Friday, May 25, 2007

 

FOI debacle: holding Stephen Hammond MP to account

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceReaders of Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem Blogs will doubtless already be aware of the scandalous Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill - otherwise known as the David MacLean Secrecy Bill to Stop Publication of MPs Expenses!

If any readers are unsure of the background, have a read through Lib Dem Voice since April 20 (or check out the campaign's Facebook group).

I have written an open letter to Conservative MP Stephen Hammond following these absurd comments on his website:
"Interestingly, given the noise they are making about the Bill, it is noteworthy that not a single Liberal Democrat opposed the Bill at Second Reading. In fact, they actually supported it at Committee Stage! In reality, even at Third Reading only nine of their 63 MPs voted against it, despite many more being in the House to vote on the Closure motions! Isn’t it interesting that for all their sanctimonious words, their actions fail them? I am sure, like me, you are not surprised - as this is exactly what is to be expected of Liberal Democrats."
These are little more than weasel words designed to damp down the outrage surrounding the Tory position on this Bill - and at the same time impugn the reputation of the Lib Dems, who have been gaining a lot of credit for theirs.

My response (posted on his website) is as follows:
Dear Mr. Hammond,

I am utterly outraged by your attempt below to misrepresent the position of the Liberal Democrats on the issue of the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill.

Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed this Bill, both in Parliament and in their national campaigns - to the extent of setting up a national online petition.

You may notice that no members of the House whatsoever opposed the Second Reading of the Bill. There was no debate, and no division. At that point it was a little-known Private Members Bill among many others.

It was Liberal Democrat Members who first brought this scandalous Bill to public attention, including Norman Baker MP, Simon Hughes MP and Nick Harvey MP (whom you incorrectly accuse of supporting the Bill at Committee stage).

Mr. Harvey himself has said on the topic of this Bill: -

'I gave interviews on radio/TV, before most folks here even woke up to the issue, opposing the bill and making clear my objections. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading people.

'I do think Maclean identified a couple of valid concerns – MP correspondence when not covered by Data Protection, and potentially excessive intrusions regarding expenses.

'But his bill takes a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and we can’t have an FOI Act which excludes the national legislature.

'When I spoke at the committee, Mark D’Arcy of BBC radio – who sat in - immediately booked an interview with me, because I was the only one present “who spoke against it” (his words).'

Since this Bill was brought to their attention, Liberal Democrats have made concerted efforts to block it, especially Mr. Hughes and Mr. Baker who successfully talked out a previous attempt to progress it to a Third Reading in April.

No Liberal Democrat Member has, to my knowledge, supported this Bill at any stage of the legislative process. Any failure to intervene at an earlier stage is lamentable, but that owes more to the absurd system of debating Private Members Bills on a Friday when Members should rightly be engaged in Constituency work.

By contrast, the Labour and Conservative members who allowed this Bill to proceed to the Lords have suffered a clear failure of conscience.

May I remind you: This Bill was authored by David MacLean, a Conservative MP. It was voted for by a number of Conservative front benchers. And it would not have proceeded to the Lords without being sponsored by Lord Trefgarne - a Conservative Peer.

Your attempts to pour scorn on the Liberal Democrats will not salve the conscience of the Conservative Party, nor will it allow you the right to use sanctimonious words of your own!

Yours sincerely,

Joe Taylor
If you, too, think that this Bill is a national outrage, you can do two things:
  1. Sign the Lib Dem petition at http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/foi
  2. Write to a random Lord at http://www.writetothem.com/lords

Comments:

I would just like Stephen Hammond MP to explain why he didn't vote against the bill at the third reading. He makes a big thing of not supporting the bill, and he voted to cut short debate . . . and then didn't vote either way.

 
Exactly. Not the most solid ground to be criticising others from!

Tory and Labour MPs alike have been back-tracking big time since we started making a big deal of this.

 
There's an explanation of Stephen Hammnd's behaviour here

 
He also voted against in divisions 120 and 121 which were amendments to partially remove the exemption for MPs . . .

 
2QtAjo The best blog you have!

 
HHfJHT Hello all!

 
Magnific!

 
Good job!

 
Magnific!

 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

 
Magnific!

 
Please write anything else!

 
Thanks to author.

 
Wonderful blog.

 
Please write anything else!

 
4nLR6F write more, thanks.

 
Nice Article.

 
Good job!

 
Hello all!

 
Thanks to author.

 
Wonderful blog.

 
Magnific!

 
Magnific!

 
Good job!

 
Hello all!

 
Magnific!

 
Nice Article.

 
Thanks to author.

 
Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!

 
Energizer Bunny Arrested! Charged with battery.

 
I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

 
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

 
Save the whales, collect the whole set

 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

 
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

 
When there's a will, I want to be in it.

 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

 
Hello all!

 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

 
Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.

 
Wonderful blog.

 
A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.

 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

 
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

 
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

 
When there's a will, I want to be in it.

 
Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.

 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

 
Save the whales, collect the whole set

 
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

 
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

 
Please write anything else!

 
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

 
Hello all!

 
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

 
Beam me aboard, Scotty..... Sure. Will a 2x10 do?

 
All generalizations are false, including this one.

 
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

 
When there's a will, I want to be in it.

 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

 
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

 
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

 
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

 
All generalizations are false, including this one.

 
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

 
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

 
Clap on! , Clap off! clap@#&$NO CARRIER

 
640K ought to be enough for anybody. - Bill Gates 81

 
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

 
Nice Article.

 
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

 
If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

 
Hello all!

 
Beam me aboard, Scotty..... Sure. Will a 2x10 do?

 
Please write anything else!

 
情趣用品,情趣,情色,成人,A片,自拍,情趣用品,情趣,色情,成人影片,色情影片,免費A片,情趣用品,情趣,成人網站,A片下載,日本AV,做愛,情趣用品,情趣,美女交友,A片,辣妹視訊,情色視訊,情趣用品,情趣,色情聊天室,聊天室,AV,成人電影,A片,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣,情趣情色,A片,AIO,AV,日本AV,色情A片,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,A片下載,情色A片,哈啦聊天室,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,色情聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費視訊聊天,上班族聊天室,080中部人聊天室,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天,成人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,辣妹視訊,情色視訊,成人,成人影片,成人光碟,成人影城,自拍情趣用品,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,日本AV,寄情築園小遊戲,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,色情遊戲,一葉情貼圖片區,色情網站,色情影片,微風成人, 嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人影片,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,080視訊聊天室,視訊聊天室情趣用品,A片,aio,av,av女優,a漫,免費a片,aio交友愛情館,a片免費看,a片下載,本土自拍,自拍,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,一葉情貼圖片區,色情影片,情色網,色情網站,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人小說,成人電影情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,自拍,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,H漫,A片,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,SEX,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣商品

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Printed (hosted) by Blogger. Published and promoted by S Ayris on behalf of J Taylor (Liberal Democrat), all at 7 Park Grange Croft, Sheffield S2 3QJ. The views expressed are those of the party, not the service provider.

Blogging Liberal Britain
Since 2006