The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

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Post by halfwise on Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:58 am

It's temporary. Bullies usually get smacked, but it can take a long time. Trump's made it all the way to the White House by being a bully, and he's been using his bullying to keep his position secure. Iran may have gained in the long run by being able to play the victim and regaining the freedom to control aspects of their nuclear program; but they haven't beaten him, which makes my blood boil but there it is.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:41 pm

{{ Few years back there was a terrible thing happened in Northern England, particularly around the areas of Rotherham. Several connected groups of Asian Muslim men were grooming and sexually abusing, as a a matter of specific preference, white english underage girls.
This went on on for a long time, in part it seems because whilst the police recieved plenty of worrying information about it, they were afraid to be seen as being racist and anti-muslim, so choose to ignore it.
This narrative gaining popular traction led into the hands of those on the right of politics, from the likes of Tony Robinson all the way to the far right extremists, in blaming immigrants for all woes, and specifically Muslims.
What happened was appaling of course, the failures of the police to act as appaling.
And a Report into what had gone ensued, as right wing groups were filling the fact void with their take on events.
When Sajid was Home Sec he promised the report would be published and that no fear of being politically correct or of accusations of racism would prevent him publishing it.
Now Scary Pratel is Home Secretary and the report is not going to be published. So a Freedom of Information request was put in for it, it too has been denied.
But its the reasons for why that the Home Office are giving that are interesting, and raise interesting questions about what the public have a right to know, what its best they dont know, and who should decide.

Here is the first of their three reasons-

“One of the main purposes of the exemption is to protect the ‘safe space’ necessary for ministers and officials to consider policy options in private without risk of premature disclosure. Disclosure would risk pre-empting decisions still to be made by ministers. ”

So the argument is if it got out before Ministers had time to make a considered judgement on the facts, any policy formed may be comprised by the public clamour for action. Better the public don't know what's been going on until Ministers have had time to decide what has gone on.

Reason Two-

"The information could be misleading if made public and used out of context.”

This is a interesting one. What it says to me is that much of what people like Tony Robinson and other right leaning groups have been saying was in fact true or near the mark, enough of it that they fear that it could legitimse them to some extent. Such as a youtube video showing Robinson at the time making those accusations, all the times he was then censured for it, banned from social media ended up in court for saying it accused of hate crimes, intercut with the official report saying the same things in posher words.
And the Home Office fear legitamising such people. So again best the public just dont know what happened.

Reason number Three.
And a little context to this one. This was a Freedom of Information request, one of the central criteria for publication under such a requast is to ask 'is the information in the public interest to know'.
Now its hard to deny, even this Home Office, that knowing what went on, who was doing it, on what scale, and why no action was taken by the local police and if there are lessons ot be learned to prevent it reoccuring again, are in fact in the interests of the public to know.
So, if you are in any doubt by this point that this response has been crafted by a civil servant of the same mould as Yes Minister's Sir Humphrey Appelby, I present you with the gloriously worded civil servant soaked Reason Three-

“We recognise that this topic in general and any insight and learning are matters of strong public interest, although it does not necessarily follow that it is in the public interest to disclose any specific information relating to it.”

And if your mind is reeling slightly from that it conceded that the this report taken as a whole does indeed meet the main criterea for publication- of being in the public interest, strong public interest even- its just, unfortunataley, all of the actual individual words and sentences contained in that whole report are not in the public interest to know. Shocked

Wonderful in its own way really. }}

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