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« Big bucks | Main | Evidence to the Justice Committee »

Supreme Court rejects Sugar case

The appeal of the late Stephen Sugar against the decision of the appeal court that the BBC is exempt from FOI has been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. The corporation is to remain beyond scrutiny.

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Reader Comments (18)

A Public broadcaster funded by Public money is above FoI??
There is a theory that says "Too big to fail is too big to exist".

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandy

That'll be more BBC offices littered with champagne bottles then.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom O

Just shut up and pay your poll-tax

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

All comes down to what you mean by "journalistic purposes", I suppose.
I would respectfully submit, Your Lordships, that you have misdirected yourselves. The purpose of the report was to establish whether or not the BBC was in breach of its Charter by being less than impartial in an aspect of its coverage.
Describing that as a "journalistic purpose" really is torturing the English language till it screams.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mmmm. Ever notice how the administrators of the so-called legal-system have so complicated it that they alone are capable of 'understanding' it? That all the little peasants are, in a truly real sense, enslaved by its dictates?

The hippies have corrupted every branch of science they have touched. It certainly stands to reason that they have done the same to the legal system. Boiling pot and the frog and all of that.

This also holds true of all other large bureaucracies, of course: it seems to be the very first thing the present-day politicos (activist leftists) work at bringing about, no matter where they happen to find themselves.

Well, if the legal system has fallen to the leftists, then it is not worthy of ANY respect... which does remind me: when the State reaches the point where its abuse of the populace it is supposed to serve becomes self evident, what in one of the main effects? That the common, law-abiding citizens cease to be law-abiding... and this is history, not conjecture.

Hate to sound even vaguely occupierly, but... Viva La Revolucion? To steal from Robert Heinlein: "It all started the day we hung the lawyers..."
Or: "It is possible that the percentage of honest and competent whores is higher than that of plumbers and much higher than that of lawyers. And enormously higher than that of professors."

I think the problem, here, is a very simple one. That lawyers, and of course the whore they serve, the Leftist-Law itself, are human filth, seems obvious enough. What is problematic is that stating this truth, or even worse - emoting about it, has been turned into a crime, a hate crime, to be specific. Which makes sense, once you realize just what would happen to the lawyers if the peasants ever woke up to just how much has been done to them, and their loved ones, in the name of the Leftism these bastards serve as executors of.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commentercb

So it continues. The BBC is effectively exempt from almost all FOI legislation if they can play the 'purposes of journalism' card.

Your Tax at work.

The BBC: Shut up and do as you are told.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Peter Sissons entitled his expose of the BBC 'When One Door Closes'.

Rather apt. Another one just slammed shut

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

So the BBC remains a secret organisation.

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

If the B-BBC needs to hide it's 'truth' in the dark then they are beyond redemption I see nothing about them worth saving !

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

It is indeed surprising that the commercial needs of the organisation trump the rights of the public to be informed but I suppose one must assume that this was the intention of the original legislation.

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

This is exactly why you cannot have government involved in the media...all socialism is facism. when your government is above the law, you no longer have a government, just despotic totalitarians....

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterO2BNAZ

The way to defeat them is politically: defund the BBC. all state owned media. Even mild ones like the BBC in the UK, the ABC in Australia, NPR/PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the US, are inherently conflicted. At the end of the day they are always going to be hijacked by self-appointed elites. State owned media cannot be free media. It will inevitably use, as we see here, the power of the state to either impose its corporate desires or to avoid public scrutiny.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Although there can now be no doubt that the Balen Report is beyond public reach by means of he FOIA, that document is not necessarily typical of material sought under the legislation. It is relatively easy to argue that this report is held by the BBC for the purpose of journalism to a significant extent and therefore not subject to the FOIA.

The judgement handed down by the Supreme Court this morning is by no means an easy read for the layperson, but it would seem to me that the court has gone some way towards limiting the range of information that the BBC will be able to withhold in future, although nowhere near as far as might have been hoped.

The first test of the Supreme Court's judgement may be a case that I have before the Information Tribunal at the moment. This concerns information that the BBC may find much more difficult to claim is held for journalistic purposes to a significant extent, or that its disclose would 'interfere with the performance of the functions of the BBC in broadcasting journalism'.

We will see!

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN

OT but is Morano having a stroke, or is this story brewing:

Key Heartland document touted by warmists is a forgery

There's no story there, just a heads-up.

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

So the BBC continue to exist in a grey area. They are a tax funded body, without full democratic scrutiny. They are supposed to be impartial and accurate, but have strong cultural biases that enable them to project views at odds with large sections of the population. When complaints are made, it is from within that strong cultural framework that these complaints are evaluated and (mostly) rejected or the issue fudged.

The grey area must not be allowed to exist. A free country needs to have journalism that is free to report. That must be a press that is free to have biases, and free to conceal journalistic sources. A free country must also have state institutions that are accountable, without hidden agendas and minimal state secrets. If the BBC were to quietly recognize the conflict, and deal with it, then it would not be such a big issue. But, on the climate issue particularly, there are those who use the shield of the state apparatus to project their partisan views as truth. The quote below (from Christopher Booker's recent GWPF report "The BBC and Climate Change: a Triple Betrayal") has no framework for independent scrutiny or appeal if its treatment is concerned with journalism.

β€˜The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output.’
regulatory obligations on the UK public services, under the BBC Charter 2006.

Feb 15, 2012 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Ah, but it is as if the 'establishment' has all the 'power'? But, in fact, power is nebulous and merely clusters, here and there, with the ebb tide and flotsam and jetsam of the sea that is history. There is no 'power' - that is why, in times of crises, like now, people have always retreated and internalized this discourse - this discourse of power. The ancients used to worry who about who was 'noble', not who was powerful. 'Megalospychia', he of 'great soul', not who had the 'power' or 'riches' or stupidity of brutishness. Hence, Stoicism and hence, finally, their retreat from all the mere chatter and ephemera of 'worldly' 'concerns' - the weakness of their philosophy.

The point is this will past and the 'truth' or 'lies' will out but there is no conspiracy, rather a 'confederacy of dunces' and it is better to dispute with yourself what is truth rather than 'others'.

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

So, sadly, Justice is once again stated to be available on the same basis as dinner at The Ritz.
Actually, this increases my pleasure at being back in NZ, the land of NO BROADCAST LICENCE FEE!
A lot of ads to put up with, but...

Feb 16, 2012 at 3:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Suggest these "magnificent", Government paid, "judges" and "lords" carefully read and digest the BBC Editorial Code (truth, transparency and honesty ideals etc, etc, etc, etc,) followed by the BBC Trust Publication "From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel".
They may then get some idea of what we believe we are paying for from the public body BBC which does not need caveats in law (excluded from the FOI Act if for the purposes of "journalism, art or literature") to get the BBC out of biased positions it gets itself into because of the lack of impartial judgement and bias of some of its personnel. Read what the BBC states about Truth and Transparency and Impartiality and Diversity of Opinion.
We seem to face judgement problems whichever way we turn including in Europe. Judges are supposed to interpret the Law, as far as I am concerned, for the benefit of the people and not as they personally see fit to save the unofficial Government mouthpiece (I even wonder which "government" it is these days from the espoused left-wing views) from being shown up in its very visible bias and partiality.

Feb 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterNorfolk Dumpling

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