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Well done David Davis. He is doing an outstanding job in the shadow Home Office. The IT people are as politically inept as they are demonstrably incompetent.

David Davis is doing a fantastic job as Shadow Home Secretary. Keep up the good work!

Yeh,Tory T,the Conservatives can afford to lose lots more support before the axe starts to drop.

The IT Industry is large enough to look after itself and its employees are certainly big enough to come out fighting for job security at the ballot box.

A mistake by Davis and others that needs to be remedied asap I would think.

I'm a David Davis supporter too,big time.

Fantastic! IT and other consultants have treated government like a cashcow, particularly since 1997 (see Private Eye passim). What we're seeing now is the howling at the recognition that this is going to come to an end.

There is a distinct and obvious increase in the professionalism of Tory opposition in recent weeks. Consider:

(*) The excellent and clear-as-day opposition to ID cards with the clear message to those involved that we will cancel all of it.

(*) George Osborne's legal opinion that people should refuse to pay Brown's flight surcharge

(*) the Tory warning that the supercasino will fall foul of competition law.

This is the opposite of kneejerk oppositionism - all attacks are founded deep in Tory principle (liberty, lower taxes and community values respectively) and all have very solid foundations to the specific claims being made. The net result is to show a government in both intellectual (Labour brings you gambling, poor people!) and organisational (New Labour laws are illegal!) disarray.

I frankly find it amazing that Intellect has the arrogance to believe they can threaten a potential future government with sanctions if they do not implement their policy agenda. Seriously, this is ridiculous. It is not the divine right of the IT industry to get government contracts. I think they have lived in a world where the labour party have gone "ooh look shiny new IT stuff, It is going to solve all our problems let's buy it" for far too long. There are many reasons to not support IT cards and I think Intellect's vested interest is just one more.

I'm involved in the computer industry, and find DD spot-on. Anyone who has ever read about Capita, or EDS in Private Eye will know what I mean.

Will someone please defrost the men in grey suits so he can get the promotion he so richly merits?

David Davis 1 John Higgins 0

Well done David Davis. It is perfectly possible to be in favour of free-market capitalism while opposing the attempts by large businesses to gain political influence.

DD's robust response to Intellect's commercial posturing is a real breath of fresh air. This government has enjoyed a far too cosy relationship with some of the major IT suppliers.

eh, I'm an IT consultant and all the people I work with think government IT projects are dreadful. Not a vote loser for me at all.

If Intellect members agree as a matter of policy to "punish" UKplc by demanding 'penalty' clauses and protection beyond the normal measures of risk that would be likely to constitute a serious infringement of competition law. Given that public sector contracting is one of the OFT's key target areas for enforcement there may be some merit in getting the OFT to look into the threats.

As far as I understand it there has been no suggestion that a Conservative government would seek to renege on any contracts, merely that as part of implementing the policy scrapping the ID card project it would exercise its contractual rights to terminate.

Nice to see DD taking such a robust line.
The IT industry will be in no position, much later, to cry over spilt milk and whinge and whine when their contracts are abruptly termininated.
I'm pleased to see DD taking a principled stand on ID cards, a fascist Stalinite proposition if there was ever one, and driven no doubt by the need to comply with some obscure EU direction. If not, then the proposition by NuLab, has all the hallmarks of a dictatorial, bullying government setting out the means to subvert and enslave the people.
Keep up the good work DD.

Double-D is a dead-set legend

"I'm involved in the computer industry..."

With an e-mail address @progsoft-ramware we'd never have guessed. What a fantastic concatenation of computer terms ;-)

On the issue at hand - how dull that we're all so behind DD on this!

Brilliant ! Brilliant ! by David Davis. Sometimes, in his efforts to be reasonable, he is a bit long-winded. This slap down to a crass letter (Which 'Intellect' made public) is devastating. The implications of what Intellect tried to argue, go to the roots of democracy and partly explain why so many voters think government is a 'carve up'between vested interests.

At last something sensible from a member of the "conservative?" party. With all the disasters that have attended Government IT projects I would have thought "Intelect" would have kept their heads well below the parapet. Still I supose he's worried that the public teat may dry up and he will have to put in some work.

Time to go further and insist that any Confidential Databases are developed ONLY by British Citizens with security clearance.

