Urgent: It’s a cover up

38 Degrees Logo


Dear David,

The MPs’ expenses scandal was exposed by Freedom of Information laws (FOI). [1] But these laws are under threat. Self-serving politicians want to shut swathes of information off from people and journalists. [2]

There’s just 24 hours left to challenge these dangerous plans. A government consultation closes on Friday. [3] A huge petition will leave them in no doubt – we believe the right to question our politicians should be at the heart of our democracy.

38 Degrees members will take the petition to Westminster on Thursday. Can you add your name now? It only takes ten seconds:

Hundreds of journalists, organisations and ordinary people use FOI every day to hold politicians to account. But, the government’s plans to water down FOI could see:

  • Ministers having more power to block the release of information they don’t want us to know,
  • swathes of information being completely closed off from the public,
  • us having to pay for information about what our own politicians are up to. [4]

38 Degrees members believe democracy only works when people are involved. So if you believe we have the right to know what the government is doing in our name, please add your name to the petition calling for a strong FOI law. 38 Degrees members will be taking the petition to parliament on Thursday before the consultation closes.

Thanks for being involved,

Rebecca, Maddy, Carlton and the 38 Degrees team

PS: The petition will be handed in to the government on Thursday as part of their consultation on FOI. You can also fill in the government’s consultation survey on the 38 Degrees website – to let them know in more detail why you think FOI laws should be protected. Please click here to have your say:

[1] BBC News: 10 things we found out because of FOI:
[2] BBC News: Is this the end for the FOI Act?
[3] Government website: Independent Commission on FOI: call for evidence:
[4] Campaign for FOI: Our campaign to prevent restrictions to the FOI Act:

Civil servants have been removing signatures from a petitioncalling for MPs to debate a no confidence vote in David Cameron.

More than 6,000 “fraudulent” names were removed from the e-petition, which accuses Mr Cameron of causing “devastation for the poorest in society for the last 5 years”. 

But despite the Government removing the 6,208 signatures, the petition has won the backing of more than 188,000 people.

MPs on the Petition’s Committee will decide whether MPs should debate the motion.


Suspected architect of Paris attacks is dead, according to two senior intelligence officials

Peace and Freedom

November 18 at 1:25 PM

A massive police raid Wednesdays killed the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks during a blitz-style sweep, two senior European intelligence officials said, after investigators followed leads that the fugitive militant was holed up north of the French capital and could be plotting another wave of violence.

More than 100 police and soldiers stormed the building during a seven-hour siege that left two dead including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian extremist who had once boasted he could slip easily between Europe and the Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

An undated photograph of a man described as Abdelhamid Abaaoud that was published in the Islamic State’s online magazine Dabiq and posted on a social media website.

The confirmation…

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Tennessee Family Law Update 2015: Chattanooga

Herston on Tennessee Family Law

Chattanooga is such a cool city. It’s easily among the top destinations in the country for outdoor activities I love like mountain biking and trail running. Despite its proximity to Knoxville, I rarely visit. Whenever I’m here it’s always on business. That has to change.

I resolve to visit Chattanooga when my only agenda is to explore its trails by bike or on foot.

It was great to see some familiar faces and some new ones at today’s seminar. Here are some of the comments we received:

  • How soon can I register to attend next year? — Richard Elliston, Esq., Cleveland
  • Great seminar yet again! — Elizabeth Adams, Esq., Dayton
  • Thank you so much! I would be willing to pay for access to your blog if ever required. — Tracy Cox, Esq., Chattanooga

No worries, Tracy. This blog will always be free of charge.  But I like how you think!

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High Court Judges have no magic wand


NOT Mr Justice Holman and friend Absolutely NOT Mr Justice Holman and friend  (I don’t like the look of New Sooty here – he is frankly quite disturbing, but I wanted a wand picture with Sweep in it to please my Twitter followers)

In Re D (Children) 2015 , Mr Justice Holman made some very important observations about the importance of judicial continuity, particularly in cases where there are intractable difficulties about contact. He also expressed some exasperation that cases often reach a point where the Judges just give up trying and transfer the case to the High Court in the hope that somehow the High Court can magically fix everything.


  1. Cases concerning intractable contact, probably more than any other case within the field of family law, require judicial continuity. There tends to be a need for a number of hearings, and it is of the utmost importance that one single judge deals with such a…

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Lessons on legal issues for lay people

Karen Woodall

I should say straight away that I am not legally qualified, I don’t pretend to be and I don’t give legal advice as a result.  Legal issues are for legal people and I am a mental health professional. That said, we regularly get requests (as we did yesterday), for advice on how to manage a case of parental alienation in court and I regularly work as a coach with parents who are going through the court process (when I am not working in any other capacity in their case – the two things have to be separate at all times).  When I work as a coach I assist parents to manage their legal team and their understanding of parental alienation and how it presents in children and in parents. I also assist them to plan and follow a strategy to utilise court intervention to liberate the child.  None of this…

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