The Hillsborough papers should be made public immediately..
It is good news that the e-petition calling for the release of Cabinet papers regarding the Hillsborough disaster has passed the 100,000 mark. No rational, or just reason exists for the government to continue to deny publication of these documents in my eyes. My best guess is that contained therein is a serious split between Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Hurd and maybe between the then Prime Minister and others within her Cabinet.
The clue to the governments concerns can be found in the terms of reference it wants to establish for the panel it wants to oversee the release of these documents:
Its planned programme of disclosures will exclude “information indicating the views of ministers, where release would prejudice the convention of Cabinet collective responsibility.
None of those centrally involved in government at this time serve in this one so on first impression the governments attitude is profoundly odd. However, it looks to an attempt to protect a government seen by itself as this ones ideological parent and a selfish scramble to avoid taint by association. Such pettiness however should not enjoy precedence over the continued pain of those who lost relatives at Hillsborough nor over the answering of questions which have played a large part in shaping how we watch football now.
In all fairness to him, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg seems to have taken a commendable stand on this issue. However, people are always, with complete justification, skeptical of governments who seek to conceal things from the people they govern for no just reason. Open government is the hall mark of good government and there is no point to having freedom of information which in practice means accept for that information which might be slightly awkward for the government of the day, no matter what colour it is of; these papers should be released immediately and those within the government dragging their feet should be ashamed of themselves.