Identity Cards Bill
Lord Thomas of Gresford (Shadow Attorney General, Law Officers (Constitutional Affairs); Liberal Democrat)
My Lords, I am an inadequate replacement for the noble Lord, Lord Phillips. Perhaps I may pay tribute to him at the end of this Report stage for his indefatigable work on the Bill. He has pursued the Government into all sorts of labyrinthine mechanisms during its passage, almost accepting its principle. I couple that with my admiration for the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, and the Ministers, the noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, and the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, for their work.
I am ultimately unconvinced by the basic principle of this Bill. This amendment echoes the one that I moved at the beginning of Committee which would have replaced the national identity register with a national surveillance register. That is what this Bill is all about. If one looks at the index to the various sections, one sees that few entries refer to the identity card as such, and that almost all of them are concerned with the register, access to it, the information that is stored on it and the information that comes out of it.
It is a grossly intrusive Bill which will cost an awful lot of money and eventually will not be successful. I wait to see it fail.