Anorak News | Freedom Of Information

Freedom Of Information

by | 2nd, February 2005

‘WE have perfect freedom of information in this country – we are perfectly free to ask for whatever we want to know and the Government is perfectly free to tell us to bog off.

”Are you a liar?”

And we are glad to see, courtesy of the Independent, that only a month into the much-heralded “new era of openness” the new system is working like clockwork.

“Please disclose the legal advice given by the Attorney General on the legality of the war with Iraq,” the paper asks.

“No,” replies the Attorney. “It is legally privileged information.”

“Please disclose all ministerial and senior officer correspondence on the subject of the legality of the war/conflict in Iraq,” the paper continues.

“No,” replies the Ministry of Defence. “There is no obligation under the Act to disclose this information.”

Okay, the paper thinks, let’s try a different topic.

“Please disclose all the open evidence against the Belmarsh detainees,” it says.

“No,” replies the Home Office. “This would be too costly. Some of the information might also be exempt.”

“Please disclose documents relating to the redecoration of the Lord Chancellor’s residence, including costings, since 1997.”

“No. The question is almost certain to exceed the appropriate cost limit.”

“How many primary schools in England still have outside lavatories?”

“The department does not hold this information.”

“Please provide minutes of meeting held between officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and executives of US gaming corporations.”

“We need extra time to determine if this is in the public interest.”

“Okay, please – pretty please – could you tell us the names of, say, the last five Prime Ministers.”


“How about just the name of the current Prime Minister?”

“Still no.”

“Your name?”

“Not telling. What do you think we are? A bleedin’ information service?”’

Posted: 2nd, February 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink