UK government hushed up internal analysis of anti-drug strategy to avoid ridicule

Last December, the UK government declined to release a document about whether its anti-drug strategy was working under Freedom of Information legilsation - on the ludicrous basis that it might confuse the public. But it gets worse.

Steve sez, "Last week the Home Office inadvertently released 19 pages of correspondence concerning the case to a BBC journalist in an unrelated request (they had deleted it in track changes but forgotten to accept all deltions I presume - as its still all there but red and struckthough). What it reveals is not only that the stalling was transparently political in nature (all the various excuses previously given were entirely spurious), but that the rules stating FOI applications should be dealt with 'applicant blind' were clearly ignored."

The release of the report entails the risk of Transform, or other supporters of legalisation, using information from the report to criticise the Government's drug policy, or to support their call for the legalisation of drugs and the introduction of a regulated system of supply. These risks should be considered in reaching a decision on whether to release the report, as recommended.
Home Office internal document reveals bunker mentality of secrecy and suppression (Thanks, Steve!)


  1. It scares me to think that after almost two days, this post only had one comment, and it wasn’t even about the issue at hand.

    Folks, this is pure, unadulterated evidence of the government knowingly hiding evidence that doesn’t reflect well on their policies. FOI is supposed to be our safety net against this sort of thing, but it’s fatally flawed: we’ve asked the suspects to be their own judges. Of course they aren’t going to release anything that they know looks bad and who is going to make them without evidence that it’s happening?

    FOI requests take years to show up, if they do at all, and even then are filled with so much blackout that they are barely comprehensible. Clearly this is a failing system: we need something better. We need a third-party whose best interest lies in balancing the interests of both parties.

    Here’s a simple suggestion: let the majority opposition run the group responsible for FOI. It’s clearly in their best interest to show government mishaps, but it’s also in their best interest not to expose issues of national or personal safety, because that would reflect poorly on them in the public view. I bet we’d see some fast turnaround times if the opposition had their hands on the buzzer.

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