Submitted by the Defence League of British
War Veterans (DBV)
You may recall the "Defence League"
submitted evidence concerning these matterswhich was heavily
critical of (particularly "Whitehall") skulduggery in
both obfuscation and misinformation served out to the general
public for generations past, and all within the protection of
entirely unmerited "security" factors to prevent the
It was perfectly clear to all concerned that
the "road blocks" supporting the secrecy had long since
outstripped their authenticity and had developed into a system
of "information fraud" freely employed by both government
and, in particular, their Whitehall bureaucrats.
Because they recognised the opportunity to play
"popularity Jack" the current Government used the promise
of a new "all-revealing" Information Act as part and
parcel of their election manifesto to curry favour with the voters.
It was well accepted.
However, the proposed Act then slid into obscurity
whilst "more important" matters were dealt withwhich
enabled the Sir Humphries to approve overtime for their shredding
machines and convince current Ministers how valuable it was to
be able to tell any downright lie to the public at any timewithout
fear of exposure! They didn't take a lot of convincing.
We now have a proposed Actwhich is even
more restrictive than hitherto!!and which, (predictably
so)was described as "Radical" by the Home Secretary.
Who does this fellow think he's kidding?how stupid does
he think the public is? It would indeed be illuminating to find
There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that
the new Act is nothing better than a "con" and demonstrably
worse than the existing situation. Let me explain briefly how
the present set up worksand will continue to workto
the detriment of the general public (remember them?).
In December 1999 we wrote to the Prime Minister
concerning the fraud perpetrated against survivors of the Japanese
Death Camps in World War 2one in three had died from the
constant beatings, torture, starvation and butchery perpetrated
against them for over four years. After they were freed the princely
sum of £78 per person was handed over as compensation for
their appalling treatment.
In 1955 both Thailand and Switzerland received
substantial compensation (tens of thousands of pounds)but
not our people. The British Government stated there was no provision
in the Treaty to allow for thisand successive Governments
ever since thenincluding today'shave been telling
the same lie for 45 years. Is this a record? I very much doubt
it; it is the outcome of a system whereby everything may be hidden
behind "national security", "public interest"
and the like, it is now a most thoroughly embedded culture in
governmentand Mr Straw and Co have every intention of keeping
it that wayother than where they have strengthened their
defences even further against truth and clarity.
You will know the "thrust" of the
proposed new Act is to point the finger at, heap odium upon, and
draw attention to, the practices of the Police Service and Local
Authorities etcanything except central government. I'm
not suggesting those entities don't merit scrutiny and improvement
but far and away central government are the biggest and certainly
the most arrogant of the misusers of power against their citizens.
So much for democracy, what a sham it all is.
Meanwhile the survivors of the Japanese camps
exist onwards, many in a state of penury. It is the British Government
that owes them their rightful compensation, not the Japanesebecause
it was our Government that secretly decided not to collect on
their behalf. The Treasury of course happily strikes off their
names one by one.
We have hand written Foreign Office notes on
the matterexactly as it was perpetrated all those years
ago. How did we get themthrough the American Freedom of
Information Act. We would never, ever get them from ours, not
in a thousand years; after all it would, using the latest obfuscatory
parlance"prejudice the Government"wouldn't
Quite frankly Mr Morgan, unless the Committee
decides to bang the table over this shameful business the Defence
League will retire from the scene. We consider the whole subject
"dirty" and have no wish to be associated with it. When
I personally wrote to Blair before Christmas concerning the Survivorsand
told him the Canadian Government had just paid out to their oldstersand
asked what HE was going to do about ours, he was so impressed
with the whole idea that we're still awaiting a reply six months
What a shower.
I would be grateful to know the Committee's
intentions regarding the Government's fraudulent proposals, are
they going to go along with themor what?