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Another "good day to bury bad news" e.g. the illegally delayed ID Cards Scheme cost report ?

Is today another New Labour "good day to bury bad news" ?

Today, Thursday, should see the heavily leaked announcement that Tony Blair will take the next step in his extended "lame duck" resignation process, by finally announcing his resignation as Leader of the Labour Party, thereby setting in motion what will feel like an interminable 7 week internal NuLabour party leadership campaign, and the expected "coronation" of Gordon Brown as the new, unelected by the public, Prime Minister.

Together with the TV and tabloid media's current, rather creepy obsession, with the kidnapping of the little girl on holiday in Portugal, can we expect little or no coverage of any embarrassing news from the Government ?

Hopefully alert Spy Blog readers will be on the look out for any low key announcement of the publication of the illegally delayed Identity Cards Act section 37 report to Parliament, on the 10 year cost estimates of the Identity Cards and centralised national biometric database National identity Register scheme.

Presumably, either:

  • the cost estimates have risen dramatically since the first such report (which was delayed until 9th October 2006, by a few days by virtue of Parliament not sitting in September),

  • or this illegal delay was simply to try to keep the ID Cards / Database State controversy off the Local Council and Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly election campaigns.

  • or it is more evidence of sheer "not fit for purpose" incompetence of Home Secretary John Reid

The Act specifically lays a statutory duty on the Home Secretary to prepare and lay before Parliament such a report , by the end of every six month period, which he has failed to do.

John Reid should have resigned as Home Secretary for breaking his own department's Identity Cards Act law, by failing in this simple task to produce and publish a report, but, no doubt he will still cling on to the trappings of power, along with Tony Blair for the duration of the Labour Party leadership campaign nonsense, which has been going on for months already "unofficially".

We wonder what other "bad news" will be slipped out to an otherwise distracted mainstream media , today Thursday or tomorrow Friday, when Gordon Brown is expected to officially start his Labour party leadership election / "coronation" campaign.


Eyes peeled.

Ha! We're just waiting to see if the regs that will set 'Contactpoint' (aka the children's information-sharing index) into motion will quietly slide into parliament...

Yes, spot on! The report has been published. See

"The official cost of the controversial ID card scheme has risen to £5.31bn.

"The figures were released as Tony Blair announced his departure, leading to claims from the opposition that the government was "burying bad news". "

The report is available online from the Identity and Passport Service website.


Remember that these costs are only for the Home Office, not for any other Government or private sector users of the scheme.

Apparently they have now decided to exclude £510 million for the Foreign Office's infrastructure needed to issue and check Passports and ID Cards at overseas Embassies and Consulates, which was included in the previous report published (late) back in October 2006.

Note how the estimates for the increases in costs are in nice rounded chunks: £200 million here, £300 million there. They still have not put anything out to competitive tender, so they really do not have a clue.

See this NO2ID discussion forum thread for more analysis of these figures,

Fortunately it seems the media, in spite of giving us non-stop Blair-departure kak, all seem to be reporting this with comments about "burying bad news", and using words like "soar" or "rocket" when talking about the cost.

Looks like nobody is wanting to cut them any slack any more, even if they might have been willing to do so in the past.

From what I've seen, although it hasn't been in the 'big news' as such, it has not gone unnoticed.

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