Friday 19 June 2009

Blackwash: Heather Brooke on MPs' expenses

Heather Brooke, the journalist who led the Freedom of Information campaign for MPs' expenses to be made public, really knows her stuff. Her view of the MPs' blacked out expenses is essential reading on her Your Right to Know blog.
Here's a sample: "Now we’ve seen the censored version and it’s clear the Commons have not abided by the spirit of the High Court ruling. Instead of a presumption of openness they have opted for a presumption of secrecy in which only six types of information are disclosed. The rest are not for our eyes – even though we paid for it.
"The censorship is random, inconsistent and unprofessional. It follows one guiding principle: the avoidance of embarrassment. And yet by exhibiting their censoriousness so boldly, MPs’ have only heaped more ridicule upon themselves.
"The deletions we know about give the lie to the now-discredited ‘security’ and ‘privacy’ excuses. We see Gordon Brown’s Sky subscription blacked out along with Margaret Beckett’s plants and pergola.
"But the blackness is a victory of sorts. It shows the full extent of the Commons censoring operation."

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