Tag Archives: National Archive

The only way the Tory government has ‘lost’ controversial archive papers is DELIBERATELY

Shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett says the ‘loss’ of documents about controversial periods in history is unacceptable [Image: AFP].

This Writer would not believe for a single moment that the Conservative government has ‘lost’ important archive papers on some of the most controversial episodes of recent history – and nor should you.

The politics of the past seven years has shown very clearly that the Conservatives cannot be trusted – and Theresa May’s government least of all. They are trying to whitewash history, in my opinion.

The fact that the documents were borrowed from the National Archives by civil servants means nothing. Civil servants act on the orders of government ministers.

Some of these documents may be easily replaced, such as the Zinoviev letter, which was an attempt by MI6 officers to bring about the downfall of the first Labour government. There are plenty of copies of that item in circulation! So an attempt to whitewash this attempt at political meddling is unlikely to succeed – but you can understand why some might want to try. I wonder, do we know the names of those who ordered that attempt?

Consider this, from The Guardian:

“An entire file on the Zinoviev letter scandal is said to have been lost after Home Office civil servants took it away. The Home Office declined to say why it was taken or when or how it was lost. Nor would its say whether any copies had been made.”

That is unacceptable. Those documents are public property and the entire workforce of the Home Office are public servants. They answer to us – and that means they must provide answers to us when we demand them.

The material involved with the Troubles in Northern Ireland has already gathered attention because of the potential to hide human rights abuses by the UK government (or governments). Already, organisations have made their concerns clear:

“Theresa May must order a government-wide search for these ‘lost’ files and their restoration to their rightful place in the archives at Kew,” said Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director.

“Victims of human rights abuses in Northern Ireland have a right to full disclosure of what happened to them and their loved ones at the hands of the state.

“Accountability and justice demand that these files are among the evidence available to families, judges and historians in determining the truth of what happened here during three decades of violence,” said Corrigan.

“Revelations that government departments are requisitioning and then misplacing crucial files strengthen our view that decisions on the disclosure of findings by the proposed Historical Investigations Unit in Northern Ireland cannot be left to UK government ministers, as currently demanded by the Northern Ireland Office.”

Reprieve – the human rights advocacy organisation – also condemned the government, fearing that future possible abuses may be hidden from the public eye.

“This is deeply troubling and unfortunately follows a pattern we have seen before,” said Maya Foa, director. “Ministers have previously blamed ‘water damage’ for destroying crucial files showing complicity in rendition and torture, and right now they are forcing legal cases seeking to expose the truth about UK involvement in George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ into secret courts where the public and press are denied access.”

Similar files held in the National Archives have previously been instrumental in exposing human rights violations committed by the UK in Northern Ireland.

A 1977 letter from the home secretary, Merlyn Rees, to the prime minister, Jim Callaghan, documented how ministers gave permission for the use of torture against internees in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, evidence that was reportedly withheld from the European court of human rights.

In total, more than 1,000 documents – all of which have been declassified and should be available for the public to access – have been removed from the National Archive and no copies are available.

So, serious questions need to be answered:

  • Why are there no backup copies of these documents? We live in a computer age, and digital copies would provide at least a modicum of assurance that the documents are available, especially if the originals are loaned out on the orders of government ministers.
  • And who took them? Any ordinary lending library provides material only to people who are valid members of that library and, when they do take items, the library has a record showing who took them and when. This makes it easy to track those items and – if they are kept for longer than the specified time, or lost – fine the person responsible. Why does the National Archive not follow the same security procedures?

Labour’s Jon Trickett has already demanded action:

“The loss of documents about controversial periods in history is unacceptable.

“The British people deserve to know what the Government has done in their name and their loss will only fuel accusations of a cover-up.

“These important historical documents may be a great loss to history – and their disappearance must urgently be investigated.”

He’s right. Until all the documents are returned to the National Archive, until the names of those who withdrew them are known, and until the ministers who told them to take the documents and hide – or, worse, destroy – them are identified, we can only conclude that the current Conservative government has removed them in order to hide historical facts that are embarrassing to the Conservative Party or its members.

If the current government cannot – or will not – return the documents it has stolen, then it has betrayed the public trust and should resign.

And if you’re laughing at the thought, This Writer wouldn’t be at all surprised.

This is a story of corruption – and the corrupt will do anything to pretend they aren’t crooked.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Were pervert MPs protected to prevent embarrassing a Tory government?

Implicated: Leon Brittan [Image: Guardian].

Implicated: Leon Brittan [Image: Guardian].

If The Guardian‘s story yesterday is correct, it seems the Conservative Government of the 1980s was perfectly happy to protect child abusing cabinet members, because the harm they caused to “small boys” was deemed to be less important than “the risks of political embarrassment to the government”.

In fact, the risk posed to children was not considered at all; the only concerns set out in correspondence between then-director general of MI5, Sir Anthony Duff, and then-Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong were dangers to security (national security?) and political embarrassment for the Conservatives.

If that does not make you physically sick with disgust at the attitudes that pervaded the top level of government in the United Kingdom, read it again until it does.

Implicated in the papers are the recently-deceased former Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, along with Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary, Sir Peter Morrison, former diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister Sir William van Straubenzee.

Note carefully the fact that everybody implicated had a knighthood – indicating just how institutionalised child abuse appears to have been.

The other connection between them is that they are all dead – meaning that, if they did commit crimes against children, all of them escaped justice because they were connected with a Conservative government.

The papers came to light months after an official review concluded that claims the Home Office covered up child abuse allegations in the 1980s – including when Lord Brittan was Home Secretary – were “not proven”, and also several months after the sudden death of Lord Brittan himself – it was claimed he had succumbed after a long battle with cancer but, if so, it is strange that nobody seemed to have heard of it before.

The Cabinet Office is saying that the papers have only come to light now, because they had been kept in a store of “the Cabinet Secretary’s miscellaneous papers” at the National Archive where they had lain, largely uncatalogued and unregistered, with others accumulated over several decades up to 2007.

Do you believe that cover story?

Cabinet Office permanent secretary Richard Heaton wrote to Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC and author of the official review, in May apologising for a “flaw in the way the Cabinet Office initially responded” to his, and fellow review author, barrister Richard Whittam’s, request for documents, and confirming that three categories of papers had since been identified as potentially relevant.

In a supplement to the review, released online yesterday, Wanless and Whittam said: “We are concerned and disappointed that the Cabinet Office was aware of the separate Cabinet Office store of assorted and unstructured papers, yet informed us that the searches covered all records and files held.”

So there it is. A previous Conservative Government hid evidence of child abuse among its ranks.

And the current Conservative Government obstructed investigations into these historic abuses until after all those involved were dead.

What do you think of that?

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook