Friday, May 16, 2008

Well Done Heather

Reading them our rights

As BOM readers will know, Heather Brooke is a fearless and indefatigable freedom of information campaigner. She runs the blog Your Right to Know.

For the past couple of years she has been hard on the case of our rascally MPs over their secret expense claims. And today she has won a famous victory. Despite the tax-funded efforts of Fat Mick to outgun her in the courts, she has won:

"Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Blake dismissed Parliament’s attempts at preventing disclosure... they said:

“Once legislation which applies to Parliament has been enacted, MPs cannot and could not reasonably expect to contract out compliance with it, or exempt themselves, or be exempted from its ambit. Such actions would themselves contravene the Bill of Rights.”

Given that the Bill of Rights (pic) was established 300 years ago - long before we ordinary punters even had the vote - the judgement speaks volumes about the sleazy self-serving pit into which Parliament has sunk.

Of course, our esteemed rulers may appeal still further. But as Heather points out:

"The more MPs resist transparency the more they fall in the public’s esteem. Constituents are not content with the elitist and unaccountable old boys system that operates inside the Palace of Westminster. Drastic reform is needed to bring this institution into the 21st century."

Hear hear.

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