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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Good news on freedom of information

I had a useful message yesterday via one of my many Facebook campaign groups. This one is run by James Graham and relates to the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to exempt MPs from the Act and will prevent the publication of their detailed expense claims.

As of 5pm yestoday, this Bill was been declared dead by the House of Lords authorities. With no-one willing to sponsor it (not a single one of the 700+ peers), it cannot go any further.

"The message goes on to say that of course, in Parliament, no legislation is ever truly dead. Like Friday the 13th films, bad laws have a nasty habit of coming back. In addition, the government is still making noises about its desire to weaken existing FoI legislation in other ways. This has to be stopped."
Given what very good news this is, can I make a suggestion? Will all those Lib Dems who quite properly opposed the idea of FOI exemption for parliament - especially the MPs who signed the EDM - make some bloody noise about it? We were the only party who stood up en masse against this nonsense, so let's not waste an opportunity to remind the voters about it.
This also shows, surely, the important role the House of Lords can play. Bizarre, though, isn't it, that an un-elected body sometimes stands up for people and represents their views better than the politicians we vote for?
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