All posts by Barry White

Where is the UK heading – a warning from history?

“After Brexit we also need to look at the broader aspects of our constitution: the relationship between the government, parliament and the courts; the functioning of the Royal prerogative; the role of the House of Lords; and access to justice for ordinary people. The ability of our security services to defend us against terrorism and organised crime is critical. We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.”

So ran the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto (page 48). On 31 July some eight months later and as threatened, the government has set up an panel to look at judicial review (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-independent-panel-to-look-at-judicial-review )

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Remembering Clive Ponting

‘A popular government, without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and the people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.’ James Madison, USA President 1822.   (quoted in ‘The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the Belgrano Affair’ by Clive Ponting, 1985)

Civil servant, Falklands War whistleblower, writer and historian who died aged 74 on 28 July, was perhaps one of the outstanding 20th century campaigners against official secrecy. Continue reading Remembering Clive Ponting

Assange faces new US extradition demands

The US government has made a late request to have Julian Assange extradited based on a new indictment, prosecutor Claire Dobbin told Westminster magistrates’ court at yesterday’s hearing. Washington is seeking to expand the charges against him, including by extending the group of people he is alleged to have conspired with beyond former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning,

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