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Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:29 pm on 20th December 2004.

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Photo of Mark Oaten Mark Oaten Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs 6:29 pm, 20th December 2004

I was fascinated by the shadow Home Secretary's speech. It was an extremely good speech against ID cards, right up to the final line, in which he urged support for the Bill in one sentence only. I say to the Conservatives that I understand why their leader is nervous so close to an election. He wants to show that he is tough on crime and he does not want to be attacked for being soft on those issues. However, every now and then in politics, instead of chasing the 80 per cent., one has a duty to speak up for the 20 per cent. There is also a duty to try to argue one's case and convince the 80 per cent. that they are wrong. The Conservatives might get more respect if they tried to change views rather than following opinion polls all the time—