Thursday, January 19, 2006 7:07 PM
++ Time to Lobby MPs again as Lords Amend Identity Cards Bill
On Monday peers voted through a significant amendment to the ID cards bill, requiring detailed costings before the legislation proceeds. The key amendment was passed by 237 votes to 156 and would mean that the ID card scheme would not proceed until the Home Secretary has laid a report before parliament, for approval by MPs, containing a detailed account of revenue and capital costs. However, the amendment must first be approved by MPs in the Commons and the government are determined to remove the amendment and press ahead with the legislation.
As a result of the vote in the Lords there was a lot of media coverage and Tony Blair came under attack over the bill at Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday. Briefings were sent out to the media and NO2ID local groups around the country also got some excellent coverage. Well done to all involved.
The Lords will continue to vote on amendments to the bill next Monday (23rd January) including amendments to remove the compulsion to register when renewing designated documents such as passports. The bill will then get its 3rd Reading in the Lords (probably in early February), before returning to the House of Commons where MPs will accept or reject peers’ amendments. The last time MPs voted on the bill the government’s majority was cut to just 31.
Many supporters and members have helped with the lobbying effort in the Lords, which looks like it has really paid off. The next battle will be in the House of Commons.
Supporters should write to their MPs encouraging them to vote for the Lords’ amendments – particularly those on cost, removing compulsion and limiting the Register – when the bill returns to the Commons. We have a lobbying tool at mps.no2id.net, which allows you to lobby your MP from the comfort of your computer armed only with a postcode.
Speaking in the debate (and worthy of mention – ed), Lord Stoddart pointed out: “the Leader of the Opposition, who might one day be in government, said that he would scrap the ID scheme. The Liberal Democrats are against the scheme and would co-operate in scrapping it. We may spend billions of pounds in starting a scheme that has been agreed to by only one political party, which may not be in government for much longer than a few years”.
The MPs lobbying tool is at :
++ What’s next?
+ Call for volunteers – Admin & Bookkeeping skills
We need help running our office in London. If you live in London and have a few hours to spare during the week please volunteer to join the staff rota helping with the vital clerical work to support the campaign. We are also looking for some bookkeeping/accounting help.
+ 19th January Oxford NO2ID meeting
NO2ID Oxford’s next meeting will be held tonight at 8.00 pm in the Jury Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates. All welcome – they are also looking for additional volunteers to join the committee. For more details contact
+ 23rd January Identity Cards Bill Report Stage, Lords
On Monday 23rd January the House of Lords will once again vote on amendments to the ID cards bill. Webcasts of the proceedings can be viewed at
+ 25th January NO2ID Edinburgh Meeting
The next meeting of the NO2ID Edinburgh Group will be at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 25 January in the Teviot Dining Room, Teviot Row House, Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ. The speaker will be Mark Ballard MSP, Scottish Green Party. All are welcome. Edinburgh members and supporters can sign up to various local lists at
+ 4th February Leafleting Salisbury
On Saturday 4th February NO2ID Salisbury & Swindon will be teaming up in Salisbury for “an opportunity to leaflet, gather petitioners and generally spread the word”. All welcome. NO2ID Swindon’s next meeting is tonight (January 19th) from 7.30pm at the Clifton Inn, Clifton street (off Kingshill). For more information contact mailto:email@example.com
+ Forthcoming local council votes
Two more local councils have motions opposing ID cards, North Wilts Council and Swindon Council, both in January.
++ What just happened?
+ Stop Press: Warwick District Council vote against ID cards
Last night Warwick District Council joined the long list of local councils who have passed motions against ID cards (two more are listed below). Several more councils are upcoming.
+ Durham City Council rejects ID cards
Last Tuesday (10th January) Durham City Council voted against ID cards and in favour of affiliation with NO2ID. Councillor Carol Woods, a member of the Liberal Democrat-controlled council’s cabinet, said: “It wouldn’t solve the problems of terrorism. It is mainly an infringement of our civil liberties.”
+ Newcastle City Council pass anti-ID card motion
Last Wednesday (11th January) Newcastle City council voted in favour of a motion outlining their objection to the government’s proposed ID card scheme and affiliating to the NO2ID campaign. The motion was passed by 31 votes to 26, with all 26 votes against coming from Labour councillors. Councillor Gareth Cooper who proposed the motion said: “The Government’s ID cards scheme is deeply flawed in principle and in practice, and would cost taxpayers a fortune for little or no benefit.” Following the vote Robin Ashby, coordinator of NO2ID Newcastle, was interviewed on Metro and Durham FM radio stations.
+ LSE publishes report on research status
This week the London School of Economics released an update to their excellent June 2005 ‘The Identity Project’ report. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of 16 LSE professors who guided the report. Numerous LSE staff members and an international team of 60 researchers contributed to, and reviewed, the reports. Accompanying the report is a letter from the Director of the LSE, Howard Davies, in which he says: “The LSE team stands by the cost estimates outlined in its first report”. Davies also criticises government ministers for their emotive responses to the first report. At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday Tony Blair said: “This report they’ve put out under the LSE’s name is actually written by someone who’s the leading campaigner on civil liberty grounds against ID cards, so I don’t think it’s an entirely objective assessment.” Nothing to do with the LSE then…
+ Corporate Watch release new report
Corporate Watch, the Oxford based research group, have produced a new report entitled ‘Corporate Identity’. The report describes itself as: “A critical analysis of private companies’ engagement with the identity cards scheme.” Companies such as Atos Origin, NEC, EDS and BT Global and their involvement in past IT failures are documented, and there is a useful reference table. The report also recommends that the ID cards bill should be amended to remove de facto compulsion and prohibit public services from requiring an ID card in any situation.
+ From our forums: Discussion of the government’s plans to link ID cards to Electoral Registration
+ iPods not ID cards, says DTI geek
+ Loser: Britain's Identity Crisis
More news is available from the NO2ID newsblog at
++ “ID” in the news
+ ID Cards: A titanic project waiting for its iceberg
+ Cost of ID cards set to spiral : UNISON comment on LSE status report
+ ID cards ‘still on way’
+ Worse than the dome
+ Cameron calls ID cards ‘unBritish’
+ Idiotic! Blow to Blair as experts say identity card plan won’t work
+ A tax on being alive
+ Australia considers ID card
+ Database State : NHS IT – A spineless performance
+ US: National ID, State Nightmare
+ US: Mass Spying Means Gross Errors
+ Ireland: ID cards may be introduced here if adopted in Britain
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
++ What you can do
+ 1. Lobbying your MP
+ 2. Writing to your local paper
+ 3. Joining NO2ID / donating
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at
Publication details: © NO2ID 2005 – This document may be freely redistributed in one-to-one communications or physical copies as long as it is reproduced in its entirety including this notice. It may not be mass-mailed without the prior permission of NO2ID.
NO2ID, Box No.412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP