Monday, July 04, 2005

Government attempted to suppress LSE report

If this Sunday Times report is to be believed, then there has been some really nasty politicking going on behind the scenes over the LSE research into the UK government's ID card proposals. The Direct of the LSE, Howard Davies, is quoted as saying

“They are stepping over a line that hasn’t been crossed before. On the one hand they say it (the ID card) is not an attack on civil liberties, but then, if anyone questions any aspect of it, they abuse you and accuse you.

I have read the report myself and I’m completely satisfied it is a rigorous piece of work. Ministers may disagree with it or they may not, but the idea that it is deliberately biased or fabricated seems to me to be fatuous. I am genuinely shocked, surprised and disappointed at the response.”

And a brief glance at Davies' CV will show he's hardly one to be easily shocked. He's a former head of the Audit Commission, the Financial Services Authority, the CBI and deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

Whilst the council of the LSE have, like Davies, fully backed the research, governors have expressed concern that research funding may now be in danger and one governor has said “The behaviour is beyond the pale and is more suited to a communist dictatorship than a democracy.”

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