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 26, 2009

What next ?

From the Prof ;

One thing is clear from the last 10 days in the Members Library.
  • Without the Freedom of Information Act we would be none the wiser re. expenses.
Pertinent to this is the following ;
  • The government has spent a considerable amount of our money opposing FOI requests (exactly how much will be the subject of an FOI request from ourselves)
  • Andrew Marr stated to the ex-Lord Chancellor that this government "shepharded" the FOI onto the statute books - this is not the case. A more accurate description would be, "the shephard was dragged kicking and screaming.".
As the press moves on from exposing the crooks to "what next ?", but a handful have actually announced they will be standing down. Others, for example the insufferable Hazel Blears, have announced they will be handing the stolen cash back. Blears warrants particular mention because she had the audacity to do it in a "here's-your-Lottery-cheque" style press call with a rictus grin smeared across her face and a stock "on-message" phrase to hand, "I acted completely within the rules".

Unacceptable from a government minister. Brown should have thrown her into the Thames. Perhaps his back's playing up again with lack of vertebrae.

All of which still leaves us with, "what next ?". All parties have remained silent on the one area that we know has worked, a statute that gives their employers the power to find out what they've been up to and offer up a method of dealing with it.

The FOI is enforced by the courts. They can overturn the governments objection and force publication of the information requested (Note : with the exception of Tony Blair's 2000-2001 expenses which were accidentally shredded).

In the current situation, the government's proposed "Parliamentary Standards Authority" would have responded to a complaint with, "there's no case here, they've acted within the rules". Harman and Ben Bradshaw (more on him tomorrow) have declared the proposal, "an end to self-regulation".

It is not.

All of the afore-mentioned point to the following ;

1) The FOI provides transparency. It needs to be emboldened.
2) The courts have a good record of protecting the public interest.

I'm off for a quick nap before some final research on Ben Bradshaw's voting record. On Questiontime last week he stated emphatically that hs voting record on transparency speaks for itself. Our researchers have questioned this. More tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see someone hard at work for the public's interest. Keep up the hard work Professor and make us proud.

    FOI is the key to unlocking social justice.