Cover Ups

New generation anti-depressants have little clinical benefit for most patients, research suggests.

Publication bias? Never! This is maybe not news to those of us who have used these drugs, the only thing guaranteed to come from them are side effects, health left to capitalism ain’t so healthy.

At a press conference, Senator Syvret brandished a report commissioned by Jersey’s Education Committee into an incident of child abuse at an island school in the 1990s. He said: “This shows we can’t rely on prosecutions to happen when necessary. “The overriding concern of the establishment is the image of Jersey – to prosecute people would be apocalyptically bad for the Jersey establishment.”

It seems to me that once you look into this stuff there isn’t a council who haven’t covered up child abuse, particularly within the homes they run. In some cases it has appeared that sexual predators and corporal punishment fanatics gravitate towards these services and pretty well much ran the kid’s homes as virtual brothels for themselves and those with such tastes. Such arrangements were also used as capital in corrupt dealings (building, land, contracts) where useful. The cases where this comes to light are like the number of rape cases that ever make it to court and end in a conviction, a tiny tip of a nasty iceberg that tells some unwelcome truths about the human condition, the vulnerable will never be short of predators. Speaking of which-

The government has been told to release the minutes of two cabinet meetings in the days before the Iraq war. The demand came from Information Commissioner Richard Thomas after a Freedom of Information request was rejected by the Cabinet Office.

In his ruling, Mr Thomas says the minutes had to be released to help “transparency and public understanding of the relevant issues”. He also says that accountability for the decisions made is “paramount”.

The person making the request said that not releasing the information created “a public impression that something not entirely truthful has been uttered”. But the Cabinet Office refused to release minutes on the grounds that the papers were exempt from disclosure as they related to the formulation of government policy and ministerial communications. However, Mr Thomas ruled that, in this particular case, the public interest in disclosing the minutes outweighed the public interest in withholding the information.

The ruling is set to reopen controversy over the then attorney general Lord Goldsmith’s legal advice on the war. On the eve of war, 17 March, his opinion unequivocally saying military action was legal was presented to cabinet, MPs and the military and published.

However, after long-running reports that he had changed his mind into the lead up to war, his initial lengthy advice given to Tony Blair on 7 March was leaked and then published in 2005. This advice raised a number of questions and concerns about the possible legality of military action against Iraq without a second UN resolution and was never shown to the cabinet.

The then prime minister Tony Blair defended his decision not to show the cabinet the full advice, saying that Lord Goldsmith had attended the cabinet in person and was able to answer any legal questions and explain his view.

Now the political case is clear, you keep everything secret because any information could hurt you in the political arena. But the party politics and Machiavellian principles of the powerful are of no concern to proper government or the people whom it supposedly serves in a democracy. There is no reasonable case not to release the full minutes of a meeting that was instrumental to over a million people being killed. Our nation went to war, that must be an open process, it is of too great an import to be the playthings of politics, it is life and death. If it was an honest decision made in good faith then these minutes will reflect that (the non-redacted bits…) but we all know what they do show, cold dishonest calculation and coordination with the Whitehouse to commit war crimes. Publish, and be damned, I say.

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