What are we to make of the expert opinion that British intelligence reports of the past are being withheld for reasons that are ” increasingly random?”

The Guardian’s expert on the history of intelligence Richard Norton Taylor writes the following in an article on intelligence withheld  or released.

Documents held back this year include files relating to the Scott inquiry into the arms-to-Iraq affair, a file on allegations of sexual abuse at the Kincora boys’ home in Belfast which the former army information officer Colin Wallace said were covered up by MI5, and a file on the late Brian Nelson, a British army informer in Northern Ireland eventually jailed for conspiring to kill Catholics.

The file also reveals that Thatcher and her successor, John Major, were concerned that a planned history of the army’s Intelligence Corps would reveal what the regiment had been up to in Northern Ireland. The Ministry of Defence told them not to worry as any reference to Northern Ireland would be “particularly anodyne”.

Already reported was gossip that Gerry Adams had set up the Loughgall IRA gang to be shot dead by the SAS,  a claim dismissed as ” utter nonsense” by Sinn Fein.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London