I got my reply from my MP, written on House Of Commons paper. It reads as follows.

Dear Dom,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding my views on Iraq and ID cards.

I am sorry that you seem to be ill-informed over my position on Iraq. I actually did not support the vote to go to war, and resigned my positionin the Government as a Parliamentary Private Secretary because I did not agree with it. Indeed I was the first Government member to resign on this issue and did not vote with the Government on this matter.

Most people in the constituency are aware of my views over Iraq and support the decision I took. As an active constituency MP, I always try an put my constituents first. If you would like to know more regarding my views on the Iraq situation I suggest you visit my website (address removed for privacy)

On ID cards, I am not opposed to them on principle. The majority of people I speak to seem to be in favour on the cards, if they help the fight on terror, increase security and the price is not restrictive. It is worth remembering that the police and the security services are in favour of the cards and have requested the Government introduce these measures – not the other way round. But again I will listen to my constituents views on this as I always do. This is why around 6 months ago I launched a debate in the local press to discuss the issue and allow local people to send me their views ahead of the Parliamentary debates.

Yours sincerely,

My MP

So, a definite opening goal for the MP very much against the run of play. Actually I was led very strongly to believe by theyworkforyou.com that my MP was indeed very much in favour of the war. He has chosen his words carefully because I could not find much evidence of him actually voting against the Government and on many of the votes he was in fact absent unlike most of the other main votes on other topics where he has been a loyal backbencher. However as my research has in this case failed me miserably I must concede initial defeat. It would be wrong not to post this repost and take the hit since there is no doubt if I had made him look a ponce I would have happily posted it.

Unabated though, his letter gives me much for further scrutiny. The initial point to be looked at is the local press debates. Whilst I have not been an asiduous reader of the local rags it has certainly not been something that I have seen screaming from the pages, nor on my infrequent forays inside the pages have I come across any reference. I will be studying and talking to fellow residents to see just how much feedback he is likely to have received in order to base his opinion.

Moreover my MPs arguments for ID cards appear to be under the apprehension that people have supported them broadly within certain parameters, should these parameters prove to be unfounded it would follow that much of this support might be withdrawn. The letter does not outline what any of the tangible benefits of ID cards would be, it is all very well to accept an assertion of increased security and fighting terror but I find very little actual information as to substance to back up these assumptions. It is undisputed that those who carried out the September 11th attacks as well as those in Madrid all had valid identity documentation and since those who carried out the attacks in London were all perfectly legal had there been ID cards here they would have been perfectly entitled to them too. Recently a survey was carried out where many of the details of the potential of ID cards were outlined to respondants regarded possible increased cost and the amount of information that could be stored on the cards and this seemed to make even many who were previously somewhat ambivalent or in broad support of the measure more inclined to scepticism.

Forgive also if I am neither unsurprised nor reassured by the assertion that it is the police and security services requesting this information rather than the government. This is like 1938 German regional government saying we need to provide further information at the behest of the Gestapo! MI5, the police and their partners the CIA have more than enough access to information thank you very much. The fact that they conceal so much of their ability to access it makes me very suspicious indeed when they declare their desire for some by another means.

The debate we have had on ID cards in this country has been one where we are told “it’s for your own good” and “if you have nothing to hide then what are you afraid of” but there has been no meat on the bone of the argument to counter the fears and objections of those opposed to the scheme. I have not heard a decent argument to outline what ID cards do that is not already done by credit cards, drivers licenses and other paraphernalia that we already carry around with us, and no this will not be a handy way to consolidate this information it will merely necessitate the carrying of a further item about one’s person. As for the nothing to hide principle, it depends on what constitutes something being hidden and that of course depends on wwhat it is that someone is looking for and why. MI5 as I have already stated have hundreds of thousands of files on individuals because of membership of “watched” organisations. Does not declaring this at a job interview constitute having something to hide?

Once again the case breaks down to that situation whereby you are not required to simply safeguard the present but also the future, whether or not you have faith in this government’s intentions to use any ID card scheme responsibly it would be a very foolish person who would state with impunity that all governments would behave the same. After all if you look up the Homes for votes scandal in Westminster you already have precedent of supposedly secret information on people being used for the gain of some and to the detriment of others.

Still if they do come in, I’m sure there’ll be some generic ones on Ebay within months which should please anyone who fancies a bit of fraud since they won’t even have to sully their own card. That should all give me enough to have something to respond to my MP with!

Song Of The Day ~ The Paddingtons – Sorry

Original Comments:


john made this comment,
Off Subject but…Speak to me Baron! I miss your voice already. 🙂
comment added :: 29th October 2005, 13:13 GMT+01 :: http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/
neil made this comment,
Aha! ID cards – a subject on which we can finally agree! Actually, I suspect we have many of the same goals, just different ideas about how to achieve them. Anyway, back to ID cards. I don’t like them – they alter the balance / pact between citizen and state and I’ve seen them in action in Germany, and in particular, Bayern. I’ve lived here almost a decade and have had to show my passport (the only acceptable form of ID for a Briton) to a policeman three times – and always when I’d done something “wrong”. With one exception – I dated a Londoner with Indian parents for a year. We were stopped for “random” ID checks approximately every two weeks. Was it because she had brown skin? Would the police in the UK be any different? I wrote about it in general in three posts – http://www.inactualfact.com/?p=83 http://www.inactualfact.com/?p=117 and http://www.inactualfact.com/?p=124
On this issue at least, left and right unite (paraphrasing a bit)…..

comment added :: 29th October 2005, 17:09 GMT+01

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