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We don't want any public pressure

Martin Rosenbaum | 09:15 UK time, Wednesday, 6 September 2006

The Times has picked up this morning on one of my earlier posts, describing the Ministry of Defence refusal below as a "curious argument".

So here is another in the continuing series. This is one reason that was given to Ollie Stone-Lee, a BBC online politics journalist, by the Department for Education and Skills for not disclosing briefings prepared prior to the last general election for possible incoming ministers if the Conservatives had won:

"We are concerned about the possible disruptive effect which disclosing this material might have if the briefings were disclosed which reveal the priorities of the government over the coming months, which could prompt further responses by, for example, pressure groups intent on disputing the basis or the content of that advice. This could have the effect of preventing the decisions from ever being made because of, for example, public pressure."

Which does rather give the impression that civil servants think that public pressure on government is something to be avoided.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:33 PM on 11 Sep 2006,
  • Nicholas Aleksander wrote:

It is interesting to compare the excuses of the mandarins with the excuses used a hundred years ago in academic politics which were satirised by Cornford in Microcosmographia Academia (see http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/iau/cornford/cornford7.html ).

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