I was warming to Mr. Cash until his last couple of phrases. However, I assure him that those of us who oppose the proposal are not saying that people should join us because it is a Liberal Democrat vote. The vote is against the principle so I hope that not only the hon. Gentleman realises what is going on, but that colleagues from all parties who have stayed true to their principles will continue to maintain their position.
The argument of Steve McCabe is flawed in one obvious respect. He says that we will be able to see how people respond when the Bill is passed. It is exactly because the Bill has been amended in this form by the Lords that we shall not be able to see people's responses so clearly. Until today, we were fighting the argument that there could be a choice. He and his Government are trying to ensure that there will be no choice.
I want to deal with the Home Secretary's repeated constitutional point. Today, he again lamented the fact that the House of Lords had stood so firm for so long. If there had been a clear Government manifesto commitment, the arguments about how the second non-elected Chamber should respond might have been different. But the Government manifesto was at least ambiguous, and many of us believe that their subsequent arguments were the opposite of their manifesto commitment. The other part of Parliament is thus absolutely within its rights to stand up to a Government who claim an unjustified authority.
The Home Secretary cannot deploy the argument against the Lords because they are hereditary, bishops or appointed. The current House of Lords was created by the Labour Government. It has been made up in its current form because of the policies of the Prime Minister and the Labour Government. It is no good their complaining that the Lords are not doing what they are meant to do; the Government put them there, some possibly, as we have heard recently, in unacceptable ways.
Colleagues in our party argued the case consistently in the other place. It is a great regret to me and many people outside this place that Conservative and Cross-Bench colleagues and Labour Back Benchers did not stay with my colleagues and take the Government to the wire. It would have been a perfectly justified constitutional challenge and a reasonable defeat of the Government, and would have resulted in a much better Bill.
If the Home Secretary thinks this is the end of the matter, he is wrong. Many of us have made it absolutely clear that we will do everything in our power, personally and on behalf of other people, never to have identity cards or to be on a national identity register. I encourage everybody listening and watching to renew their passports now so that they will not have to be subject to the ID card regime for the next 10 years. I hope that many will do so.
The Liberal Democrats hope that the Government lose their majority—not just their moral majority but their majority support among the British public, which they lost a long time ago—but also their majority in the House of Commons. They won only 35 per cent. of the vote and were backed by only 20 per cent. of the British public, yet they have a majority in the House of Commons. When that majority goes too, one of the first things that my colleagues and I will insist on in the next Parliament is that the ID card legislation is reversed.
We are happy to go to the country in defence of liberty, to oppose an increasingly authoritarian Government. That is true to our traditions, and the British public will respond far better to us than to the Bill, with its new powers of enforcement, even if there is a Labour majority for the proposal in the House of Commons tonight.