The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.


Meet the Professor

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Freedom of Information Act

Well, we interviewed Maurice Frankel. He's an extraordinary man. Pretty much dedicated the last 30 years of his life to the Freedom of Information Act.

It gives us the same rights of access to Government information that the Americans have had for half a century and the Swedes have had for a couple of centuries - tells you something of the mindset we're up against in the UK.

Labour has had the act on it's last 6 or 7 manifestos. Some cynics would say that's a clear indication of manifesto promises versus intent. Labour would counter they weren't voted into a position to carry out it's manifesto promises on all of those occasions. However, they got the juice in '97 and passed the Act in 2000 on the basis of a 2005 introduction (handy that - bridging a general election) on the basis that it would take time for government departments and local councils to prepare.

And here's the rub. Having lived with the Act for the last couple of years they'd decided a couple of amendments are needed (you just know where this is going dontcha ?).

1) Gov't may refuse a request that costs more than £450 to process (if requested of an individual, £600 for a gov. department).

2) You can't exceed the cost limit in requests to one department in a three month period.

That combination is going to put some serious restrictions on access to the media and perhaps more importantly, MPs - who've been reduced to making FOI requests because of the paltry state of affairs in answers to Parliamentary and written questions.

Tomorrow, the man who's done more for democracy than.... well, pretty much everybody.

Curiously, Maurice hasn't been on any honours list - presumably not funded well enough. So Donate now (you might as well, it's tax-free and your hard-earned cash'll end up in Gov't coffers anyway)

5 comments:

  1. grimly fiendish24 Jan 2007, 09:34:00

    I know, I'll make a donation to the Labour party, get nominated for a Lordship, have it rejected, make an FOI request as to why, have that rejected, headbutt Tony Blair, go to court, get found guilty and have the sentence rejected by Joh Reid 'cos we haven't got any more prison capacity (see http://uk.news.yahoo.com/24012007/356/reid-send-people-jail.html)

    What a bunch of fuckwits.

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  2. If I donate to the FOI campaign do I get a peerage ?

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  3. Inspector Yatesy24 Jan 2007, 17:59:00

    "Tony Bliar said...
    If I donate to the FOI campaign do I get a peerage ?"

    Only if you don't declare it.

    Will be seeing you soon

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  4. Lord Frankel of Islington, sounds good doesn't it

    ReplyDelete
  5. hacksaw timhenman2 Feb 2007, 12:30:00

    lord frankel of finchley, has more fuck you to it??

    ReplyDelete