The Government has estimated that it would cost 1
There was no great enthusiasm for their leader, and bemusement that the Opposition had failed to exploit the crisis that engulfed Tony Blair after the death of David Kelly "The mood is lethargic," said one senior MP. If his party is pushed from second to third place by the Liberal Democrats in next Thursday's Brent East by-election, it could trigger yet another bout of leadership jitters among Tory MPs.Just when he seemed to have finally quelled the speculation over his leadership and given himself a clear run until the next general election, critical Tory MPs are wondering whether the "Brent factor" will reopen the leadership issue.As they returned to Westminster after their summer break this week, the mood of most Tory MPs was pretty docile. Iain Duncan Smith will spend his second anniversary as Tory leader tomorrow closeted with his shadow cabinet colleagues in a Buckinghamshire hotel as they plan a long-awaited launch of the party's policies. Although Mr Duncan Smith claimed yesterday that the Conservatives were in better shape than they had been for 10 years, another cloud looms on his horizon. The Government has estimated that it would cost £1.5bn to bring in an ID card, with people being charged about £40 a head.. The Home Secretary said that he gave the Cabinet a progress report on the plans for compulsory ID cards, which would be designed to help stamp out benefit fraud, illegal working, abuse of the NHS and other types of identity crime.He said his presentation yesterday was intended to ensure that he had the authority to go ahead with more preparatory work.
I would take this with a considerable pinch of salt and rely on me to persuade them that it will be all right."He added: "We have got to make a decision as to whether we have the inclination or the space available to bring forward empowerment legislation in the coming session of Parliament."Mr Blunkett did not reveal the stances of specific ministers. Cabinet members have expressed "perfectly reasonable scepticism" at plans for a national ID card, the Home Secretary said yesterday. Some commentators had been expecting an announcement at this month's Labour Party conference in Bournemouth.Mr Blunkett told the Home Affairs Select Committee: "I noted this morning at Cabinet that several members who are great enthusiasts were named in Sunday newspapers as being against and several who had expressed perfectly reasonable scepticism were named as being in favour. It is also bidding for the Greater Anglia and ScotRail franchises..
Silverlink passengers will suffer major loss and inconvenience. "We're waiting for technical detail and opinion before we can find out how and when we can get our trains into service The fault was found on several of the trains' brakes We took the entire fleet out as a precaution. Safety is our main concern."He added: "From Northampton, Watford and Milton Keynes to London, we take the vast majority of commuters."The timing for Silverlink's parent company, which will lose a six-figure sum for every day that the service is suspended, could not have been worse.National Express Group, which has expanded from being a coach company to become Britain's largest train operator, confirmed it was negotiating an extension to its Silverlink and Wessex franchises and part of its West Anglia and Great Northern network. Silverlink staff were posted to inform commuters arriving at stations in the rush hour that they would have to use an emergency buses or switch to other rail companies, such as Virgin and Thameslink, if possible.Suzanne May, chairwoman of the London Transport Users Committee, said: "This is dreadful news. For Michael Davies, who is paid £125,000 a year as part-time chairman of National Express Group, yesterday was a good news day. Profits were up 11 per cent, rail passenger numbers had risen 5 per cent and he was "pleased with our performance".
How about, "I wouldn't even use this book to wipe my arse if I had dysentery"? Does that get the tone? What about the plain truth: Tibor Fischer has produced an uncharacteristically dull book? You can probably find something better to read.. It is surely not irrelevant that, although born in Stockport, he has Hungarian parents.This time around, though, it all becomes rather monotonous. There is hardly any modulation of tone, the characters all sound the same, and again and again Fischer strives for the gnomic and manages only the banal: "For all of us, the smallest thing can store unimaginable multitudes"; and, in a clinching sentence, "Home can never be a place, only a person."I suppose I could work up some indignation about all this. He approaches it like somebody meeting it for first time, testing and inverting clich? promiscuously coining new words or giving old ones excitingly fresh contexts. These strike me as implausible without being especially interesting.The other thing I have enjoyed in Fischer's work is his way with the English language. The shape-changing, sentient pot that narrated The Collector Collector: now, that was freaky. By comparison, the stripper who can bring down a helicopter with sheer sexual magnetism, the accident-prone debt collector with a brother called Kold Hard Kash, the psychopath who lives on an aircraft carrier and only eats ostrich-flavour crisps...