Are we supposed to be surprised by this.
While this bunch of wasters are busy taking away our civil rights it is deemed not be in the public interest to see these minutes. They have plenty to hide and do not want us to see how incompetent and divided they were, or still are. The expression looking after Jack springs to mind. Excuse the bad pun.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has vetoed the publication of minutes of key Cabinet meetings held in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.
He said he would use a clause in the Freedom of Information Act to block the release of details of meetings in which the war’s legality was discussed.
Releasing the papers would do “serious damage” to Cabinet government, he said, and outweighed public interest needs.
The Information Tribunal ruled last month that they should be published.
They had rejected a government appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling that the papers be published because decisions taken in the run-up to 2003 invasion of Iraq were “momentous” and controversial.
There is a balance to be struck between openness and maintaining aspects of our structure of democratic government
The government could have appealed against the Information Tribunal’s decision in the High Court, but has decided instead to use the ministerial veto for the first time since the Freedom of Information laws came into force.
Mr Straw told MPs he had not taken the decision – which had to be approved by Cabinet – to block the minutes “lightly”.
But he said it was “necessary” in the interest of protecting the confidentiality of ministerial discussions which underpinned Cabinet government and collective responsibility.
“There is a balance to be struck between openness and maintaining aspects of our structure of democratic government,” he said.
“The damage that disclosure of the minutes in this instance would do far outweighs any corresponding public interest in their disclosure.”
The Conservatives said the decision was “right” since the release of the minutes would make ministers more reluctant to discuss controversial subjects in future, impeding good government.
However, shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve said the way the government had handled the issue betrayed its contempt for the FOI legislation it itself introduced.
The order concerns meetings of Tony Blair’s cabinet in 2003
He also repeated his call for a full-scale public inquiry into the Iraq war, saying the need for this was now “overwhelming”.
For the Lib Dems, justice spokesman David Howarth said the decision was “more to do with preventing embarrassment than protecting the system of government”.
He said it was in the public’s interest to know that the Cabinet, as a decision-making body, had “collapsed” in the run-up to war and been supplanted by a handful of key individuals around the then prime minister Tony Blair.
Labour MP Tony Wright said it was a cause of “great regret” that the veto had been used for the first time and would reinforce the impression among the public that there was something that ministers wanted to hide.
The SNP described the move as a “cover-up” and said an inquiry was needed so that lessons could be learnt from the “worst UK foreign policy decision in living memory”.
“The public feels it was lied to about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, and those responsible must not be allowed to hide from an inquiry,” said its defence spokesman Angus Robertson.
The release of the cabinet minutes would have reopened controversy over then attorney general Lord Goldsmith’s legal advice on the war.
On the eve of war, 17 March, Lord Goldsmith’s opinion unequivocally saying military action was legal was presented to cabinet, MPs and the military and published.
Anything other than exceptional use of the veto would threaten to undermine much of the progress made towards greater openness and transparency in government
Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner
But after long-running reports that he had changed his mind as the planned invasion approached, his initial lengthy advice given to Mr Blair on 7 March was leaked and then published in 2005.
This advice raised a number of questions and concerns about the possible legality of military action against Iraq without a second UN resolution and was never shown to the cabinet.
Mr Blair defended his decision not to show the cabinet the full advice, saying Lord Goldsmith had attended the cabinet in person and was able to answer any legal questions and explain his view.
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, who backed publication on public interest grounds, said the exercise of a veto over standard FOI procedures must be “exceptional”.
“Anything other than exceptional use of the veto would threaten to undermine much of the progress made towards greater openness and transparency in government since the FOI Act came into force,” he said, adding that he would issue a report to Parliament about the case shortly.
Freedom of Information campaigners expressed concerns that the use of the veto in this case could set a precedent for less controversial material to be withheld in future.
Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, said ministers should have either accepted the Tribunal decision’s or challenged it in the High Court if they believed they had legal grounds to do so.
In its ruling in January supporting publication, the Tribunal said “the decision to commit the nation’s armed forces to the invasion of another country is momentous in its own right and … its seriousness is increased by the criticisms that have been made of the general decision-making processes in the cabinet at the time”.
The Tribunal concluded that the release of the minutes now would not set a precedent in future cases.
Cabinet minutes are not normally released until at least 30 years after the event.
This is beyond belief and again it calls into question why we were signed into this court and its rules that stamps into the ground time and again the laws of sovereign nations.
We have sufficient laws and rules to cover Human Rights issues.
I thing as is proven again that the Judiciary are a bunch of withered upper class do goody lefties without a clue to the real world.
Radical preacher Abu Qatada has been awarded £2,500 in compensation by the European Court of Human Rights.
Judges ruled that his detention without trial in the UK under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was “very disappointed” with the award, but it was “not always possible” to bring terror suspects to trial.
