ID cards. Well they won't be able to trot out that old canard again. Today David Davis, has today written to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell giving formal notice that an incoming Conservative Government would scrap the Government's ID card project and asking what provision, if any, has been made in the relevant contractual arrangements to protect the Government - and public funds - against the costs that would be incurred as a result of early cancellation of the scheme. A similar letter has also been sent to the likely major contractors warning them of our intentions. This is the text of the letter to Sir Gus...
I am writing to you in relation to the Government's planned roll out
of its national identity card scheme, commencing this year. You will be aware
that there is a longstanding convention that one Parliament may not bind a
subsequent Parliament.As you will also be aware, the Conservative Party has
stated publicly that it is our intention to cancel the ID cards project
immediately on our being elected to government. You are now formally on notice
of our position and fully appraised of the contingent risks and associated
liabilities arising from the national identity card scheme.

In light of these risks, I urge you to consider very carefully the
government's position, in advance of the roll-out of the scheme later this year.
As a matter of financial prudence, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that
public money is not wasted, and contractual obligations are not incurred,
investing in a scheme with such a high risk of not being implemented.
In particular, I would be interested to know what provision, if any has, been made
in the relevant contractual arrangements to protect the Government - and public
funds - against the costs that would be incurred as a result of early
cancellation of the scheme.

The Conservatives will be a launching a web and print based campaign against Labour's ID Cards proposals tomorrow.

As Stephen Pollard so eloquently puts it...
So at one and the same time, he has reiterated the Conservative Party's
stance in favour of individual liberty versus the state; he has undermined the
chances of ID cards being successfully introduced under Labour by indicating
that he might, as Home Secretary, overturn contracts with commercial
organisations, thus introducing a crucial new element of risk; he has helped the
Conservative Party in its key task of drawing in potential LibDem voters; and he
has given the Conservative troops a morale boost by sticking to core
principles.

80 comments:

Dan said...

Brilliant - Well done Davis. It is about time the conservatives started to make a lot of noise and energy on this orwellian and restrictive measure which a paranoid and half crazy government want to bring in. I want much more campigning on this issue

cassander said...

Well done, DD!

This must be a very effective way of torpedoing idiotic NuLab initiatives, since - whatever the voters think of them - the business risk of working on ID cards has now sky-rocketed. Are there any other sillinesses which might be eradicated in this way, hmm...? Road charging, perhaps....?

Anonymous said...

Methinks the hustings are a startin, how about 3000 new laws to be repealed , how etc

mark Williams said...

Good. Very good. Very good indeed.

Jason said...

Another example of David Davis showing leadership where David Cameron is not?

Anonymous said...

Jason - don't be silly, Davis wouldn't have done this without Cameron's permission.

Anonymous said...

as you know guido has a similer theme , and they seem to agree ,but not in the nice way they do here :-)

Roger Thornhill said...

Seems like a second, this time metaphorical, bomb has just exploded at Capita, lobbed by one "Call me Mr Davis" David Davis.

If we wish to take the "obligations" a stage further, how about all these disasterous PFI contracts we are now in?

Robin Hoodie said...

At last, I hope we can rely upon this being a firm promise from the Conservatives and while we are at it, could the shadow Transport Sec inform the Cabinet Secretary that the Roads Poll Tax will be scrapped also?

All that needs to done is increase fuel duty.

bt said...

ID cards are only the tip of the iceberg - it's the relational database that is the truly monstrous intrusion into personal privacy - and I notice it doesn't get mentioned.

Beachhutman said...

ABOUT BLOODY TIME TOO

Anonymous said...

This is truly fantastic news and a great policy initiative coup for David Davis, who should be made the new Home Secretary instead of John Reid IMMEDIATELY.

I would actually think very seriously of voting for the Tories if they were going to swing behind cancelling this waste of money, which will achieve very little and infringe our civil liberties.

In a way it is perhaps fortuitous that DD is not the leader, as I think he is better in a sort of 'Chief Executive' role. The only fly in the ointment is what I was reading in the Times today about various 'think tanks' whispering in the ears of Tory ministers.

