...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day 2301: Freedom from Freedom of Information


Hooray for the Liberal Democrats, and in particular Mr Norman the Baker MP, who not only bakes the bestest sticky buns in the whole of the House of Commons, he has also scuppered a Conservatory's attempt to get MPs out of having to answer Freedom of Information questions!

Yes, it seems that in Mr Balloon "new" Conservatory Party, the commitment to open and honest government extends about as far as not letting anyone see your expenses claims.

Though it is a BIT ironic that they should try to reduce the reach of free public inquiry in the same week that they tried (and failed) to nobble Mr Frown using information received BY USING the Freedom of Information Act.

They may have HEARD of the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs, but presumably they would like to repeal the Hunting Act in order to go and SHOOT IT!

It had been a bit of a worry that the government might allow this to slip through, what with their not being so very fond of Freedom of Information themselves.

(I am, incidentally, always ASTONISHED when the Labour get caught doing something bad and say "ah, but we brought in the Freedom of Information Act that you used to catch us with!" as though this is an excuse for all NAUGHTY BEHAVIOUR.

Isn't this is a bit like a BURGLAR saying "ah, but I left my fingerprints all over the scene of the crime so that you could catch me!")

As Liberal Democrat MP Mr Steve "World Wide" Webb commented earlier:

"Given that Parliament passed the legislation in the first place, it seems a bit rich for MPs to seek to avoid being covered by it."

He was worried that this would give MPs a BAD NAME, and RIGHTLY SO!

In a proper democracy, people need to be free to ask their government and legislators what they are doing and why they have done it! It seems that neither the Conservatories not the Labour really understand this. They think that asking questions is either IMPERTINENT and EMBARRASSING or an EXPENSIVE waste of TIME and MONEY.

In fact, MPs should have to answers our questions so that we know when THEY are wasting of time and money… because it is OUR time and money that they would be wasting! It ought to be impertinent and embarrassing NOT to answer your constituents' questions.

I am SURE that no one LIKES having to justify their expenses claims, but if we didn't then we could ALL just dip a fluffy foot into the petty cash jar and help ourselves. Where would we be then? In PRISON, that's where – at least if Nice Mr Dr Reid found out!

Fortunately thanks to Mr Norman the Baker, MPs were able to flibbleboost… fibulestibule… fibblybubble.. talk and talk until time ran out so that the Bill had to go to the back of the queue again and now will almost certainly disappear.

It is a GOOD THING that that Pink Dog wasn't in there REDUCING their speeches, isn't it!

Read more about the EXCELLENCE of Mr Norman the Baker from Mr Councillor Stephen Tall.

Meanwhile, in UNRELATED NEWS, the police have handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service over the Cash for Coronets affair.

Where we go from here depends on whether the Crown Prosecution Service decides to Prosecute the Crown. Maybe we can use the Freedom of Information Act to find out!

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