Compare three different situations.
1. A Tory frontbencher leaks documents which embarrass the government but are not related to national security. Police sent in. The authorities eventually conclude there was no crime.
2. Someone leaks price sensititive information abut the financial position of the leading banks and the Regulator’s responses to them. Police not involved. Some banks were unable to raise money on the markets following the Regulatory information revealed so the state nationalises them. Many think something serious occurred which should have led to disciplinary action and possibly to prosecutions. The law says the relevant information should have been revealed by the banks to the markets by formal statement and the rest should have been a private matter for the Regulator.
3. Someone leaks information about MPs expenses which are embarassing to MPs. Most of the information was going to be published anyway. Police sent in.The public thinks the information should have been released.
This behaviour towards information is unacceptable. Most information the government possesses is public property and should be revealed openly and in a timely way. Privileged information and opinion about private companies and indviduals should not be released where it is held for regulatory or law enforcement purposes. The government is placing the police in an impossible position by calling them in on a such a selective basis. These matters should usually be sorted out by Parliament and civil service.