One of these is run by that evil witch of a harridan, Ruth Lea. She used to be on the telly as a rentaquote, and has worked for the Institute of Directors. She seems to live to work, and having a life, having children and having fun are alien concepts to her. And another one was called Politeia [?]. But I don't think it has anything to do with being polite.

Trashy right-wingers like this are not what David Cameron needs if he is going to win back the centre ground. What is the point of having gone through the pain of shedding what Theresa May insightfully called 'the nasty party' image, if these riff-raff are hanging round.

Anonymous said...

Unravelling PFI will be more tricky, as the contracts have guaranteed income streams written in - indeed these are often sold off on a kind of 'secondary market'. And the 'Eye' was saying that the NHS contracts [only pay when we deliver] are actually being circumvented by the NHS paying cash 'up front' in return for a bond from the company promising to pay it back if they don't deliver. Sounds dodgy to me as once they've got the dosh, they might be very reluctant to give you a refund.

But we need more inventive, clever, widely appealing policies like this one from DD. It is a great start.

Perhaps you should 'invest' some of your considerable 'advertising revenue income stream' to buy DD a pint the next time you see him ?!

Anonymous said...

Great move, but I bet you a lunch that the Government will not let on what the 'exit penalty clauses' are on pain of death, quoting the old 'commercial confidentiality' canard.

It might be worth a pre-emptive Freedom Of Information Act request, as the truth is likely to be hugely embarrassing for those charlatans..

Anonymous said...

A quiet day for rolling out good news

tom_r said...

At last, a policy statement with a bit of weight behind it. Is this the sign of things to come, I wonder?...

Sabretache said...

Great news - and a pretty shrewd move to in the 'wrong-foot the Lib-Dems' stakes

Sam Tarran said...

At last, some real organised opposition on the part of the Party to ID Cards! Glad to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what i've been waiting for. I'll stomach the Tories for 5 years just for that.

bt said...

You're missing the point, I'm afraid, it's all mostly cosmetic.

I repeat - ID cards mean bugger all if you can still be tracked by a combination of cell phone, car number plate, travel card, credit/bankers card, facial recognition software on security cameras, etc. all linked and backed up by a DNA database that will in a few years include the majority of the population.

With that little lot you'll be identifiable on security cameras as you go about your daily business - ID cards will be redundant, but IMO it'll still be very adjacent to a police state.

Another little warning in the press over the weekend - plod plan to trawl through the DNA database to identify individuals via their close relatives.

Feel happy about that?

Johnny Norfolk said...

At last a clear commitment on something. We now need to do the same in all areas working up to the full manefesto. I see nothing wrong in saying what we will scrap even if we have to wait on details of a replacement if there is to be one.

Now lets do the same for road charging,Eu, tax etc.

Daily Referendum said...

Hooray - we have a policy!

verity said...

Strong, unequivocal and put forth with clarity. David Davis is the business!

Pete Lee said...

So you and the Tories are admitting it was a good LD policy then?

Anonymous said...

crumbs just crumbs to get you excited and forget the rest

Norfolk Blogger said...

The reason "we" Lib Dems have been able to that we were the only party to oppose IC cards for so long is that it took the Tories ages to formally make their minds up, or as it appears in this case, DD making his mind up and forcing Cameron in to making a decision.

Imagine what might have happened had DD been elected leader, Heaven knows, the Tories might actually stand for something.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to waste time with 'think-tanks' - just get David Davis working on the writing the manifesto!

Anonymous said...

Norfolk Blogger said...


I think your great ! ,our dave the clone tone
DD way to go

Chuck Unsworth said...

Good enough DD.

Now what are you doing about rescinding the lunatic 'modifications' to the FOI? The more information in the public domain, the better.

If we're really serious about freedom let's get on with it. There's a whole raft of punitive and restrictive legislation which a new Conservative government should immediately withdraw from the statute book.

Then we should turn our attention to immediate decentralisation of other things, like Education, Health etc etc. And maybe we could throw out so much of this other gobbledegook like 'targets', 'control orders', 'ASBOs' - the list is virtually endless.

There is so much to be undone...

Anonymous said...

