Tag Archives: freedom of information


On an individual level sometimes things can appear black or white, but all too often other factors impinge too complicate things resulting in a myriad shades of grey. This was evidenced in the plot of the recent Jimmy McGovern drama, one of his ‘Accused’ series. ‘Mo’s Story’ sees single mother Mo take a “let’s grass them up” defiant stance following the shooting of her best friend’s son by local a local gang. Her resolve, however, is severely challenged when she discovers that her son was the shooter. As the complexities of the storyline became clearer, I found myself wondering just how difficult it must be for people when their beliefs are challenged by actions of dearly loved close family members.

On a public level, the complexities get much greater for any politician who attempts to do what they believe to be best for their constituents. I know that I can often be quick to criticise them, but do appreciate the fact that some people still put themselves into the firing for what is generally a thankless task. Sometimes it seems that they have an impossible task trying to chart a way forward that will satisfy all of the population, particularly when polls often seem to indicate close to 50% diametrically opposite splits in opinions. Sadly, the job of politicians is made even harder when their collective reputations are sullied by the actions of a few high profile abuses of privileges and responsibility. Thankfully many good reporters have done a wonderful job in exposing such unacceptable practices.

I am all for transparency and freedom of information but do believe that there may be times when access to certain facts needs to be carefully controlled. When people are found guilty in a court of law, a sentence is handed down and they should be deemed to have paid their debt to society on completion of the sentence. I cannot imagine anybody wishing anything else for themselves should they find themselves drawn into a destructive series of events that leads to their conviction for some offence. Sometimes, these same people may not be so ready to accept that as the case for certain types of offence committed by others. The public release of the residential address of a convicted sex offender who has served their court sentence for example could easily result in vigilante action being taken to seek to extract further punishment beyond any that was deemed appropriate by the courts. I can understand public frustration about such issues, but the answer does not lie in acting outside the law, it is the job of politicians and governments to seek a suitable resolution; and our duty to petition them accordingly.

Which brings me to the current situation regarding Julian Assange; he may have a case to justify seeking to publish leaked information from a variety of sources, but just how responsible is it to make ‘everything’ available. But then again Wikileaks doesn’t make everything available, just as with every media publication, there will inevitably have to be a selection process to determine what to publish and what to ignore. I have noticed that they do not appear to have an archive of all their own internal communications, nor does the site have a readily accessible ‘contact’ link. Although Mr. Assange is so keen to expose corrupt governmental goings on and expect them to accept responsibly, it seems that different rules apply to himself. Rather than go to Sweden to address the allegations of sexual assault laid against him, he seeks refuge in a country with a dubious press freedom history.

Mr. Assange may well have justification for seeking to expose some of the dubious practices and outright lies that have appeared via Wikileaks; his current stance regarding the Swedish accusations does, however, make it much harder for him to claim any moral high ground as he is letting himself appear no different to those that he and his organisation accuse.

But his case will be greatly helped thanks to the support of George Galloway MP who ……………. but that’s a whole other blog topic! Having spouted his latest regarding what is and isn’t rape, just how can he possibly remain associated with a political party called ‘Respect’?