Freedom of Information requests are the bread and butter of journalism. Back in the day, we had no way of holding the government to account – but today, while navigating the intricacies of FOI can still be a major headache – we have FOI as a functioning tool..
Tony Blair apparently regrets bringing creating FOI. Well, he would wouldn’t he.
At the time of writing I have FOIs in with the Health and Safety Executive, several universities, and the Homes and Communities agency. Wish me luck – I’m probably going to need it.
Why? Well our establishment does not trust us with the facts or the truth. Heather Brookes wrote the excellent The Silent State in which she gets pretty angry about secrecy, foiled FOIs, and press officers – I don’t think she’d like me (unfairly I think, but there ya go).
However – here is a link to the Guardian and her spot-on critique of all that’s wrong with the current decision to withhold Prince Charles’ letters government ministers.
For pity’s sake, who elected Prince Charles, why do we allow him a voice, and, most importantly – why can’t we see these letters. We can only assume the damage to the Establishment in publishing the letters is greater than the embarrassment at trying to hide them.
The idea that one person is better than another person by virtue of birth is a cancer that riddles our society. And this is yet incident by which the case for the abolition of the monarchy is proved.