"The LibDems . . . . are the only Party which is totally opposed to ID cards"

Well the only party CONSISTENTLY opposed to them, maybe? I'd imagine they can trot out some pretty juicy quotes from senior Tories in favour of this most Tory of measures (hence sponsored by Tony B and Reid/Blunkett etc), just like they can on iraq.

Anonymous said...

"The LibDems . . . . are the only Party which is totally opposed to ID cards"

Well the only party CONSISTENTLY opposed to them, maybe? I'd imagine they can trot out some pretty juicy quotes from senior Tories in favour of this most Tory of measures (hence sponsored by Tony B and Reid/Blunkett etc), just like they can on iraq.

Benedict White said...

Good I am pleased to hear it and look forward to the campaign.

ID cards are a very expensive way of not achieving anything useful whilst ensuring that the government has too much power.

I notice you have discovered the label thing!

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

"The Conservatives will be a launching a web and print based campaign against Labour's ID Cards proposals tomorrow."

Hopefully there will be specific mention of a promise to repeal the Identity Cards Act 2006 and to scrap the actual centralised National Identity Register database, rather than just weasel word promises about the "ID Cards" themselves.

Of course all the companies who will be bidding for the multi-billion pound contracts, will now be able to demand much more money up front, at the start of the project, because of the "commercial risk".

They will probably then be able to cut corners, and increase profits, by not actually having to build a fully secure, national scale infrastructure, because it is likely to be scrapped before it is fully delivered.

Yak40 said...

Now get rid of all those damn cameras everywhere and get cops back on the streets.

Anonymous said...

"that it is our intention to cancel the ID cards project" - notice the "intention" bit of that - typical weaseling politician, doesn't mean they actually will when they get into office.

Still, makes a nice change from gay-bashing to win votes eh Iain? Your boy doesn't stand a chance against Ken by the way - he might as well pack his bags now and go home. I am digging for smears on him - they will be posted on multiple blogs. I am also in contact with Peter Tatchell about your blatant playing of the homophobia card, spoke to him on the phone tonight. Don't be surprised to find yourself Thatchelled in the not-too-distant future. I will be on hand to video it!

Daily Referendum said...

Anonymous @8:46pm

Medication time.

i spy strangers said...

Great news - politics just got real again!

The way Davis has done this has two advantages: firstly, it makes it a very difficult pledge to duck out of (in effect, committing DC). Secondly, it sows terrific uncertainty into the whole wretched scheme, thus slowing any progress still further.

Good on you DD.

Chuck Ubnsworth said...

Anonymous 8:46 pm.

Moron!

Anonymous said...

Smearing Homophobe Iain, why won't you respond to the demands many people are making that you apologise for the racist and homophobic attack videos you are making?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant bit of strategy IMO. With or without DC's connivance, DD comes over as the man of the party with his finger on the pulse and DC as the effete boy with some very silly notions of what the country wants in a loyal opposition. Can't see a Conservative victory with DC at the helm any chance he can be ditched? Pretty please.

Anonymous said...

I just got here from another blog - I heard that Iain Dale is making neocon style attack videos alleging that Labour politicians are peadophiles and use drugs, is this true? Are they online already? I want to report them on central left-response blogging sites but am not sure where to look. Thanks for any help.

Anoneumouse said...

Davis is of course correct, one Government cannot bind another.

However, any contract entered into with 3rd parties, is on behalf of the CROWN and not government.

Its this sort of fucked up thinking that got us into the EU.

For god sake when will the conservative party ever learn.

Anonymous said...

It's not quite accurate. Dale is making attack videos that portray Ken Livingstone as a gay rights activist and that he meets with Islamic terrorists. The aims being obviously to try to win the BNP and UKIP votes back and smear Labour. All funded from the US apparently - amazing what a few oil dollars will get you these days. Apparently its all because Dale hates paying the congestion charge and feels that as a Tory he should be personally exempt from paying such taxes.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous at 9.57. Sigh. 18 Doughty Street is funded by one person, Stephan Shakespeare. We receive no funding from anyone else either from this country or outside.

Keep your nasty little smears to yourself.

