Milliken Does the Right Thing

I have been edgy these last few days waiting for the Speaker of the House Peter Milliken to hand down his ruling about the release of uncensored documents to the Parliamentary Committee looking into the Afghan prisoner transfer issue. The Government had decided that it would only release documents which were so heavilly redacted so as to have no value what so ever.

Redacted is the current word used by the military and governments when they mean to say censored. Spin doctors have twisted the original meaning of the word to soften to public perception of their secrecy.

 The majority of members in the house, in frustration at the government's secrecy, voted to find the government in contempt of Parliament. It was up to the Speaker to rule on their motion.

His judgement came down yesterday and he said in part,

"It is the view of the Chair that accepting an unconditional authority of the executive to censor the information provided to Parliament would in fact jeopardize the very seperation of powers that is proported to lie at the heart of our parliametary system and the independence of its constituent parts"

 Millekin has given the parties two weeks to work out how the documents will be released. If they cannot, he will decide.

The Speaker has a tough job but Millekin has risen to the occasion and should be lauded for his good work.

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