On Wednesday, Law Lords ruled that Abu Qatada, 48, could be deported to Jordan despite fears he could face torture.
Abu Qatada has been held both in Belmarsh high security prison and under 22-hour home curfew. His lawyers have already submitted an application to the European Court appealing against his deportation.
Shadow security minister Crispin Blunt said the pay-out was “an appalling scandal”.
The European Court also awarded pay-outs of between £1,500 and £3,400 to 10 other people who were detained in Britain following 9/11 on suspicion of providing support for extremists linked to al-Qaeda.
They include Abu Rideh, a Palestinian refugee who was detained in December 2001, accused of having links to radical preacher Abu Hamza, and Djamal Ajouaou, a Moroccan national, accused of being connected to two other terror suspects.
Of the others, who cannot be named for legal reasons, six are Algerian, one Tunisian and one French.
They were held in prison without charge until 2005 and subsequently released under control orders. Several are understood to have since returned to their own countries.
Judges said the British government had breached three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to liberty, the right for lawfulness of detention to be decided by a court and the right to compensation for unlawful detention.
But they rejected a fourth complaint, ruling that the detention of Abu Qatada did not amount to “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment”.
Their decision is final and the government has no right to appeal.
The judges said the compensation amounts were “substantially lower” than those granted in previous cases of “unlawful detention”.
They said this was “in view of the fact that the detention scheme (the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001) was devised in the face of a public emergency”.
The Act was also designed “as an attempt to reconcile the need to protect the UK public against terrorism with the obligation not to send the applicants back to countries where they faced a real risk of ill-treatment,” they said.
Where a person is arrested on the basis of “an allegedly reasonable suspicion of unlawful behaviour”, they must have the opportunity to challenge those claims, they added.
The home secretary said the judgement was based on “historic legislation” that was repealed almost four years ago.
“Prosecution is always our preferred option, but is not always possible,” she said.
“We replaced this law with a twin-track approach of deportation with assurances for foreign nationals and control orders for those whom we cannot prosecute or deport.”
Corinna Ferguson, from human rights group Liberty, said: “Liberty is a fundamental right and it’s not something that can be compromised in the face of a terrorist threat.”
Abu Qatada cannot be deported from Britain until the European Court has considered his appeal bid.
He was convicted in absentia in Jordan for involvement in an alleged conspiracy to bomb hotels in the capital Amman. He was also accused of providing finance and advice for other terror plots.
One judge has described him as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe.
Qatada was first detained in 2002, and was later released under a strict control order. He is currently being held in Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire after being re-arrested for breaching his bail conditions.
GORDON BROWN was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.
The teacher asked Mr. BROWN if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘tragedy’. So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a ‘tragedy’.
A little boy stood up and offered: ‘If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field & a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a ‘tragedy.’
No, said GORDON – that would be an accident.’
A little girl raised her hand: ‘If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy’
I’m afraid not, explained GORDON – that’s what we would call great loss’.
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. GORDON searched the room. ‘Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?’
Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand…In a quiet voice he said: ‘If a plane carrying you and MR. DARLING was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile & blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.’
‘Fantastic!’ exclaimed GORDON.. ‘That’s right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?’
‘Well,’ says little Johnny ‘it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be a f**king accident either!
An attractive blonde from Dublin arrived at the casino and bet
twenty thousand dollars on a single roll of the dice. She said,
‘I hope you don’t mind, but I feel much luckier when I’m completely nude.’
With that, she stripped from the neck down, rolled the dice and yelled,
‘Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!’
As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed
‘YES, YES, I WON, I WON!’
She hugged each of the dealers and then picked up her winnings and
her clothes and quickly departed. The dealers stared at each other dumb-founded.
Finally, one of them asked, ‘What did she roll?’
The other answered, ‘I don’t know – I thought you were watching.’
MORAL OF THE STORY
Not all Irish are stupid; Not all blondes are dumb; but all men are men.
Dispatcher : 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown
house on the corner.
Dispatcher: Do you have an address?
Caller: No, I have on a blouse and slacks, why?
Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller : Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham
and cheese sandwich .
Dispatcher : Excuse me?
Caller : I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen
table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had
taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher : Was anything else taken?
Caller : No, but this has happened to me before and I’m sick and tired
Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I’m trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn’t have
an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma’am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I’m not stupid.
My Personal Favorite!!!
Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What’s the nature of your emergency?
Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two
Dispatcher: Is this her first child?
Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!
And the winner is……….
Caller: Yeah, I’m having trouble breathing. I’m all out of breath.
Darn….I think I’m going to pass out.
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I’m at a pay phone. North and Foster.
Dispatcher: ! Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?
Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble
Caller: Running from the Police.