And your point about Ken Livingstone is also totally flawed. Read the stuff on the 18DS website rather than rely on innuendo from left wing agitators.

Or just go and read other blogs. I assure you, you won;t be missed.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 9.19. if I were making such videos I would happily apologise for it. I am not and nor are 18DS. As well you know.

Gammarama said...

The Conservatives will be a launching a web and print based campaign against Labour's ID Cards proposals tomorrow.

Not very green Dave!

Curly said...

The David Davis news is very welcome indeed (just to get back on topic) I abhorred the the nonsensical basis of the scheme announced by the govt. It's good to see H.M. Opposition bearing their teeth too, about bloody time!

Anonymous said...

our intention to cancel the ID cards project ,that's what bothers me.

Anonymous said...

I am not especially comfortable with the idea of making videos attacking Ken Livingstone either. On the 18DS site, there was an American there blathering on about his ideas for smearing Ken Livingstone based on the 'company he keeps'. This is the sort of McCarthyite rubbish which has plagued America for years, and it is not the British 'fair play' way.

Nulabour have done far too much of it, we need a change, and apart from anything else, it will back fire on you. Many of the attacks on Ken Livingstone rebounded when his approach became official Labour party policy.

He was castigated for getting Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness over to London. I'm not a big fan of them, but the fact is 'jaw-jaw' is better than the alternative.

On the point of the Congestion Charge - you can slate him for increasing it. But the point is, if it was set at £ 1 it wouldn't deter anyone. It is set at the level to manage the traffic down. If you think £ 8 is a lot of money, well it is salutary to note that it is supply and demand which sees to it that there are plenty of people who are wealthy enough to pay it.

mouthpiece said...

Great news indeed, but... anyone detect Iain's being used to trot out breaking Tory policy here?

Teri said...

Great news. At long last. Just a shame the anymongs are out again.

I really do wish that DD had gotten the leadership job.

so-what said...

mouthpiece said...

So we heard it here first ,great

so-what said...

mouthpiece said...

So we heard it here first ,great

Realpolitik said...

Nothing new about this...David Cameron said it on 18th January here.

Anonymous said...

Dale 10:02 - I don't believe you about the one-source of funding. You seem to have unlimited time on your hands for example to manage this blog, deleting posts you don't agree with, writing lengthy liberatarian tracts, etc, as well as your many other duties. I detect a paid staff and a US HQ. It's not rocket science. The only question is - who are the backers. Smells of Fox and Murdoch or DMGT and Dacre to me.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.25 - you are right, and that's why congestion charge is spreading internationally to all major cities. It isn't some lefty idea of spartist Ken, no matter what smears are directed against it here. It is actually the best and most effective transport plan anyone has done in years - the only thing that might work even better would be nationwide road pricing. Which would have to be set at a level that hurts to have any effect.

Anonymous said...

What a frightful letter from D Davis! "...appraise..." and the use of commas. Blimey guv, does he hope to get into power? I was at a grammar school.

Ed 2 said...

Well done DD. This is just what's needed.

But it should be just the beginning. What about limiting the police's DNA retention project? Scrapping the satellite and roadside vehicle tracking? The child database? The compulsory centralisation of health records? This is a great start, but there is much more to be done before I reconsider my decision to emigrate within five years.

Anonymous said...

If only Labourt had done this when the railways were privatised. In fact, I think Clare Short wanted to, but in the end, they ended up with the worst of both worlds - privatised railways which were sold off for less than they should have been because of the political risk which Labour injected into the sale.

Isn't there a danger that DD is doing the same thing? He's ensuring that Labour will end up signing contracts giving golden-plated guarantees etc to contractors, which a new Tory govt won't be able to pay off.

I am implacably anti-ID cards, by the way, and I like DD's move. As a habitual Labour/Lib voter, I applaud it!

man of steel said...

As posted on 18 Doughty Street / Guido tonight:

Do you think that David Davis's comments on Identity Card reflect our natural suspicion, best summarised as:

"Quis custodes custodiet?"

Kind regards


Man of Steel

Buster George said...

Anon 9:57 said

Dale is making attack videos that portray Ken Livingstone as a gay rights activist and that he meets with Islamic terrorists.

