Politicians Exemption From FOI

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by TattooDog, May 18, 2007.

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  1. Well, it looks like the bill to exempt MPs and Peers from Freedom of Info laws has been passed in the Commons and is going to the Lords:

    FOI Link

    I appreciate they would want to keep correspondence between them and their constituents confidential, but if the rest of us have to be bound by FOI . . . . ?

    However, a part of me thinks that they would want to keep other issues under wraps such as their pay and perks, or perhaps I just don't trust politicians :?
     
  2. Correspondence is already covered by the Data Protection Act.

    Politicians will be amongst the first up against the wall come the day of the glorious revolution, etc, etc, etc
     
  3. Or the 24hr duty free bar, whilst they graciously allow the rest of us a couple of hours extra a week, and bump up the tax!
    I hope the Lords have the good sense to send this bill back where it came from.
     
  4. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    If this wasn't so serious it would be bloody hilarious, a democratically elected government choose to deny the public (who they work for) the right to access information about themselves. Now you could argue that "it was against the national interest" which seems to be the latest code for "there is corruption so we want to keep it secret" but that would just be another smokescreen. Hopefully the Lords will see sense.

    Possibly the most shocking thing is that the prospect of Freedom of Information Legislation formed part of the Labour Party manifesto in 1992 (Roy Hattersley Shadow Home Sec proposed it) and 1997, it was one of the reasons I voted for the corrupt bastards! Incidentally the Act was introduced after 240 MP's signed a Parliamentary Motion in 1998, I note only 121 bothered to vote at all today! Oh and it got a whole 20 seconds on BBC news this evening!!! Karma is correct by the way, their argument is foundless as the data they claim to be protecting is already protected..... bastards!! :evil:

    Of note: Our future Prime Ministers' representative refused to comment... I wonder why? :twisted:
     
  5. I shouldn't worry, just bear in mind the old moto:
    Everything you use to protect yourself may be used against you.
    Someone, somewhere, sooner or later, will trip and fall.
    Like the wily fox you need only rest and wait, the fat pigeon will come to you.
     
  6. Its like giving the keys to the Bar to an Alcoholic!
     
  7. Why is anyone surprised about anything that our current batch of leaders and politicians do - ever. The words "self serving" and "law unto themselves" doesn't even begin to cover it anymore.

    SF
     
  8. Its absolutely f!!!!!g disgraceful and another shining example of how OUR elected Members of Parliament are totally and utterly out of touch with the country.
    Its so annoying that these self serving bastards are continually preaching and telling us what to do and whats best for us to do yet want their affairs in Parliament to be kept secret from the people that pay them,US!!!!!!
    We need another Cromwell to overthrow this Parliament and this democracy which has become completely corrupt and rotten and start again i think!
    Any takers?
     
  9. I rather suspect he was caught on the hop with this and didnt have a prepared statement to hand, (his new found smile would have been posted AWOL too!). All very embarrasing considering his comments of the day before regarding honesty and openess in government.
     
  10. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I'm not so much surprised as shocked, how the hell are they getting away with it, I can't believe so few MP's voted, did the rest not hold a view on this important issue? (yeh right!) The current complete disengagement of the public in government affairs is a digrace, our press & media pander to it by devoting time to utter crap and yet when really important issues which require a full and open debate come up they get seconds. I would suggest Gordon Brown has an opportunity here, show us that there is no corruption in our government, prove it, and while you are at it shove out the nepotistic government and media advisors who you pay with our money!!
     
  11. All I can suggest is that you do the same as me. I am e-mailing my local MP and asking him if (a) he attended the debate and (b) how he voted. If the answer is that he didn't attend then I will register my disgust with him at the lack of parliamentary representation. So if that shower of sh1te can opt out of the FOI, can I opt out of council tax?

    Semper Strenuissima
     
  12. Nothing they do or say surprises me anymore , bunch of self serving corrupt bastards if ever I saw one , makes me pig sick . :twisted: :evil:
     
  13. So, the majority of MPs want to exempt themselves from a law governing everyone else in the land because THEY are unwilling to let US, the taxpayers, see how they spend OUR money on THEIR expenses? What are they trying to hide?

    So much for open government or am I missing something here? I hope the Lords rip these supercilious, self-serving hypocrites to shreds. This scandalous behaviour smacks more of a secrecy-strewn totalitarian police state than a transparent democracy.
     
  14. It's probably irrelevant anyway; we know where the money goes.

    - usually towards their big fat pay rises!
     
  15. Precisely! In any event, any correspondence archived (eg microfiched) should have details which might enable any individual constituent to be identified, tippexed out, eg. name & address, unless the correspondent is writing in an official capacity on behalf of a local authority of business, etc.

    The bars are NOT open 24 hours a day. They remain open for as long as the relevant House remains sitting (the Lords and Commons have separate dining and boozing areas). Thus if they have a Late Night Sitting until 0330, the bars will remain open until 0330, or a little after.

    It looks likely. The government have no electoral mandate to privilege themselves. Indeed as their mandate is to open up information, were the Lords to consent to the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2006-07, they would simply justify their own abolition, by proving they act as political poodles when self-interest vs the public interest is at stake.

    If you follow the Proceedings of the Bill (via the link above) in Hansard online you will be able to ascertain whether your MP was present and if they voted for or against the Bill. For a detailed and politically impartial briefing about the Bill, see:

    House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/18

    You need to bear in mind that for much legislation most MPs are not present but are represented proportionately by Party in discussion of a Bill, by prior agreement between the Party Whips. On Fridays MP's usually return to their constituencies in-order that they can be present in person for Saturday morning surgery in their Constituency Offices.

    As a Private Members Bill it would only exceptionally be subject to whipping if a political party were formally opposed to a particular Bill. Clearly the Government recognise the Bill as controversial and potentially embarrassing, otherwise they would probably have adopted the legislation, meaning the Bill would formally become a Government Bill (see Glossary) would be almost certain to pass in both Houses of Parliament, were say a Three Line Whip imposed.

    PS: The Member who introduced this Bill, David Maclean, may have a valid reason for wishing this Bill on the Statute Book.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6673989.stm

    He is being a bit disingenous by suggesting approval by the House Authorities constitutes legitimacy. In practice the Authorities cannot challenge an MPs expense claims unless they have received a formal complaint from another Member about possible irregularities. It is assumed that Members are Gentlemen, and they treated accordingly. To change this would require Parliamentary approval.
     

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