- Now for some REAL journalism - biometric ID by the back door:
"The UK is to go ahead with a biometric-backed system of ID verification this year, whether or not the ID Cards Bill is passed by parliament... most of the significant components of the ID card scheme already exist or are being built...This revelation that passports will also include biometrics is not new. The level of detailed research and analysis, however, as well as the conclusions of the route the government is likely to take to implement the scheme, is. Read. (Hat tip Tim)
"The ID Cards Bill is simply one (albeit wide-ranging and high-profile) implementation of Government policy on national identity management, killing it without also overturning the strategy would at best slow up implementation. And, probably, make it more likely that other components of implementation would be put into place without parliamentary oversight and regulation...
"Passports are issued under Royal Prerogative, effectively executive powers of the monarch which are exercised by Government Ministers. These powers include the right to grant and revoke passports, exercised by the Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary. Three years ago Parliament's Public Administration Select Committee suggested that this and other aspects of the Royal Prerogative (starting wars, that kind of stuff) be put on a more formal statutory basis, but the Department of Constitutional Affairs declined to pursue the matter, observing on passports that 'successive Governments have taken the view that the non-statutory system has worked well and that change is not required.'"