Red Ken is openly backing the building of the Mega Mosque in London, The main backers of this project are the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat.

So even if Iain was making such videos they would in fact be correct.

Anonymous said...

11:29 PM

Nice one

judith said...

Let's hope no-one finds out that Iain Dale was also responsible for JFK's assassination, the Protocols of Zion and the death of the Princess of Wales.

Jimbo Jones said...

great move by Davis. As a libertarian I abhor the ID cards and the databases behind them, this a good conservative issue of saving taxpayers money and keeping the state small. Keep up the good work Iain and dont let these nutty astroturfers get you down! just shows you've got em worried

Tone said...

EXCELLENT!!

Now, make a commitment to reverse *ALL* the legislation that has eroded our civil liberties, enshrine them in laws that *no future* parliament can break, and the hundreds of thousands who have died for our freedoms will sleep much happier.

Really. Well. Done.

tone said...

anon@10:52 - has your tinfoil hat come off? Just asking.

verity said...

tone -I endorse your stance. Despite that I have a fascist overlay of Spanish on my computer via Google. I DO NOT WANT SPANISH ON MY COMPUTER! Leave me alone! I am on an English site!

But Davis, yes. Before this all gets manhandled into Spanish without my consent.

PJ said...

I hope this pledge fares better than Cameron's promise to pull the Tories out of the European People's Party. A small, unintrusive, effective state should be what the Conservative Party is about - ID cards go against all three of those premises. This is probably the one thing that a Tory/Lib Dem coalition government could agree on.

Rob Spear said...

Nice start. What else can you guys offer?

Oh, and can someone shoot Anonymous please?

Anonymous said...

Judith 12:04 - no, no, no. The FBI killed Kennedy, working in concert with the Mafia. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were originally created by British and French intelligence. The Princess of Wales just had the misfortune of knowing the Fayeds personally.

Ed said...

laws that *no future* parliament can break

I think you'll find that this is barred by the Magna Carta...

PJ said...

Here's something else that they should do: oppose EU genocide denial laws. Free speech is much more important than jailing a Nazi or two.

i spy strangers said...

Don't rise to them, Iain (10.02 & 10.09 last night). These anonymongs no doubt consider themselves master baiters - and so do I!

vervet said...

At last ... the Cameron Conservatives have made a clear policy pronouncement on one of the big issues of the day.

Let's hope this is just the beginning - there are dozens of other NuLiebour 'initiatives' and active legislation that need to be stamped on ASAP.

dynamite said...

Gosh, what faith you all have in the Tories to keep their word. Touching, but rather naive. Perhaps you'll feel the need to perform another U-Turn on this vital issue when the time comes?

Tristan said...

Better late than never...

I hope it is followed up by good civil liberties policies and not just more Cameron fluff though...

And wow, 18DS has really ruffled some feathers. Well done ;)

Cllr Keith Standring said...

How refreshing it is to have one of our senior politicians firmly committing the Conservative Party to scrap the ID Cards. It is by no means the only thing that needs scrapping, but it's a start.

I wrote an article on Conservative Home's 'Your Platform' saying 'No to ID Cards'. It received considerable support.

It is encouraging to have a firm stand being taken on the issue. Let's hope more will follow.

Serf said...

Pete Lee said...

So you and the Tories are admitting it was a good LD policy then?


I can't speak for the party, but this Tory is willing to admit that.

If only the Lib Dems believed in economic freedom between consenting adults, you might live up to your Liberal tag.

billy said...

For a change I haven't read all the posts on this but I believe that we should have ID cards. Just what would a honest citizen lose?

Dan said...

'Billy Said:For a change I haven't read all the posts on this but I believe that we should have ID cards. Just what would a honest citizen lose? '

Well they would lose their freedom for start, infringed once again by a ever looming state. They would have to produce it to nigh on everything the govt could think of, they would have to pay for it to be changed every time they moved address. Think of those in temporary housing? Students etc.

If you don't object to ID cards then why don't we all have a mini camera strapped to our forehead that the state can view what they want when they want. As you say...what would a honest citizen lose?