It seems ridiculous that confidential British personal information should be in the hands of foreign contractors and freelancers - once the genie is out of the bottle - confidentiality cannot be recaptured.

It is perfectly right and proper that David point out that a future Parliament will not have its taxation and spending policies dictated by the current one and that a Manifesto Pledge to rescind any contracts connected with ID Cards is a mandate

Under the rules governing local councillors (including parish councillors) Intellect would have to declare a prejudicial interest and take no further part in any discussions. They blatantly do have a vested interest in the debate and their comments should be disregarded accordingly.

May I suggest we all send our strongly held views to Intellect's web site which does not show DD's reply. I have!
mailto:[email protected]

"the manner of this intervention will undermine the confidence of the supplier community in any future Conservative Government honouring other contractual commitments which may have been entered into by previous administrations. "

Hmmmm, what?

This guy's saying that the industry would prefer it if the conservatives kept quiet about their intentions and then cancelled it out of blue. And that this would give him greater confidence in other projects. This make any sense to anyone?

Well said DD.

The IT industry, whenever presented with a Government contract, massively over-eggs the specification, usually blaming "security".

I suspect RyanAir has an equivalent number of passengers on seats every day to those waiting on chairs in Hospital out-patient clinics. I don't know what they paid for their IT system - which is so good, I just booked my flight to the Blackpool conference in about three minutes - but I bet it wasn't one tenth of what we are paying for "Choose & Book" for the NHS.

"...I bet it wasn't one tenth of what we are paying for "Choose & Book" for the NHS."

Whenever I hear of IT contracts going out to tender, Christians and lions come to mind.

On the one side you have highly motivated aggressive salespeople chasing a massive bonus. On the other side you have civil servants wanting cosy jobs for life. It's not a fair match.

I wish it was "jobs for life". Part of the proiblem is that civil servants move on, so when the contract eventually goes bottoms-up, there no clear point of accountability - a point the Eye has made many times over the years...

Remember how extremely incompetent Davis' campaign was? How Dale and Mitchell made utter fools of themselves and Davis could not coordinate getting out of bed the right way up?

You are deluding yourselves in thinking he has the remotest competent bone in his body. Cameron may be a nightmare but he is not a farce, as Davis would have been and will be if ever in a serious job. He would unfortunately be MUCH more incompetent than any of the Labour Home Secs.

Reality check time ConHome.

Yes, it's great stuff. Seeing anyone from the House fo Commons prepared to thump the Establishment in this day and age is very pleasing.

(I suppose Mr Davis can expect a sermon from Malcolm Dunn now, on what a nasty person he is and how embarrassing he is to the Party.)

Well done, David Davis, and even if you're a bit short on personal charisma and not so good at the spin you more than make up for those superficial deficiencies in competence and substance. Some of us actually prefer it that way.

…he is not a farce, as Davis would have been and will be if ever in a serious job…

If your memories were not so short, you would know that Davis has actually held down some pretty impressive serious jobs.

Camerloonite Shortmemories might like to try and recall who was at the Treasury during Black Wednesday... Oh Yes...

Yes, yes. and Davis was a whip on the Maastrict vote.

But neither were responsible for govt. policy then, and now both are doing an excellent job in their current roles.

"Engagement with Intellect's members will help you understand the progress suppliers have made around the transformational government agenda as well as the issues which remain today." says Higgins.

What an arrogant and patronising man. On the one hand, dismissive of an elected politician deemed competent enough to have been chairman of the PAC; on the other, lickspittle toadying to NuLab, with their "transformational government agenda".

Higgins is nothing but a shop steward.

No Oliver, I think Davis is a great credit to our party.Glad you've learned to spell my name perhaps sometime in the next ten years you might also learn how to write a decent post.

Well said DD!

I wonder whether DD should be Shadow Chancellor with letters like this and his experience with the PAC. Doing a fine job where he is though.

I can't undertand the vendetta Oliver seems to have with Malcolm btw. Malcolm is very fair and balanced in his posts.

The Register have a piece on this,

The IT industry has found itself in a handbagging spat with shadow home secretary David Davis

David Davis is completely correct and this exchange just goes to show how badly GB needs a Conservative Government.

