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back to article Whitehall Post-Its, Ministers' GMail to come under FOIA?

If you see puffs of black smoke drifting over Whitehall this week - don't be alarmed. The Information Commission is expected to rule that "backchannels" such as private email accounts, and other information recorded by Ministers and public servants must be revealed to the public. The ruling to expand the media available for …

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Gold badge

If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about. Simple as that.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually....

I would normally ask about presence of curtains in the house of anyone making a comment like that, but as these are people who are paid for by the public and (in some cases) elected by the public, they bloody well aught to be answerable to the public under FOI. They certainly shouldn't be able to weasel out of it by using personal and non-digital communication methods.

I do, however, appreciate that not all of the stuff that goes on in Government can be released to the public at the time it happens, there are legitimate state secrets.

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Silver badge

The devil will be in the detail: How do you differentiate between a private chat amongst friends, and (un)official communication which has to be released via FoI ?

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Ru
Headmaster

In the catbird seat?

That's an idiom I've not come across before.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

+1 can someone translate that whole sentence please?

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Bronze badge

Oh for heaven's sake

When will journo's stop with this 'look at me splitting hairs' approach.

It WAS a veto since by saying No the EU did not go forward with the proposed changes. The fact that the eurozone countries (enthusiastically 'led' by France and Germany) decided to implement the changes within the eurozone, while the other non-eurozone countries are considering it does not change that fact.

It may be a funky edgy political-satire type habit to describe it otherwise but you are wrong.

No I am not a David Cameron fanboi, just fed up with people swallowing political spin and regurgitating it as a 'clever' story.

If the reverse had happened and one country had gone ahead with something which the other 26 had 'vetoed' would you still say that the veto was meaningless?

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Mushroom

Yep

To the downvoters - just because you don't like something doesn't make it untrue.

It was a veto - the changes now being proposed are using a completely different approach because DC blocked the treaty changes route they wanted to go down as the latest in their series of distractions. The laughable thing is that neither route actually meant anything and they (DC and Merkozy) are all just grandstanding and lining themselves up with other people to blame for the shit that is still headed our way.

I don't agree with DC effectively making policy on future UK membership of the EU by this route but neither do I have any sympathy for Merkozy who continue to refuse to see the elephant in the room. These muppets make the Gidiot look almost as advanced as an amoeba compared to primordial slime.

The UK economic policy may not be what I would consider to be the right one but at least it has some focal point - even if it is just to use the current "difficulties" as an excuse to let their mates steal the family silver. Merkozy's policy consists of saying "oh look up there is that a flying pig" and hoping that will distract everyone from the fact that nothing is actually being done - they are the modern day equivalent of the orchestra on the Titanic.

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Anonymous Coward

dont google's GMEN keep....

archived backups, that are also accessible under FOI when pertaining to HM.Gov's mandarins?

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Anonymous Coward

When I got FOI training at the Cabinet Office a few years ago...

...we were instructed that anything written down was in scope for FOI, including post-it notes.

So I don't think that's new.

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Is eating the evidence allowable? No record, no need to disclose, no mess (assuming the paper's tasty)

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WTF?

Shirley it's not the "Mandarins 'sh*tting bricks' at possible disclosures" but the Ministers, who are using the back-channels to bypass the Sir Humprey's, who will need the underwear change?

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Enlightenment.....

"In the catbird seat? That's an idiom I've not come across before."

Explanation @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catbird_seat

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The explanation seems to include some part of "a batter with 3 balls... on him". Sounds like a good place to be, and one can see why civil servants didn't want to be ejected from it.

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Bronze badge

why?

"If the bureaucrats don't like something, like the Digital Economy Act for example, then it gets kicked into touch, and the law is not implemented."

Why FOI? The US approach would be to haul people up in front of a congressional committee, which really doesn't need FOI--the committees can issue subpoenas. Hasn't the parliament some equivalent power?

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Bronze badge
Pint

Now Americans know ...

... why Sarah Palin writes speech notes on her palm.

"So an expansion of FOI into Post-It Note™ territory promises rich pickings for all."

Next up: "Hollywood sues 4 year old in Silly Putty Comic Book Copyright caper ..."

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