by Jason Moore

I was amazed to read the other day that the Labour Party had accused the British coalition government of “leaking” details of the budget to the media. The Labour front-bench appear once again to have very short memories. When Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in power the media were often informed of government policy before parliament. Some even said that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was “bored” of addressing parliament. Now, I am not saying that leaking budget details is a good thing. All I am saying is that it is a practice which has become part of British political life. The public are drip-fed through the media on upcoming events and key legislation. The end result is that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer gets to his feet in the Houses of Parliament, nothing comes as a surprise. The British government could put in place legislation which makes “leaking information” illegal. Infact it already exists. But no-one is really interested because it almost forms part of government policy. But as I said earlier Labour have short memories. They have accused the Conservatives of courting media mogul Rupert Murdoch but won three general elections thanks to his support. It was only when Murdoch ditched Labour in favour of the Conservatives that they changed their minds. Two wrongs don´t make a right and if indeed the Labour Party do want to stop government leaks then they should take the lead themselves and outlaw the practice.

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