Identity Cards Bill
Lord Barnett (Labour)
My Lords, I have generally indicated my great concern about the costs of this project, and those concerns remain. I apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Rees-Mogg, as I would have preferred to speak about what he wrote about today in the Times, but we are obliged under our rules to talk about costs today. So I cannot refer to the great quote of Rousseau's to which he referred:
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains".
That is a slight exaggeration in relation to this Bill, as even the noble Lord might agree; but we are concerned with costs. I am very much concerned although, as I have said, in principle I do not oppose the idea of an identity card.
I regret one or two remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, and the noble Baroness, who seemed to be more concerned with party politics than they were about the detail of the cost problem, although the noble Lord certainly went into that problem. But to hear the noble Baroness refer to my noble friend the Minister, as I believe she did, as a control freak, or anyway to refer to somebody as a control freak—