Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Office for National Statistics getting the Kelly treatment.

Seems the Office for National Statistics is the target of the governments latest bullying campaign.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister is accusing the ONS of "playing politics". Sorry Phil, if the ONS's impartiality is giving you problems, but that doesn't give you the right to kick up a fuss and start a bullying campaign.

I still remember what happened to the BBC post Gilligan/Kelly. The government bullied the BBC into compliance and shoved a bunch of Labour placemen in charge. Since then, the BBC has steadfastly reiterated Labour party propaganda as fact. Very little investigative News journalism seems to go on there. Yes, they may follow up stories where others lead, but rarely have they critical of the government in their reporting in the way they were during Margaret Thatcher or John Major's time in office. As an example, there are several stories around at the moment (Jaqui "two homes" Smith, Lord Myners and Alastair Darling's involvement in the row over Fred Goodwin's pension are two) which merit closer and more detailed investigation. But it seems no-one has the will to do it.

I just hope the ONS stands it's ground, stays impartial and independant and doesn't go the way of the BBC.

On a wider note, this is yet another example of what seems to be more and more Labour party policy, where the government faced with the revellation of embarrasing information, start to bully and intimidate the person revealing that information. Andrew Gilligan, Dr David Kelly, Greg Dyke, Damien Green, Fred Goodwin, are but a few names that have been on the recieving end of government-initiated bullying campaigns.

Is this how we should be conducting government in 2009? I really think not.

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