Freedom of Information

Why I voted for the FoI amendment

21 May 2007

Graham Allen (Nottingham, MP): My commitment to freedom of information is stronger than ever, I'm politically very clear what it is for in building our democracy. Similarly I'm clear what it is NOT for. I don't believe constituents correspondence to me should be the source of entertainment for the media or be open to those institutions who are complained about, so that they can take retaliatory action against individual whistle blowers. In the week when the next Prime Minister announces a new Constitution Bill, the press are only interested in MP's costs. So lets not mistake the media for the democratic opposition. The media are delighted with their own incestuous monopoly relationship with the executive. They see parliament -even in its current, pathetically weakened state - as a rival to disparage, not as an institution to strengthen in building the legitimate, elected accountability which would relegate them (as they see) or elevate them (as I see it) to reporting the news.

(PS: on the red herring - I'm happy for any enquirer to continue to see my claims for re-imbursement for doing my job, as they can now.)

Moderator There is a response to this above from Maurice Frankel, Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

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