Surprised there is a British IT inductry left to complain. With the catastrophic exporting of IT development work off-shore (someone please tell me where they are going to get all those _experienced_ people? It is like a newly qualified doctor doing open heart surgery) and this governments appalling attack on IT contractor's linked with the mass issueing of work permits there isn't going going to be an indigenous one left soon ...

David Davis --- go forth and multiply--- can we have a dozen like you in the shadow cabinet please tomorrow!.Simply brilliant, brilliant.

Yes, professionals in the IT industry tell me Govt projects are a standing joke. We are on the side of truth here. How much has Labour wasted already of the taxpayers money?


Pyers Symon is correct. There has been massive damage done to the livelihoods of British IT professionals. I am one such casualty. Back in 2004, when there were over 30,000 out of work IT professionals, the home office were continuing to issue over 100 fraudulent work permits each and every day. Brown has boasted when he was in India that there were over 135,000 Indian IT professionals in the UK doing jobs that they have taken from British professionals.

It is the nature of the IT profession that if you have been out of work for more than six month, your career is over. Anyone who is over forty will never get any work again. The ‘transferable skills’ platitude is total nonsense; being able to write computer programs does not qualify one to be a data entry clerk or call centre operative. In any case, those were the first jobs to be sent abroad.

The relationship between the IT outsource companies and New Labour need to be investigated. Why were so many fraudulent work permits granted when there was plenty of evidence in the public domain to show that the were not needed? This corruption is far more important than the cash for peerages inquiry.

The answers simple
we make it clear all ID contracts will be immediately terminated with NO COMPENSATION-indeed any o/s bills will be revoked. That'll make these Quisling organisations co-operating with nu-Labour

The brilliant Sam Coates and the insightful Andrew Burkinshaw discussed this, very intelligently, with some loser from Hackney on Conservative Home TV last night on 18 Doughty Street ...

You're too kind Graeme. Click here to watch it.

When pigs are removed from their troughs, they scream blue murder.

This John Higgens chap seems to fit the bill.

Faced with a reasonable warning, that a future government will cancel a particular project, he comes over all Armageddon, it will be the end if we follow this road. Repent or we are all damned.

The Right Honourable Member for Abseiling was actually doing the IT industry a favour.
Not as big a favour as this policy is for all the rest of us though.

I enjoyed the show Graeme/Sam but fifteen minutes is far too short!

On a similar topic of the arrival of the surveillance State, does anyone know the current state of play on road pricing technology? Someone has emailed me suggesting there is a current consultation on the "spy in every car" proposal and apparently there is one of these No 10 email petitions against it. (Personally I am a bit wary of that - why would I want to supply my email address to the Govt so they can put me on a special list for surveillance? Just because I think the Govt might be out to get me doesn't make me paranoid, just experienced!!)

Also, does anyone know when we have to apply early for our new passports in order to ensure we are back of the queue to go on the ID register? Once the inner circle have applied (to make sure the system is not swamped first), it should be a key part of the anti-ID card campaign to get all opponents to apply for new passports and then get regular Partliamenary questions asked to see how many hundreds of thousand, or million, extra applications are being made. Maybe the Shadow Cabinet could kick this off, like they did with signing up with renewable energy suppliers.

David Davis --- go forth and multiply--- can we try to bring those Independent Financial Advisors who deliberately defrauded so many, brought to justice? Like jailed perhaps!

David Davis --- go forth and multiply--- can we try to bring those Independent Financial Advisors who deliberately defrauded so many, brought to justice? Like jailed perhaps!

What have we here http://dematerialisedid.com/Open.html?

And what have we here http://DematerialisedID.com/Capture.html?

This is how I responded to Intellect:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I fully support the Conservative Party's position on ID cards, which will be a complete waste of money for the British taxpayer and a further encroachment upon our civil liberties. Where John Higgins, in his correspondence with David Davis, refers to "scoring political points" I should have thought that the Conservatives should be congratulated for informing us and business of their proposals for the scrapping of ID cards. I welcome this policy, and now any company thinking of applying to join the New Labour ID card bandwagon will have received due notice that this scheme may indeed be scrapped if the British electorate makes the democratic decision to reject it. I shall certainly be voting for any party that is against ID cards, and voting with my feet to walk away from any business interest connected therewith.

