Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bruiser Davis on target over ID Cards

I am a great fan of David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary. He is absolutely my sort of Tory - clear thinking and doesn't mince his words. When he was asked whether he supported David Cameron's 'Hug a Hoodie' campaign, he said "Yes, except that I would hug them a bit harder". Quite. Well today it was the turn of the IT industry which had been rubbing its hands in anticipation of the mega-millions that would flow into its coffers from the Government's madcap, illiberal, 'Big Brother' idea of a national ID Card Scheme. Yesterday, the Tories said they would scrap it. For the IT industry, it was losing a winning lottery ticket. So they launched into David by means of an open letter. They were lucky they didn't try it face-to face. Here's a copy of his response.

"I have received your letter of 6th February. Your claim to be "neither for, nor against the policy of introducing ID cards in the UK", given the clear commercial interest of a number of your members, is simply disingenuous. Your dismissal of the serious objections of principle we have to ID cards as point-scoring demonstrates a failure to appreciate either the parameters of the public debate on ID cards or the depth of opposition.

I am afraid that your claim that an honest assertion of our intentions is somehow indicative of a general commercial bad faith is both incredible and insulting.

Your thinly veiled threat of penalty clauses, at taxpayer's expense, is inappropriate and ill-judged. As the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has frequently recommended - certainly since my chairmanship - large IT projects should be segmented into several contractual phases to protect against the risks involved. I attach a copy of the PAC's 1999 Report, 'Improving the Delivery of Government IT Projects', which you might benefit from reading.

We are already fully engaged with the IT sector on these issues - and in my previous role as PAC chairman I was only too familiar with the IT sector's successes and failures in delivery of public services. You may be sure that we will have learned from those experiences."

Wow. Its great having a really nice man as Leader of our Party - but its also great to have a man who won't take any messing in the engine room.


Anonymous said...

The penalty clauses should be inserted by central government on the IT companies to stop the computer nerds from ripping the rest of us off. ID cards are completely against British political traditions and the Tories are right to oppose them. Blair should read the high court judgement which led to the ending of the war time ID card system. New Labour should also realise that there are plenty of individuals who will be prepared to go to prison in order to defend some fundamental British political rights. Those radicals and socialists who created the Labour party must be spinning in their graves at this affront to the basic right of British citizens to go about their business without interference from the police or any other state agency.

Glyn Davies AM said...

So you don't like ID Cards then, anon. Neither do I - and I am greatly relieved that my party has come out against them (finally). Even when my party seemed to be backing this deeply illiberal nonsense, I was openly hostile. The worry is that these IT people are starting to rule the world and will find some other way to sneak in 'Big Brother' Government. Regrettably, its probably inevitable - like the EU constitution and bird flu seem to be inevitable. But we shouldn't go down without a fight.