The Freedom of Information Act has a clause which allows public authorities to ignore a request for information “if the request is vexatious”. It says little about what members of the public can do if they encounter vexatious government departments.
The Cabinet Office – which includes the prime minister’s office – seems now to be openly refusing to comply with the transparency law, especially when it comes to the person of the prime minister. His courtiers seem to regard FoIA requests as lèse-majesté, and to see fighting transparency as part of their roles. Read more
It’s a boy!
Britain is in the throes of Royal Baby Mania as it celebrates the birth of Prince William’s first child – a son, and future heir to the throne. What effect will the naming choice of new parents William and Kate have on the rest of the country? Read more
What’s the world’s most popular tipple?
It’s likely you won’t even have heard of it, let alone tried it. The world’s biggest-selling brands of spirits come from emerging markets – but they face increasing international competition, according to new research. Read more
“No, I don’t mind working, but I do mind dying”, the Detroit blues singer Joe Lee Carter sang in 1965. The song exemplified the bustle – and tensions – of a burgeoning industrial city. Carter was working on the production line at Ford’s Rouge plant at the time.
Unfortunately for today’s inhabitants, there hasn’t been much opportunity to work in Detroit in recent years – and there has been all too much chance of dying. Read more
by Keith Fray and Kate Allen
England’s cricketers are battling Australia once again in an Ashes series. It started well – but with the second Test ongoing, the series is still up for grabs. Read more