Friday, 28 November 2008

If receiving a document via a government leak is a crime that the police have to investigate...

If receiving a document via a government leak is a crime that the police have to investigate then Daniel Finkelstein in The Times has 10 examples that he thinks need investigating. Conveniently they all relate to the same (then) opposition politician and I believe the police will find it quite easy to locate him. Here is Daniel Finkelstein's list:
"The Times January 4th 1988:

Mrs Margaret Thatcher was at the cente of the political storm last night after the leak of a confidential Whitehall memorandum disclosing that tough new rules are to be applied to state support for scientific research and development.

Officials at the department refused to comment on 'information that fails into someone's hands as a result of an unauthorized disclosure'.

Sources did confirm, however, that the memorandum from Mr Anthony Kesten, a senior official in the department's official Research and Technology Policy Unit, was genuine. They also indicated that a high-level internal inquiry is likely to begin today into how the document came to be passed to Mr Gordon Brown, opposition Treasury spokesman.

The Times July 2nd 1991:

The government last night seemed to be retreating from plans to include in its citizens' charter tougher consumer protection measures for users of the privatised utilities.

New draft documents leaked by Labour suggest that ministers and officials inthe trade department have dropped proposals for a reiew of the utilities and the performance of their regulators.

Labour claimed the latest document showed that Mr Major's proposed charter was worthless. Gordon Brown, shadow trade secretary, said the draft document had been prepared for the prime minister and circulated last Thursday to be included in the charter. It was drawn up after ministerial and official discussions of an earlier draft leaked by Labour.

The Times July 18th 1991:

[Defence Secretary Tom King] said that Labour claims, led by Gordon Brown, the shadow industry secretary and local MP, that the Rosyth base was to be closed had caused considerable alarm. People were led to believe that decisions had been taken when they had not.

Against a background of noisy protests from Labour MPs, he said that he hoped that the Leader of the Opposition, who was in his place, would consider the way a leaked document had been used and the fact that Rosyth was a defence ministry site used for the refitting of nuclear submarines.

He added: "The Leader of the Opposition will realise that these are grave matters and I am sure that he will be concerned that people on his front bench used leaked documents from such a source as though this was not a matter of considerable gravity.''

He hoped that those who hoped to be the future government would take seriously the fact that people who might be working for them felt free to leak documents no matter what their nature might be.

The Times December 19th 1991:

If Michael Heseltine wanted to leak a government document, he would have had more sense than to do so through a Labour spokesman.

He can therefore be acquitted of responsibility for the disclosure by Gordon Brown of his memorandum to fellow cabinet ministers arguing for a different treatment of EC funds to support the less well-off regions of the UK. The leak, more to the point, is salutory. The case he makes is now assured the public airing it deserves.

Sunday Times June 6th 1993:

Major blamed the party's opponents for spreading ``scare stories'' when he addressed the Tory women's conference in London on Friday. Yesterday, Michael Portillo, chief secretary to the Treasury, followed suit when asked about an apparent leak of Whitehall information to Gordon Brown, Labour's shadow chancellor.

Brown said that a team at the social security department was exploring ways to cut housing and sickness benefits.

Evening Standard June 11th 1993:

The documents the Government was today hit by fresh leaks of its planned clampdown on social security spending.

As ministers tried to brush over the banana skin of last night's leak on plans to tax invalidity benefit claims and make them harder, the Labour Party received more than 30 other pages of documents.

The documents were given to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown and his Social Security colleague Donald Dewar

Daily Mirror June 2nd 1993:

Secret papers showing plans for a Government blitz on the welfare state provoked outrage last night.

Premier John Major was accused of threatening cuts ``deeper and more insidious'' than anything contemplated under Margaret Thatcher.

The Whitehall papers leaked to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown reveal that seven task forces of senior civil servants have been ordered to examine the system from top to bottom for benefits to axe.

Daily Mirror March 18th 1994:

Virginia Bottomley's appointment as Minister for the Family was exposed as a sham last night. A leaked official document revealed that her ministry has rejected every option for better childcare.

Despite the Government's party-of-the-family rhetoric, the Department of Health has squashed every idea on one of the key areas of family policy. Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown, who will unveil Labour's childcare plans next week, said: "This shows that Mrs Bottomley's appointment is just window dressing".

Daily Mirror September 10th 1994:

Shock Tory plans to dismantle the Welfare State have been exposed in a leaked Government document. Whitehall committees have been working on how to slash or means-test benefits paid to every family in the country.

Child benefit, pensions, sick pay, and unemployment benefit have all been targetted for cuts, the document called the "Review of Social Security - Second Stage" shows.

Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown, who was sent the paper, said six of the seven Treasury-inspired committees had already reported.

Independent on Sunday May 4th 1997:

A front bencher from the last parliament said frankly: "None of us has the first sodding idea about what government means, whether any of us will be any good at it, or even what being good at it means....... Some of my colleagues have made a career out of being a conduit for leaks from the Civil Service to the press. That's hardly going to be much good in government." "

What's sauce for the goose... Not going to happen is it? This isn't about leak enquiries, this is about power, control and a Labour government that is out of control.

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