So there he was, sat in the House of Commons listening to Jack Straw announce his decision to veto the Information Tribunal’s decision that the Cabinet minutes of the decision to go to war in Iraq should be released.
Up he then got, and this is what Dominic Grieve said:
The Secretary of State’s decision to use his powers of veto in this case classically illustrates what has been wrong with the Government’s approach to freedom of information.
The public have had their expectations about openness raised by Labour’s spin and propaganda, only to be brought down to earth.
Does he [Jack Straw] recall the words at that time of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mark Fisher), who said that that veto basically allowed the Home Secretary, as he then was, “to put a razor through the whole bill”?
Does the Secretary of State appreciate how it will appear to the public for someone so closely involved in the key decisions to be now personally blocking the release of that information?
So now your quiz question: how did Dominic Grieve go on to complete this sentence: “The Secretary of State’s decision is the …”? Did he say (a) “wrong one” or (b) “right one”?
Don’t be misled by all that Dominic Grieve said in the prior few minutes. For yes, he backed Jack Straw’s decision. So much for the Conservatives’ support for freedom and civil liberties. In fact, it is the second time in two days that the party has shed light on what may have driven David David to resign, for on Monday it held a policy launch with David Cameron where:
David Cameron yesterday downgraded the Tories’ commitment to civil liberties.
Should make for some interesting questions at the weekend when a phalanx of Conservatives will be descending on the Convention on Modern Liberty to argue the case they’re really, really changed, honest guv. February excepted.