Monday, December 13, 2004

Take Part in my New Monthly Poll

Every month I'm going to test the North Norfolk temperature by inviting you to take part in an online poll. I'm not going to pretend it's scientific, but it might yield some interesting results. The technology is relatively sophisticated so don't even try to vote more than once! To get going CLICK HERE.


Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

I will not take part, partly because I am not in North Norfolk and partly because the results of a poll on a Tory website (or Lib Dem or Labour website for that matter) are bound to be worthless.

However, I took a look at the questions and am interested in the one on ID cards.

I know your friend and fellow Tory candidate, Ed Vaizey, wrote a damning piece in a newspaper (I forget which) against ID cards the other day. He says that the cost alone (billions of pounds start-up plus large annual costs) is reason enough to have very severe doubts. Coupled with very weak arguments as to efficacy and civil liberties concerns, Mr Vaizey takes the view that ID cards are a terrible idea.

However, Michael Howard has today come out in favour of the scheme.

I agree with Ed Vaizey and think Michael Howard's u-turn is a pretty cynical move to avoid appearing to be outflanked on law and order. Sadly, it is a move that will cost taxpayers billions. Which side of the fence are you on, Iain - Vaizey or Howard?

Iain Dale said...

I am very happy to support the Shadow Cabinet decision. I remain deeply sceptical about the way the Government are intending to implement ID Cards and I remain uncomfortable about some of the information which might be held. But these are details, albeit important ones. The truth of the matter is that all three parties will be split on this. Have you any idea how Norman Lamb will vote on it - I know you know his mind intimately? I know the LibDems have come out against but I suspect Mr L may be rather more open to ID cards than some of his colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Can I throw my weight behind Ed Vaisey. I heard the point the other day that, if you are not in the UK for over 3 months, you do not need to have one. Therefore, a foreign terrorist (if he gets in) has 3 months untracked to plan and carry out an attack. It's mad!

Also, I would prefer how ever many billion to spend on extra police, better detection equipment at airports and a system for detection deadly chemicals in enclosed public spaces (i.e the underground), all of which I have heard suggested before- not a bit of easily fakable plastic.

Lets stop even Govt interference into our lives.I understand we are living in tough times, but I want a bit of privacy- more than I get from Blunket!

Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

It is always nice to be overestimated. However, I am afraid I have to admit to not being anywhere near as intimately acquainted with Norman Lamb's thoughts as you evidently believe, Iain!

I know, as you do, that Mr Lamb has broadly been a little more hawkish than some of his colleagues on security issues over the years. This is probably in line with the views of his constituents and seems reasonable - I am sure you would not stick slavishly to the Tory party line on all issues and people would draw their own conclusions as to your independence of mind were you to do so.

If I had to hazard a guess, I suspect that government imprecision over the scope of information stored and a view that money is better spent elsewhere would lead Mr Lamb to vote against the Government's bill. Of course, the fact he is an MP means that all North Norfolk residents will see how he casts his vote and be able to take a view on that. He does not enjoy the luxury of being able to dodge tricky issues as you do.

I have to say I am surprised that you do not mention the exhorbitant cost of the scheme in your post - a point Anonymous very wisely makes.

Anonymous said...

have just filled your survey in and am interested in your questions on homeowners rights to defend their property. Have also just seen Anthony Scrivener QC, who defended Tony Martin, speak on TV vehemently against changing the law. He was clearly VERY concerned that this will lead to burglars taking weapons with them(which is very rare at the moment apparently). This, he suggests, will up the stakes and make life much more dangerous for the homeowner. He pointed out how rare it actually is for something like the Tony Martin incident to occur. Do we really want to live in an 'American style gun ridden society? Nothing is ever black and white and one does have to give due and proper consideration to all the arguments rather than just opt for un-thought through populism.

Iain Dale said...

I do not agree with Scrivener. His logic is totally flawed. No one is suggesting a free for all. All I wish to see is that a homeowner's rights are clarified. The way you describe it is that every homeowner should automatically have a gun under his bed. That's not what we are saying at all, and I suspect you know it.

Anonymous said...

I think you are misunderstanding what Scrivener is saying.