I haven’t really commented on the vote by MP’s last Friday to exempt themselves from bits of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, partly because I was trying not to get annoyed at the shear ‘brass-neck’ as a friend of mine would say, of the move. Reading the debate itself doesn’t make it any better either, except perhaps to highlight a fact, most Parliament watchers are already painfully aware of, that your average MP doesn’t actually understand the laws of the country as they stand – and I would wager that most haven’t read the FOIA itself either.
What exactly do all these MP’s want to hide? That’s what I’d want to ask my MP – hello Bridget Prentice.
But, you see the thing is – folks like me actually have things all wrong apparently -this is to protect us, the constituents, not the MPs .. Oh, silly me.
Anyway, the Lib Dems, have decided what we need is a petition:
We, the undersigned, believe that Members of Parliament should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, with no special exemptions, and call on all political parties to support this position.
According to Ed Davey MP, Chief of Staff to Liberal Democrat Leader, Menzies Campbell “There should not be one law for MPs and one for everyone else. Exempting politicians from Freedom of Information requests only adds to the public perception of Parliament being opaque and clouded in secrecy. If Gordon Brown is serious about reforming our democracy this is his first real test. If David Cameron is serious about new politics now is the time to show real leadership rather than grandstanding.”