Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The New Labour Militsiya, formerly known as the Metropolitan Police, have been trying to spin their way around the institution’s publicly avowed commitment to openness and accountability.
Asked to provide information (see our FOI request HERE) about the manner in which they had dealt with our fraud and corruption allegations about the conduct and outcome of the 2004 Gaul RFI, they refused to do so, making the most of the exemption provisions in the FOI Act, and pettifogging about their grounds for absolute secrecy.
Amongst other things, they argued, disclosing the detectives’ assessment of the case and their justification for refusing to investigate our complaint could expose their “operational methodology and investigative techniques” to the general public and, potentially, to any crooks with an interest in foiling them.
Far from it being our intention to wreck the operational capability of the Met, we contend that our request was only aimed at confirming their ability to act as politically impartial public servants; we were not particularly interested in their investigative methods - which, frankly speaking, are already known to many of us, having recently read about them in the national press.
Therefore, availing ourselves of the same FOI Act provisions and of the Information Commissioner’s interpretation thereof, we have sent the Met our reply (HERE) and insisted on a review.
The whole exchange of correspondence can be seen at:
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Today is the 6th of December. Thirty-seven years ago, on 6 December 1971, the Gaul was launched at the Brooke Marine Yard in Lowestoft. At the launching ceremony – a sort of baptism for the ship – the vessel was given her first name: Ranger Castor.
The ship launch itself signifies the moving of the ship from shore into the sea. With the Gaul, as with many other vessels, this was done using slipways – greased sliding ramps along which the vessel slid slowly into the water.