Government data to be opened up to the public
The Number 10 Website gives details of the most profound changes to the way information is to be made available to us for the purposes of providing independent scrutiny of the things done in our name.
As far as local government is concerned the minimum limit of disclosure is proposed to be £500. This will give anyone the ability to see what is going on and to keep an eye on them in quite unprecedented detail.
I look forward also to the release of central government spending details, the proposed minimum disclosure limit of £25,000 should give access to a great deal of information that, up to now, would have taken a long time to get at the truth using many FOI requests.
An encouraging start in the right direction that should be applauded.
PM outlines plans for transparent Government
Listen to Camerons podcast
Read the PM’s letter to Government departments
Introducing New Government Information Site http://data.gov.uk/, This will become one of the most interesting sites to those interested in holding the Government to account, make sure you bookmark it in your browser.
Long before the campaigning for the 2010 General Election got under way there were persistent but credible rumours circulating that a South Yorkshire MP was having great difficulty explaining his expense claims.
Enormous pressure was brought to bear for him to stand down and not to contest his seat. A replacement was already said to have been lined up for the Labour NEC to impose upon the local Party. Alas this damage limitation exercise never got to be implemented due to the arrogance of the sitting MP concerned and the incompetence of the Wakefield based Regional Labour Party.
There is much ‘unfinished business’ of this nature still to become public about MPs past behaviour regarding their expenses arrangements. Previous postings have criticised both Kevin Barron and Denis MacShane in this respect and for their complete refusal to account for any of their past behaviour. This is in flagrant breach of their leaders own instruction to them to be transparent about their use of public money, before the election, not afterwards.
I was disappointed when Eric Illsley was unmasked as the MP in question, but not, unfortunately, surprised.
The special kind of arrogance and greed, that this grubby little episode will end up uncovering, is endemic in the political life of South Yorkshire. Dominated still by Labour, definitely not ‘New’, but an amalgam of those with a very traditional ‘Old’ Labour agenda but now devoid of any principle or concept of public service.
Labour Groups on the Councils of South Yorkshire now act as self perpetuating elites, with their own interests coming before that of their constituents or the ‘people’.
David Laws has thoroughly disgraced himself and although clinging on currently, will be gone soon.
If he doesn’t stand down, Cameron will inevitably be forced to sack him by Monday.
Not the best start to the ‘New Politics’ when the old greed, sleaze and corruption is still working it’s way out of the woodwork.
Nice to see the traditional approach of concealment of sexuality, taken by Liberals of the past, still afflicts it to this day, Jeremy Thorpe anyone? or more recently Simon Hughes and Mark Oaten.
News just in, Laws resigns! More about this later.