2 out of 7 papers feature Gove and his PR polls

May 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

This is fucking depressing.

Only two out of the seven big national papers carried the story about Michael Gove having his arse handed to him on a plate about “survey after survey” show kids nowadays knowing fuck all about history.

You may see a pattern here, but the Telegraph, Mail, Express and the Sun have no sign of this story as expected.

You won’t be shocked to find the Guardian has it, as does the Independent which, by the way, gets’ a gold star for pointing out more of Goves’ bullshit at the end.

What surprised me, although may not surprise you as I don’t read the paper, is the Mirror doesn’t feature it. I was under the impression the Mirror was a bit of a lefty paper and would’ve been pissing themselves laughing at Gove being called out on his shit-speak.

This is a prime opportunity for the opposition to tear strips out of Gove and try and get him to justify the unsubstantiated bollocks he uses to push through what he calls education ‘reforms’, and what anybody with half a clue as to what actually goes in a class room calls A Fucking Nightmare For All Involved.

It won’t fucking happen though, and Gove will be free to fuck things up by reforming the education system back into the shape it was in the 1950’s.

Stamp Duty FoI response

February 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I got a reply to my Freedom of Information request about stamp duty relief for first time buyers.

I asked…

  1. How much has HMRC spent in finding out if someone has previously bought a house or flat in the UK.
  2. How much has HMRC spent in finding out if someone has previously bought a house or flat anywhere else in the world.
  3. How much STLD has HMRC recovered from people who have claimed not to have previously owned a house or flat but have owned one in the UK
  4. How much STLD has HMRC recovered from people who have claimed not to have previously owned a house or flat but have owned one somewhere in the rest of the world.
  5. How many first time purchases have HMRC investigated whether the buyers have previously owned a house or flat?
  6. How many of these investigations have HMRC found people claiming not to have owned a house or flat have actually owned a house or flat a) in the UK and b) anywhere else in the world?

I didn’t get the figures I asked for. With regard to the first to questions about how much it has cost investigating whether a first time buyer is actually a first time buyer or not…

In response to parts 1 and 2, I am writing to advise you that following a review of our paper
and electronic records, I have established that HMRC does not hold the information you
I can confirm that HMRC’s SDLT investigation work is managed by a small central team that
co-ordinates resource drawn from across the Department – including solicitors, policy
advisers and specialists in anti-avoidance, compliance and investigation work. A central
record of data on the total number of staff addressing SDLT compliance work in respect of
first time buyers claim issues across these teams is not held.

…and the rest of my request is refused section 31, the qualified exemption rule, as it could give a clue as to the chances of getting caught.

I think this exemption is going a bit far for parts 3 and 4, how much HMRC has recovered, but without the rest of the information it doesn’t really mean much. It’s just a figure that has no scale to it.

I can see how revealing the amount of investigations HMRC has carried out and the amount of fraudulent first time buyers they’ve found could give away their success rate and so the chances of being caught.

The problem is, each piece of information is not really any use without the rest so, unless you guys can come up with a reason why HMRC should cough up then you’ve got till the beginning of April to let me know.

Daily Mail/ Councils FOI requests

September 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Because of an idea in the comments of this post on Liberal Conspiracy, I fired a few FOI requests to whatdotheyknow.com.

I sent one to each of the following councils:

  • Vale Of White Horse District Council
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Abingdon Town Council (I made a bit of a pigs ear of that one so may have to submit another request if this one turns out to be shite)

asking for
– What are the top 10 websites visited by the Vale of White Horse
District Council staff during the months of June, July and August

– How many many minutes were spent on each site during the above

– How many people does the Vale of White Horse District Council

– How many times the Daily Mail website (any URL beginning
http://dailymail.co.uk) was accessed in the above months if not in
the top ten.

The prize for the quickest proper response goes to *drum roll*… The Vale of White Horse

Further to your recent FoI request please find attached reports on the
top ten sites visited by Vale employees during the months June – August

Unfortunately our software does not provide the functionality to report
on the number of minutes spent on each site, or to report on how many
times a particular website has been visited within a given period.

The Vale has 278 employees.

I hope this information is of assistance.

The results were sent in a .pdf format and are here, June, July and August.







More to follow… hopefully.

It’s called a Freedom of *Information* request

June 18th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Like most people today*, I’ve had a quick squint at my MPs’ receipts that have now been published, thanks to a FoI request, on the parliament website.

The following picture is a snapshot of one of the .pdf’s and seems fairly typical (click to enlarge)…


What bloody good is that? You can only presume the two bits go together by the total, as on the proper receipt even the name of the company is blanked out. Why is that? Why can’t we know the company that issued the receipt?
Why are the items blanked out? Why aren’t we allowed to know what the £64 was actually spent on?

All that tells us is that Dr Evan Harris spent £64 on something from a company that might be called Caudwell Communications.

I can understand the blacking out of an MPs’ phone number or most of their address, though there is no reason to black that out completely as just leaving us with the town or city would be enough to give some scrutiny. But to leave a receipt with just a total figure and present it as being open and transparent is just complete bollox. The receipt could be for a bucket of used condoms from ‘Cocks R Us’. How would we know?

MPs’ reckoned they were sorry. My fucking arse, are they. Even when told to be open and transparent, they still try to cover up. They knew they had been milking the system, it was never ‘sloppy accounting’ or errors of judgement, as we were kept being assured.

If it hadn’t been for the Telegraph, these money grabbing shits would’ve been able to blag their way to keeping their seats and their reputations (ha!) thanks to a metaphorical black marker.

It’s called a Freedom of Information request, dummy. So lets have some information.

*actually, most people are probably having a long hard look.

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