‘Tis Only a Little Bug

If the Labour MP Sadiq Khan has done nothing wrong, he has nothing to fear. Isn’t that what the government and Sadiq told us about ID cards, CCTVing, finger-printing, phone-tapping, DNA swabbing, and database building? Too late to get all civil libertarian now they have come for him…

Leaked NIS ID Cards Document

Guido has uploaded the entire document annotated by NO2ID.

Some points of interest:
1) [Page 4, bullet point 3] Despite current assertions they are sticking with fingerprints, the strategy clearly includes options to gather personal information and issue ID cards WITHOUT fingerprints, e.g. “rising 16 year olds could be sent pre-populated forms for the Inclusion card… which would only need to be signed and returned”.

2) [Page 4, bullet point 5] Indication that up to 10% of the population will be called in for ‘interrogation’ (ID interviews).

3) [Page 3, bullet point 1] Language suggests it will effectively be compulsory to *carry* the card – counter to Ministerial assertion.

4) [Page 5,’Next Steps’, bullet point 1] Initial target groups (“trusted relationships”) to be identified and confirmed by end of January 2008 – i.e. within the next 48 hours!

5) [Page 4, bullet point 6] They are explicitly pursuing a policy of “coercion” not compulsion because universal compulsion “cannot be delivered quickly due to the need for inevitably controversial and time consuming primary legislation and would pose serious political, enforcement and resource challenges.”

No2ID to Advocate No2Labour Tactical Voting

Word reaches Guido that at a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday the leaders of the NO2ID campaign are likely to decide on an election strategy advocating tactical voting to oust MPs who support ID cards at the election.

The message is simple; if you want to get rid of ID cards, vote against those who voted for them. Two examples where this strategy might work to devastating effect are Tooting and Islington South:

In Islington South the Tories came a distant third, but the LibDem was less than 400 votes behind left-wing Labour MP Emily Thornberry. Tories should vote for the LibDem and enjoy getting rid of the ID card loving, CND supporting MP.

In Tooting the LibDems were nearly 10,000 votes behind Labour Sadiq Khan, if they switched votes to the second-placed Tory candidate they would be getting rid of an authoritarian Labour MP who voted strongly for introducing national ID cards, strongly for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws and very strongly against investigating the Iraq war.

As things stand the third placed party has no hope, the result of widespread tactical voting would be less MPs to push through ID cards and guaranteed LibDem and Tory gains. Across the country tactical voting would further slash Labour’s majority. The logic is clear, where a LibDem or Tory is in a distant third place, vote for the candidate most likely to unseat the ID card supporter. Guido doesn’t think it impossible we could see Nick Clegg and David Davis on the same anti-ID cards platform.

Of course fear of tactical voting could result in Gordon Brown dropping ID cards altogether before the election – which would be huge a victory for the NO2ID campaign…

Time for Tactical Decisions from CCHQ and Cowley Street

The LibDems are getting pummelled in the polls – this morning a YouGov poll has them down another 3% to 13% with the Tories unchanged on 33%. Guido finds it hard to believe the accuracy of this poll – with Labour at 44% that makes them more popular than in 1997 when they scored 43%. Not very likely is it?
A hung parliament is still the most likely outcome of the next election whatever the polls currently say. The only way to ensure that outcome is to take seats off Labour, swapping Tory and LibDem seats will not change the government.

Is it time for them to consider tactical voting? Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting.com has made the case for this before, if you want to get rid of this government, vote for the party best placed to beat New Labour in your constituency. In Scotland that seems to have happened already, the business community has switched from the no-hope Tories to the SNP. In return the SNP has begun to talk more about “Enterprise Scotland” and is now polling even stronger than during the recent local elections.

The problem is that LibDem and Tory activists hate each other. They would not countenance any explicit instruction to vote for the other party. Often at each others neck in local government, the idea of a non-aggression pact is unpalatable. Rather than going into any protracted negotiations the Tories should just direct resources away from LibDem incumbents and into the battle in Labour seats. The LibDems political antennae would detect the shift, they would consequently be able to shift their more limited resources away from defending LibDem seats against Tory insurgents and towards attacking Labour incumbents.

Encouraging Tories and LibDems to work together is not easy, but there is one issue that is heartfelt by LibDems and Tories in their libertarian hearts – ID cards. Pushing ID cards up the political agenda would place Tories and LibDems on the same side of the barricades against an authoritarian government. Psychologically a useful pre-cursor to a post-election deal. If Tory and LibDem activists worked together on the NO 2 ID campaign they might even find their rivals more likeable. As Brown begins to sound more and more authoritarian, emphasising “Strength”, “Britain” and “British jobs for British workers” the Liberal Democrats may realise they have a lot more in common with Cameron’s liberal Conservatives than with Brown’s ideology of state power. Ming may lean towards Brown, but the next LibDem leader is less likely to do so…

Self-Important-Shit-of-an-MP Sues

Martyn Jones is widely regarded in the Palace of Westminster, by the few people who actually know who he is, as a bit of a self-important prat in a building full of self-important prats. He is suing the Mail on Sunday’s Simon Walters for libel on the grounds that an article exaggerated an incident in a report with the headline “Labour MP in foul-mouthed outburst”.

Before entering parliament Martyn Jones worked in a brewery and in a 20-year backbench career since he has hardly risen to the heights of recognition. Yet when a Portcullis House security guard asked him to show his ID card he went into a full blown “do-you-know-who-I-am” routine and told the guard, who was only doing his job, that “I don’t give a shit what you are. You should know who members of Parliament are.”

Giving evidence in court Jones claimed that only about 10% of MPs wore their passes and it was better for security to identify MPs by their faces. Is that true, do only 60 or so MPs wear their passes? How is it better for security not to wear a pass?

UPDATE : On a scale of 0 -100%, the Public Whip rates his opposition to ID cards at 0%.

Bad News Burial Attempted

Nick Clegg has pounced on the announcement that ID cards will cost hundreds of millions more than budgeted. The announcement was held back until today for some reason…

Liberal Conservative and Liberal DemocratCampaigns Against ID-Cards

The Tory anti-ID cards campaign (top) to be launched this morning emphasises the practical alternative uses for the money that would be wasted on ID cards, as well as Gordon’s support for them. The current LibDem campaign (below) emphasises the negative effect on liberty. The Tories now say the plan is a “BAD IDEA”. The LibDems have always said it was a bad idea.

UPDATE : The ConservativeHome poll results regarding dealing with the LibDems show that it is now being openly discussed by the Tory grassroots.

DD Says "NO2ID"

David Davis has written to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, giving formal notice that an incoming Conservative administration will scrap ID Cards. He has also written to all the major contractors* warning them of the same.
Guido said, at the time Basher negotiated the delay in the political decision-making watershed on ID-cards until after the election, that is was clever tactics. ID-cards may be popular in some quarters, but one section of the population is 101% opposed to ID-cards. LibDem activists.

Come election time the LibDems will be shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories on an issue that emphasises their shared ideological belief in the fundamental primacy of individual liberty against state power. New Labour’s authoritarians will be the common enemy.

*So all those donations to the Sith will have been wasted.



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