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

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Restriction of Information Act, Chapter 17

Imagine refusing to show your employer copies of your business correspondence. Try it tomorrow and see if you’ve still got a job at 6pm.

One day after Gordon Brown told us his style of government would be more open and honest than the incumbent Blair, the House of Commons voted to exempt themselves from Freedom of Information requests where correspondence contains the personal data of constituents.

Essentially, it asserts there’s an obligation of confidence and a constituent may not have consented to the disclosure of personal details.

Aside from the fact that this is already covered by the Data Protection Act, there are no examples of this actually happening or of any complaints. It’s as if there aren’t enough get-out clauses for Government.

At the moment, there are 36 exemptions to disclosure under the FOI, and a further 300 statutes (not including the Official Secrets Act) that prohibit disclosure.

Of the 60+ thousand requests made since Jan 1st 2005 under the FOI, only 26,000 have been granted. Seven government departments have refused to give answers to more than half the requests they received.

There’s a legitimate argument for preventing personal details being released under FOI requests, but if they were halfway sincere in dealing with the issue, instead of giving Parliament the right to refuse a request - why not simply make it unlawful to disclose the relevant particulars without consent ? Better still, enforce the existing law.

Abso-fucking-lutely extra-ordinary. Here's a list of the gormless twats who actually voted for it. You'l notice a very poor attendance. That's 'cos 1) it's a Friday (constituency day) and 2) Gordon and his "new style of government" didn't deem it worthy of the whip.

And if you’re not convinced of their idiocy, check out the transcript of the debate in the house. We’ve said it before – it’d be hilarious if they weren’t running the fucking country.

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