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12.12.09

Like trying to get information from the KGB

Nationalisation of the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall

House of Commons debates, 13 May 1975.

An extract:

We as Members of Parliament may not know, are not allowed to know and never will know who is getting what for doing what. In other words, there is a complete lack of public accountability in these matters. To ask for information about the Duchy of Lancaster and still more about the Duchy of Cornwall is like trying to get information from the KGB. Journalists have told me that they have telephoned the Duchy of Cornwall office genuinely seeking information and have been told to mind their own ruddy business. So would I be, but I secured such information as I could garner from the annual accounts.

Brought to you by the excellent TheyWorkForYou.com website. Nothing seems to have changed there then. The UK's democracy shows its limits once more. What we, the 'citizens' of the UK (and Duchy of Cornwall?), are allowed to know is certainly circumscribed. For the sake of national security I can understand the need for secrecy, but just so that inconvenient constitutional facts are kept in the closet and away from public scrutiny? Are we all happy with that? Is that a real democracy for mature authentic individuals?

The already mentioned blog -Confirm or Deny- now has topics on the Duchy of Cornwall so lets hope the pressure keeps mounting.

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