Open Government?

home-officeThe following blog has been published in a shortened form in today’s Argus Newspaper in the Opinion column: In the run up to Christmas, Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham asked Amber Rudd MP for Hastings and Rye a written question in her role as Home Secretary. The context was a 200 page document produced by Louise Casey “A review into opportunity and integration” or colloquially the Casey Review. I have written about the review itself a couple of times and will continue to blog from its 200 pages in the future as it is a very important document. The key word in the title is integration and although there were a number of implicit and explicit challenges directed particularly at Muslim communities, there was also a great deal for the Government to address. At the end of the foreword Ms Casey writes “We have always been at our strongest when most united. We are better for being open and inclusive as a society. Every person, in every community, in every part of Britain, should feel part of our nation and have every opportunity to succeed in it. There can be no exceptions to that by gender, colour or creed. Those are our rights. Those are our values. That is our history. It must be our future too.” This is a big challenge to many in Government who seek to divide and segregate us in order to better ‘manage’ society and the Home Office is one of the departments most prone to doing just that. The dreadful vans with ‘go home plastered all over them being an example. The question was: “To ask the Home Secretary if she will publish the review by Dame Louise Casey on opportunity and integration in isolated communities in its original form” The answer that came back from one of Amber Rudds junior colleagues “Dame Louise Casey’s independent review was published on 5 December 2016. The Government will consider its findings carefully over the coming months.”  There seems to be a mismatch between question and answer, almost as though the Home Office is incapable of reading a simple question and answering it in a straightforward manner. perhaps Tim needs to ask his question again? After all if we are reading a sanitised version of the Casey Review, we should be told!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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