The Guardian reports: Whitehall mandarins – the permanent government – are fighting back, with the enthusiastic support of present and former cabinet ministers.
The 2000 Freedom of Information Act was introduced by a new Blair government despite opposition from senior civil servants. It will now be watered down, making it even more difficult for the public and the media to discover the truth.
From the start, Whitehall managed to introduce a host of exceptions in the act, including the activities of the security and intelligence agencies and anything relating to “national security”, a term I have mentioned before covers a multitude of sins.
To cite one example relating to events many decades ago: in a preface to The Defence of the Realm, his official history of MI5, Christopher Andrew says “one significant excision” demanded by Whitehall was “hard to justify”.
The censored passage relates to a chapter entitled the “Wilson Plot” – a reference to attempts to smear the former Labour prime minister and destablise his government. [Continue reading…]