The Hutton inquiry, the president of Nigeria and what the Butler hoped to see?

Moss, M.S. (2005) The Hutton inquiry, the president of Nigeria and what the Butler hoped to see? English Historical Review, 120(487), pp. 577-592. (doi: 10.1093/ehr/cei121)

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Abstract

The Hutton Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly in 2003 shed a unique light on the inner workings of the government of Tony Blair, particularly its approach to record keeping. This paper explores both the written and oral evidence presented to the inquiry, and draws attention to the shortcomings that are likely to be a feature of the ‘historical’ record of the events leading up to the war in Iraq. It reflects on the development of record keeping in the government of the United Kingdom, and asks, in the light of the high standards in the physical world, how there could be such evident shortcomings in the new electronic media. It draws some tentative conclusion, focussing particularly on the collapse of the distinction between back and front office functions. The paper concludes by proposing that record keeping by government and the transfer of records into the public domain requires the protection of the law so that the executive can be held to account. The paper questions whether this function in the United Kingdom can be entrusted to a minister of constitutional affairs, a member of the executive, and suggests it should become the responsibility of the president of the supreme court who can take decisions in defiance of the executive.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moss, Professor Michael
Authors: Moss, M.S.
Subjects:Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Journal Name:English Historical Review
ISSN:0013-8266
ISSN (Online):1477-4534

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