Monday, January 30, 2012

Novel look at the digital war (The Australian, January 2010)

An award-winning freelance journalist, Heather Brooke has distinguished herself as a model of diligence and determination. In 2005, she entered the freedom of information request that led, four years later, to the UK parliamentary expenses scandal, when a startling number of British MPs were discovered to be over-claiming on their expenses. For Brooke, this scandal was symptomatic of a culture of political secrecy – a culture she sought to anatomise in her 2010 book The Silent State. Though the thesis of this book was far from original (it was Richard Crossman, many years ago, who described secrecy as ‘the British disease’), it nevertheless made the crucial point that freedom of information is not incidental to democracy but a necessary precondition of it. [More here.]

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