Government keeps fox hunting e-mails secret because releasing officials’ names ‘could put them in danger’

Apparently these are violent anti-hunting extremists. Look how they have cunningly disguised themselves as foxes, in order to get close enough to inflict harm on civilised blood sports enthusiasts (Shurely shome mishtake? – Ed)

The government is refusing to release e-mails about David Cameron’s bid to bring back fox hunting – because they could put civil servants in danger.

Officials used the excuse as one of four to keep correspondence about the failed bloodsport vote under wraps.

The Mirror made a Freedom of Information request for messages about fox hunting between officials and ministers in Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Officials spent three months wrangling over the request, which would have spanned correspondence from March 1 to July 15, to decide if it carried a strong enough public interest to be published.

They have now released only two briefing notes and kept the contents of all e-mails under wraps, quoting four exemptions.

They said the request would involve publishing ‘personal information’ and would harm the behind-closed-doors building of government policy.

They also said it would expose confidential advice on ‘complex legal issues’ which lawyers gave to the government.

But their fourth and most eyebrow-raising reason was that publishing officials’ names could endanger their safety.

A Defra spokesman said: “Information consisting of the names of all civil servants, regardless of position, working on hunting policy is being withheld… [in the category of] information that if disclosed would endanger the safety of any individual.

[League Against Cruel Sports director Tom Quinn said:] “Of course people’s safety is important. But the government seems either to be buying into – or perpetrating – the pro-hunt lobby’s ludicrous claims that anyone opposing hunting is a violent thug.

“This is a tactic which those involved in hunting use to make it sound as if the only people who don’t like seeing animals ripped apart are violent animal rights extremists.”

Source: Government keeps fox hunting e-mails secret because releasing officials’ names ‘could put them in danger’ – Mirror Online

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14 thoughts on “Government keeps fox hunting e-mails secret because releasing officials’ names ‘could put them in danger’

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s what the Nazis said – “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

      1. Lovejoy

        Scary how so much nazi idelogy has bled into our culture.

        “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say” Edward Snowden

  1. Dez

    thin edge of the wedge for freedom of information excuses on all subjects…more and more excuses will follow if the charge per enquiry does not put folk off….if the press cannot get to the info we have moved into a police state or worse

    1. Paul C. Dickie

      Reasons 1 and 2 cited above amount to much the same thing – the uncivil “servants” are effectively stating that all matters of Government are to be DONE IN SECRET and that we will only deign to let you know what little we choose to let you know.

      So it will have to be challenged by the Information Commissioner.


      As for the twaddle about persons being put in danger, that could easily be remedied by redacting their names and email addresses.

      As I expect the Information Commissioner will tell the obstructive gits.

  2. John Gaines

    Its not what you do, its how you do it….and ‘Gardy Loo’ (a warning that sh** is coming down) Gideon and his crook master have used another slimy ploy to dupe a dumbass Parliament.

    “So George Osborne is upset that “unelected Labour and Liberal lords have defeated a financial matter passed by the elected House of Commons”.

    His point about democratic process being usurped seems a little precious given that the Tories went into the last election, barely six months ago, on the back of a promise not to cut tax credits.

    Moreover, they also endeavoured to sidestep democracy — avoiding scrutiny or proper debate of the cuts — by passing the move in the Commons as a statutory instrument rather than an actual bill, which it clearly ought to have been.

    “Clearing the deficit, let us remember, is about paying off debts that were run up by bankers. This attempt to cut assistance to the low paid, who are often the ones keeping our society running, in the same parliamentary session as cutting inheritance tax for the rich was utterly shameful. Osborne is a disgrace”.

    – Julian Self (of Downton Abbey fame and Fortune?).

    Once again we find the unelected House of Lords is more in tune with public opinion than the Commons. Heaven preserve us from an elected second chamber in the future.

    There is hope yet. It seems the Toffs find Cameroon and Co, equally nauseating.

    1. John Gaines

      SI’s — nodded through without discussion, were only to be used for EC commands from Der Brussels Bunker. For once the Upper room was awake.
      What worries me is how many more NOD throughs did we miss….what is coming next.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        That hardly seems likely as the only other countries to use statutory instruments are Australia and Canada – neither of which are members of the EU.

    2. Paul C. Dickie

      Gideon is – as usual – utterly wrong; the House of Peers did not defeat a financial measure which, as I am quite sure Mr Speaker would agree, would be quite wrong. The Peers have just delayed the implementation of Gideon’s cash grab until measures are in place to ensure that poorly paid, hard working British people do not suffer penury as a result.

      So the only way he could truly be said to have been defeated would be if his intention WAS to cause penury, poverty, suffering and starvation.

      He’s not very good at logic, is he?

      1. Phil Lee

        He’s not very good at arithmetic either – he doesn’t seem to have worked out that if wages rise (and particularly if they rise to the REAL living wage, rather than his pretence of one) the need for and cost of tax credits will fall. No need to cut them at all – unless your intention IS to hurt the most vulnerable, of course.
        So what is it Gideon – are you innumerate, or criminally attacking the most vulnerable?

  3. wildswimmerpete

    It’s the hunt sabs who are in danger from the tally-ho brigade who will openly physically attack protesters, often using whips, or even run them down with motor vehicles while the Police look the other way. It should be borne in mind that the covert activities of Hunts are still illegal.

Comments are closed.