Putting the 'private' into private members

Guardian: MPs back 'squalid' curbs on FoI

MPs today backed a controversial bid to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act—a move described by opponents as "squalid".

The Tory private member's freedom of information (amendment) bill secured its third reading by 96 votes to 25, a majority of 71.

This from the people who exempted their own bar and club from the forthcoming anti-smoking law.

That's it, I've started an online pledge:

"I will refuse to vote in the next UK general election if members of parliament make themselves exempt from the Freedom of Information Act but only if 10,000 other UK registered voters will do the same."

— Richard Carter, disillusioned voter

Click here to sign the pledge, or text pledge FOI-4-Parliament to 60022 (UK only).

(Remember, you only need to refuse to vote if MPs make themselves exempt.)

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Isn't that a bit like judges declaring themselves exempt from prosecution? The words Diplomatic & Immunity spring to mind.

  2. I was considering requesting the names of the MP's that voted this through in a vain attempt to write and shame them if it was successful. But they wouldn't release the names would they?


  3. Copied to notepad and saved as MPBastards.txt for future reference. I wonder if we can get wonderboy Boris to talk it out?

    As a bit of an afterthought. Do you think it will be retrospective like the original FoI act?

  4. I realise that intemperate language might get edited for more lovable public consumption but anyway:

    This is a fucking disgrace! Yet another civil liberty to be destroyed by the people who brought you "Habeas corpus? Double jeopardy? We don't need no steeeenking legal protections".

    To be all emotive for a second: my grandparents' generation (and more before them) fought and died to garner us the freedoms we so blithely and apathetically dispose of. Time for a successful Gunpowder plot! (ahhh the etch-a-sketch approach to politics!)

  5. Apparently (according to my wife, who is a tax accountant & so I tend to believe on such matters) MPs are also exempted from the pensions cap. This stops people (hypothetical people rather than me, sad to say) putting more than about 250K per year or a total of about 1.something million pounds into their tax-free pension funds.

    Why should MP's be exempted from this?

    In fact, if they need to be exempted from this, where in the name ofHell are they getting that sort of money from?

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