Yours faithfully,

etc etc

May we assume that the Conservatives will take the same line over road pricing?

Well done DD. Should have been more publicised though. He should also give notice to all the other IT snouts-in-the-public-sector-trough that a Conservative government will cancel their useless contracts. Most of the extra tax Gordon's trousered has been wasted on pointless management and IT consultants.

Also we need a much clearer statement of intent against the National Database Register, the children's register, the spy-in-the-car road pricing scheme and all the other manifestations of the surveillance society we now have.

There's a lot more to government IT than you see in the Eye...try The Register and Kable (www.kable.co.uk) instead. I dont understand what Intellect is up to and have written to ask. Officials in favour of The Scheme claim DD's intervention is a cynical attempt to ratchet up the price. But it makes complete sense to me; I think his policy is principled and pragmatic, and it makes complete sense to make it clear to firms.

Well done DD. Should have been more publicised though. He should also give notice to all the other IT snouts-in-the-public-sector-trough that a Conservative government will cancel their useless contracts. Most of the extra tax Gordon's trousered has been wasted on pointless management and IT consultants.

Also we need a much clearer statement of intent against the National Database Register, the children's register, the spy-in-the-car road pricing scheme and all the other manifestations of the surveillance society we now have.

Excellent from David Davis. Stuff like this just makes me more and more convinced that we elected the wrong David to lead us.

He should be given the Shadow Chancellor's job as soon as possible.

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As someone who is not a natural Conservative, I am impressed, and applaud David Davies' unequivocal message to the umbrella organisation involved. It is arrogance of the highest order for Intellect [sic] to presume that they can impose a private sector project against the democratic wishes of the electorate *and* to threaten that dissent will result in its members increasing their prices.

It was, perhaps, something of a mistake for Mr. Higgins to press-release his letter, as the spat already seems to be turning into a PR disaster for his firm. One would hope for his members (and to be frank, they probably don't deserve much of anyone's sympathy) that they can melt into the background so that the bad press doesn't hit them quite as hard.

Meanwhile one would hope this augurs badly for the fantastically authoritarian ID card system, which has been powered along mostly by obfuscation and lying from the Home Office, and spectacular ignorance from the Labour members that went along with HO policy. Since the legislation is on the books already despite a good effort from the Lords, the only things that will save our fragile liberty now (in this regard at least) are individual non-cooperation (which I will be proud to take part in) and the likelihood that the technical implementation will be a disaster.

Sneaklily, this website omits Davis' original letter to IT suppliers, giving the erroneous impression that Higgins started all this and giving rise to comments like "Intellect has the arrogance to believe they can threaten a potential future government with sanctions if they do not implement their policy agenda."

Actually it's Davis who has the policy agenda and Davis who's doing the threatening, having written directly to IT suppliers in these terms:
"..your company may wish to consider carefully the financial viability of any contract, with the present Government, to participate in this project...I wish...to ensure you are...fully appraised of the commercial risks involved, before entering into any contract arrangements for the implementation of the national identity card scheme. Furthermore, your company’s reputation is unlikely to be enhanced through involvement in a project, which squanders an enormous amount of public money in this way."

I think you'll agree that this goes beyond suggesting that the government would merely "exercise its contractual rights to terminate" and Higgins' response--that these commercial risks would be reflected in contractual penalty clauses is both entirely appropriate and proportionate to Davis' initial threat.

To accuse Intellect of trying to "impose a private sector project against the democratic wishes of the electorate" is ludicrous. The "democratic wishes of the electorate" are in any case pretty clear at the moment: ID cards were a major plank of the last Labour manifesto, and a topic that the Conservative manifesto was utterly silent on. Ineffectually opposed in Parliament, the policy is now law and for better or worse implementation proceeds. To try to derail it by threatening suppliers is a tactic better suited to the likes of the ALF than the Tory party.

Well done David Davis! Excellent rebuttal.

It is a shame Mr Cameron did not think so deeply about his pronouncements concerning air travel. The practical impact of such ill thought out legislation would be to gradually reduce the number of people who’s family lived at any great distance from where they worked.

It would probably be a huge disincentive to Europeans living and working in the UK for instance. Would it be judged to be against European Law one wonders?

One might even argue it will impact on certain racial groups more than others.

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