Public enquiries - waste of money or not?


Just listening to Jeremey Vine and they had a couple of people who went on strike in the Miner’s Strike in the 80s.

They were saying they wanted a public enquiry to get the truth behind alleged police violence towards strikers. From what they said the only ‘truth’ would be holding the Police solely to account, anything pointing a finger at the miners and unions would not be regarded as a satisfactory outcome.

This then makes you wonder what is the point of public enquiries as they by and large only seem only to serve minority groups seeking reparation from a larger public body or public individuals long after the event, and cost someone - the taxpayer - a bloody fortune.
I feel the people who want to open the enquiry should be responsible for the whole cost and then have them time limited to a maximum of 6 months


It’s so people can get up spout their mouth off then think they done the world a favour…
All it does is massage egos or political hatred

There was the helicopter crash in Glasgow, they had the Air accident investigation that found things wrong but couldn’t place blame. The local rent a mob have been demanding a public enquiry, some of the reasons are “it was a police raid that went wrong” to it has been “the CAA has been a part of a Westminster cover up” (yes have a guess who called that). The question I would ask is what is the public enquiry going to do to find out what happened more than the CAA?


The accident investigation into the Clutha crash was carried out by my friends down in AAIB, not the CAA. :smile:

With regards to the original post, the miers just want to say that the violence was the fault of the police; regardless of the actions of the miners and their decades long intimidation towards those who either didn’t strike or broke the strike.


Sorry thought the AAIB were a part of the CAA :+1:


No worries, I only knew that due to ‘professional contact’ from being on the edge of the crash and smash world.


I’ve always felt these have been a waste of time (they take far too long), invariably too historic to the point where everything’s a hazy memory, not fully objective and waste of money with legal types getting rich off the back of them. There should be statute of limitations with no more 10 years after the offence before an enquiry or prosecution being requested, because at the moment anyone who feels ‘annoyed’ after any period can persue something.

This one is from 30 years ago and is in the striker’s eyes seen as the police completely at fault and they won’t want to accept any repsonsibility / culpability, regardless of the facts.
From what I remember of the TV news at the time, the strikers were stopping people go to work with violence and throwing things at the police, if the argument is the police should have just taken it and not retaliated and let the strikers treat people who wanted to work how they did, that’s crap.

There is also the mindset be careful what you wish for that in trying to make the other side look bad, something comes out which doesn’t do your side any favours and in fact makes you look worse.


Rumour mill backed up by some intelligence suggests it’s the Home Secs team pushing the campaigners in the background to shout for an enquiry. Another excuse once the reports out to bash the police? Which is ironic because I remember the then PM increasing the wages of the police just before this situation to bring them on board. The PM being the same brand as today’s.

Tinfoil hat anyone :slight_smile: ?


You realise that these would include the likes of the Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot report), Shipman, Leveson Inquiry, Hillsborough, E.Coli, Aberfan…

Ok, so a few of those are hugely different - it could be argued that the Iraq Inquiry isn’t serving the public, but…

Let’s take a brief look at Aberfan - a coal mining disaster whereby something like 140 lives were lost (including children). The National Coal Board attempted to cover up/deny their responsibility as (I understand) they had done following previous incidents. The difference this time is that the Public Inquiry which followed bucked the trend - instead of finding in favour of the NCB it delivered a verdict confirming their culpability. Now, I can’t say that previous inquiries had been wrong, but public opinion and pressure was against the “big boys” of the NCB and they were vindicated.

Now, let’s look at something a little more current - the Hillsborough Inquiry. It’s also a closer comparison to your scenario, too. The police - surely those that should be the most trusted of society - have been found to have lied and covered up.

The media supported their arguments and position.

Only decades of public pressure have forced the inquiry. The inquiry has found many holes in the accepted story and even those who were in the police and there on the day have spoken out against their former taskmasters. The families of the victims - who were initially recipients of the wider blame - are finally receiving some kind of justice. They’ve had to fight the police and the media for their justice and they are being vindicated in their actions.

The Leveson Inquiry isn’t so much in response to public pressure, but it certainly serves the public interest - celebrities are members of the public too, but they weren’t the only people affected by unethical media reporting methods.

The people who want these inquiries and inquests aren’t always powerful and rich. You could potentially crowdfund, sure, but I expect making groups/people pay for their own enquiries, crowdfunded or not, there would become a kind of “class tier” system - minority groups and the poor simply wouldn’t be able to fight their corner and uncover the truth.
Following on from that, the Government is there to serve the people and to use it’s funds to do so. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to use public funds for these inquiries, as that’s what they are for!

A six month limit? Be it public or private money, six months is not enough to conquer the complexity of the issues that require such scrutiny. Either people won’t bother, or many will go unfulfilled…


Of course, occasionally these “inquiries” bite some people on the bum…

The new Shadow Defence Secretary is going to have difficulty explaining why she accepted thousands of pounds in donations from a law firm which was condemned over false legal claims made against British soldiers. In December 2014, Thornberry took £14,500 from Leigh Day & Co. The firm was blasted by the inquiry into allegations of torture against UK troops, which found the claims were “wholly and entirely without merit” and based on “deliberate and calculated lies”. Last night it emerged Leigh Day is now facing a disciplinary inquiry and the prospect of its lawyers being struck off.

So, she will be a popular person when she gets to do the “glad handing” & fact-finding at Army bases. It goes without saying, as she is strong anti-Trident" person, I doubt if she will bother to visit the RN!

Shadow Defence Secretary, paid by a law firm who tried to sue British soldiers. No conflict of interest there then.

EDIT - Hitting the news.


Surely this more of a question in The House about an MPs MO, as has happend. If it is known, published and not denied, then she will be held to account by parliament’s internal systems, which invariably end up in the public domain. A publc enquiry would be pointless.

Not many politicians will, I imagine, be warmly welcomed by the military overall. Given the leanings/sympathies/empathies of the current Opposition leader, I can’t see how they can be positive in terms of defence/armed forces, as you would have a feeling that deep down they aren’t being entirely sincere. But it could be argued that the same could be said of all politicians / leaders at some time or other in certain situations or topics.


It doesn’t help when “simple” FoI requests meet with a protracted battle!


Now we know where HQAC got the idea and working practice / format for the Admin Burden Reduction Team.