Sunday, February 27, 2005

Media roundup

Sunday Herald 27th February -Where’s the freedom of information when we can’t get the truth? "Today we publish details about flights carrying alleged terrorist prisoners on their way, through Scotland, to countries where they can be interrogated and tortured without fear of human rights lawyers intervening. We believe, as British soil is being used to aid this practice, we have a right to know the extent of such activity with a view to ensuring it stops. We have in place the mechanism to ask. It is called the Freedom of Information Act. But ask about the information from the office of the attorney general that claimed war was legal, and there is only denial and silence. Ask our government if they are aiding a heinous illegal practice involving torture in undisclosed countries, and there is yet more silence. There is no information and it makes a mockery of even the freedom to ask."

Sunday Herald 27th February- Scotland’s secret environmental shame revealed
"A list of all the European “infraction cases” was released to the Sunday Herald by the Scottish Executive last week in response to a request under the new Freedom of Information Act....Although the Executive listed the laws that are the subject of the 32 infringement proceedings, it refused to disclose the substance of the European Commission’s allegations. That, it said, was outwith the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, and was the responsibility of the Cabinet Office in Whitehall."

Sunday Telegraph 27th February - Kew loses over 800 years of history
"More than 1,600 historical records, some of which date back to the 12th century, have gone missing from the National Archives in Kew. Details obtained by The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 1,672 original documents have disappeared. The papers, which span more than 800 years of British history, include 21 records from the private offices of various prime ministers and 24 Cabinet Office documents."

The Times 26th February - More than 8 million are now dangerously obese
"The obesity data within the survey, which was published in December, came to light yesterday after a request to the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act. The statistics, which are compiled from sample surveys throughout the country."

Manchster Evening News 25th February- Freedom of Information Act found wanting
"SEVERE limitations on the new Freedom of Information Act have been exposed by a Manchester Evening News investigation....
The questions, and the less-than-full answers

Indepedent 27th February - Spin row over Labour claims 'we've never had it so good
"Ministers decided to publish the report by the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit after The Independent requested to see it under the Freedom of Information Act. The Strategic Audit of Life in Britain found increased prosperity, with the most deprived areas seeing a big improvement in health, education, employment and some types of crime. But, the report said, there were still worrying numbers of workless households. It also found that public "trust in government to put national interest over party interest" was declining."


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