So, to my surprise, I got a response from the Home Office on the ID cards debate: (as ever, typos mine, mostly)
Entitlement Cards Unit,
Community Policy Directorate,
Dear Mr. Lightfoot,
Thank you for your letter to Beverley Hughes. Your letter has been passed to me in the Entitlement Card Unit for reply.
The Government published the consultation paper on Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud on 3 July 2002. While the formal deadline for submission of comments on the consultation paper was 31 January 2003, we are keen to see the debate continue. We are grateful for the time you have taken to comment on the paper and can confirm that your comments have been recorded and will be taken into account in our analysis of the responses received.
Ministers think it is appropriate to announce the detailed breakdown of responses to Parliament first.
There are strongly held views on all sides of the debate on entitlement or identity cards. We have had a large number of responses to the consultation exercise and are aware that many people will have put a great deal of effort into providing us with their views. We are now in the process of carefully analysing all the responses received.
The Government has made it clear that the introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and that it would not proceed without considering all the views expressed very carefully.
Carlene Farrell (Miss)
Entitlement Card Unit
This is vaguely promising, but I'm not sure what the third paragraph about announcing the breakdown of responses to Parliament `first' means -- hopefully this doesn't refer to the 28th April statement which set off this whole muddle. I've asked for clarification.