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13 March 2006

Dunblane, 10 years, ID cards.

It's been 10 years since I wrote about the Dunblane Primary shootings
http://tinyurl.com/emej3

10 years on, two things strike me. One is that after my father died 2 years ago and who I wrote about above, he is now buried near the garden of remembrance. The tragedy of 10 years ago is a regular reminder to us when we visit his grave. In the 10 years that have passed we have got
married and had a family. Our children, now about the age that the children were that day enjoy playing in the fountain set up in the garden of remembrance. We were told that this was no Diana memorial, it was supposed to be a place where children could play. How could I have
imagined that 10 years on my own family would become connected to this tragedy in such a way.

The other is the ongoing lack of a national gun register. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2090-2070882,00.html. One of the earliest promises by Tony Blair in 1997 after being elected, the Scottish forces set up a central database in 1998, two years after the shootings. 2006 and 10 years on from the tragedy "IT difficulties" in England and Wales have prevented it from being implemented and were as still only talking about having pilots. I can't understand why the Scottish forces can get their act together so quickly, yet despite personal support from the Prime Minister we are still waiting for a UK
wide solution nearly 10 years later. As someone who works as an IT consultant, I know it shouldn't take this long. The UK government is famous for its IT failures and this is just another in a long line (and we still have ID cards to look forward to)

Whilst Tony Blair did good to introduce the legislation banning guns, I think serious questions need to be asked this week about why something which ought to be simple and which could help prevent crime and further loss of innocent life should be taking so long and if it is Tony Blair
that should be asked at Prime Ministers Questions then so be it.

Let the pressure be put on the government, the memorial fountain we have is I hope the last one we ever need.

This Government appears to have little or no ability to carry out major IT projects, as the gun register has shown. The Lords are right to keep knocking back the Identity Cards Bill. It would be a misuse of the Parliament Act to override them, and a misuse of public funds. Will this be Tony Blair's Poll Tax?
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