It was a real pleasure to be on the front bench today for the Report Stage and 3rd Reading of the Identity Documents Bill. Good riddance!
Labour thrashed around with the same amendments more or less that they laid at the Bill Committee Stage – same arguments as before. So I just refer you to my last blog post here as the same arguments were rehearsed.
The part I covered today was again the transgender issue of whether there should be two identity documents to allow those who use both genders during the journey to transition as the Labour opposition had tabled a New Clause on this issue. ID cards were not the answer. There only ever was one issue of dual cards – and the equality impact assessment found no equality issues in the abolition at all as services can still be accessed etc.
The whole issue of how to better a whole range of things to improve things for the trans community is on the coalition agenda – including how to address the issue of maybe needing dual identities – and I am taking forward the preparation of an action plan for trangender equality personally.
It was a great shame that when I raised the issue on the floor of the House to say that members of the trans community posted last time on my blog about not necessarily wanting to be identified – Meg Hillier, MP who leads for the Labour opposition dissed blog comments as not worthy of note compared with a formal government consultation.
Now a government consultation is undoubtedly a good thing (a coalition one – obviously) but to dismiss the comments on the last trans blog I posted when you are claiming to care about trans rights says it all.
Personally, I am indebted to members of the trans community who take the time and trouble to comment on my blog and who inform and educate me on gender identity issues each and every time. Please continue to do so!
And so ID cards finish their passage in the Commons. It was an historic day – and full credit to Liberty and the NO2ID card campaigns who along with Liberal Democrats and Conservatives stood up for civil liberty and freedom.
Funnily enough – on the road to the Labour leadership two of the five leadership contenders have now publicly stated that ID cards were a mistake!