Freedom of Information is Under Attack: Help the Cause
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act is a fundamental tool necessary for the effective functioning of our democracy and the government wants to castrate it.
FOI requests allow us access to information about government activities conducted in our name and with our money. If the Torys are to have their way FOI will be watered down to the point that it is no longer effective.
Citing cost and effort spent dealing with requests as their motive; the conservatives are set to introduce new measures to curb the act that will:
- Strengthen powers for ministers to veto disclosures
- Enact changes to make it easier for requests to be refused outright
- Introduce charges for applications to view public information
FOI is under review by an entirely biased five member committee consisting of individuals known to be committed to ruining its efficacy:
- Lord Howard — Exposed by an FOI request for using £17,000 of tax payers money on ‘gardening expenses’
- Lord Carlile — A vocal critic of free information, Carlile branded the actions of the Guardian publishing the Snowden revelations ‘Criminal’
- Jack Straw — Initially responsible for the act; Straw later called for it to be rewritten and declared it a ‘mistake’
- Patricia Hodgson — On record for stating that the act has a ‘chilling’ effect on government
- Lord Burns — Chair of the Committee, Burns was the most senior of civil servants during the creation of FOI and was said to have ‘misgivings’ about its implications
The committee is in fact, so hostile to the idea of information being free that they banned journalists from reporting their initial briefing. God bless ‘em.
Don’t let these people weaken our democracy. Fight for the cause and…