Letter: Sir Humphrey lives

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The Independent Online
Sir: The failure of the Freedom of Information Act to yield answers to your queries ("Is this freedom of information?", 2 February) may, we could charitably suppose, be the teething problems of a new system. However, if this is so, one wonders what the four years of preparation have achieved.

If your initial conclusions prove to be correct, then this is yet more evidence of the failure of our political system to operate to genuinely modern democratic standards. Whether you are correct to pile all the blame on the present government is less certain; Blair has at least made an attempt with this Act, but he is too easily cast in the role of a Jim Hacker. The forces of conservatism within Whitehall should never be underestimated.

For all their imperfections, the main European Union institutions have had much greater openness in their proceedings for a considerable time - another argument why we should have more faith in the EU than in our own self-serving set-up.

I J STOCK

Coggeshall, Essex

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