Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Case Law

Proceedings of the Court of Decency

Session 2007/08 CoD96 - F.O.I. Request 08/34/2

R. Thomas vs H.M.G.

(Rush transcript - 11.32 27/2/08, Justice Brown presiding)

(Transcript begins)

Justice Brown: "...Turning to our next case, let's see... Ah! That bloody information commissioner, what? Thomas, isn't it? Still banging on about that Iraq nonsense I see... Oh well, I suppose we might as well just bash through it, make it look good..."

"...So, you want the transcript of the pre-war cabinet meetings released. Ho ho, you never give up, you nasty little terrier you... Let's see... 'The decision to take military action against another state is so important that accountability... etcetera etcetera, public interest and so on and so forth...'"

Well, this looks an open and shut case to me, Thomas old boy. You've clearly failed to understand how British democracy works, eh? See, in Britain, what we do is elect a party to represent our interests - that party elects a leader, and that leader is then free to do whatever he sees fit, without having to answer a lot of impertinent questions from jumped-up quill-pushers such as yourself."

"Indeed, I see a further difficulty here - this 'transparency and accountability' malarkey sets a jolly bad precedent. If we start auditing government decision making, that'll hardly encourage them to be more open about their true intentions in future, will it?"

Thomas: "I object your honour, I - (Inaudible) - in the interests of full public disclosure - (Inaudible, "public trust", "governance", some such nonsense)

JB: "Yes, that's all well and good, Thomas, but what if ministers were unable to get their story straight in private before presenting a pack of half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies to the public? If Johnny Taxpayer is going to stick his oafish nose into every cabinet meeting, it carries a real risk that ministers will be less open and transparent when preparing to mislead the public over future foreign policy disasters."

Thomas: (Inaudible, 'pre-emptive' this, 'war of choice' that, 'misleading the electorate' etc. etc... i.e. much the same prating foolishness as before)

JB: "Overruled, Thomas, you contemptible little scrote. What's all this about 'Pre-emptive war', then? Surely that's the whole point, you clot. One goes to the great trouble of shooting first precisely so that one can ask questions later, or preferably never... I'm satisfied that this will all come out in the fullness of time, by which point everyone will have forgotten what the problem was, and there'll be no unpleasant prosecutions - case dismissed."

"Now you, Thomas, Information Commissioner or not - I'm of good mind to fine you for wasting the court's time this morning, you meddlesome little turd. What's your interest in overturning the basics of British governance, eh? For let us not forget that Liberty, If It Means Anything, Is The Right To Elect a Prime Minister Then Slavishly Obey His Whims Without Getting Ideas Above Our Station, eh?"

"Get out of my sight, you despicable oaf... Now, what's next... What? Lunchtime already? Good show, I'm ruddy starving, and I've got the Common Man vs. the Liberal Intelligentsia to do first thing tomorrow morning..."

(Transcript ends)

Full text of written judgement

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