Revenue and Customs || Office of Fair Trading || UK Dept for Transport (located on gov.uk)
Mental capacity and Powers of Attorney are dealt with by the Office of the Public Guardian, whose website has been closed (2011) to save money, but useful content was moved to DirectGov which has now been closed (2012 - can you see a pattern here?) and is now to be found on Gov.uk where the link at the start of this paragraph will take you. gov.uk uses https; uses google analytics and the code suggests amazon cdn is used; uses lots of cookies without the warnings, information, and prior consent required by the government's own laws.
Official UK Inflation figures are well hidden from September 2011, here are direct links to the annualised change in some indices (note- tables go back to 1948, are presented annually, quarterly and monthly, and have the latest month at the bottom of page)-
CPI - CPI (also called HICP) is the new euro standard that ignores housing, and uses price geometric mean instead of arithmetic mean, which yields a lower result (can be dramatically lower) than the arithmetic mean used by all other measures below. This usage assumes that the consumer will shop at the lowest price available, and that the lowest prices are widely available.
RPI- RPI (series CZBH) is the old cost of living index
RPIX -RPIX (series CDKQ) is the one that ignores mortgage interest.
RPIY (series CBZX) ignores mortgage interest rates and indirect taxation (vat, excise)
This page shows all four series on one page in the order RPIY, RPIX, RPI and CPI. That's the unalterable order the ONS website serves them.
If you want brief UK company info, go directly to the Company Search page of Companies House. Search for disqualified directors. For help with queries about what a Limited Company is and how it is supposed to work, they have lots of info in HTML and PDF format at Guidance booklets
The Official U K Statistics. Note that from August 2011, as part of the move to open standards (NOT), an increasing number of datasets are being (i) well hidden and (ii) restricted to a commercial format and will not be available in a browser viewable format. The new 2011 web site seems to have a number of coding errors, poor layout and almost invisible stats. The disappearance of some stats is probably due to developer and management incompetance rather than political censorship. Our government openly seeks to increase the use of internet services by departments, but then fails to ensure that content is available, accessible, locatable.
Update: December 2012: The Chairman of the body responsible for the ONS website told members of parliament: "The relaunch of the ONS website in August of last year was not one of our greatest moments, and at that time the website became difficult to use, difficult to navigate, difficult to search.". See BBC Report.
Still available is one elderly book- Living in Britain (last issue was 2002, released 2004)- 900k pdf file.
If you live in England, own freehold domestic premises, and pay a chief rent (aka rentcharge) you may find yourself faced with one of a half dozen companies who are out to get money off you by purchasing your charge and then making up very high charges and demanding them from you. They will offer to sell you the rent but at a vastly inflated charge. There is a legal scheme to cancel the rent charge (and all restrictions connected with it) operated by the government. The typical cost is around 15 times the annual rent. All rents will be cancelled automatically around August 2037. The relevant Act is the Rentcharges Act 1977, which prevented the creation of new charges and enabled the cancellation in due course of existing charges. As the information on this is not readily available on the internet, here are the contact details effective from April 2011 following government departmental reorganisation:
National Rentcharge Unit Manager, Department for Communities and Local Government, 4th Floor, One Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester M1 1RG Tel: 0303 4444558 (local rate call).
Note that "ground rents" paid by an owner of leasehold property, and management charges paid by apartment owners are not included.
NHS Direct operate a UK telephone support line on 0845 4647 in a declining number of areas (if you call from an area where it is not now available you will hear a recorded message telling you to ring 111) - and elsewhere a different telephone health filtering and advice service (not emergency) is available on telephone number 111 which is free from all telephones.
Call 111 if: you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency OR you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service OR you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call OR if
you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.
Mathematics can be fun. Martin Gardner, Clifford Pickover, David Singmaster- mathematicians that have kept me amused. On the internet, an excellent pot pourri of recreational maths can be found at Mathpuzzle.
Copyright? or Copyleft? An interesting article on intellectual property rights.
A remarkable book by a talented decorator is "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" written way back in 1911 the subject material is ludicrously current. RTP is freely available on line - from Project Gutenberg as Text, HTML, Epub, Mobipocket and Plucker; and from the Trades Union Congress, the owners of the manuscript, have the Gutenberg text alongside the page images of the handwritten MSS - with the text fully searchable.
The Spirit of 45 film web site has a VERY useful page of UK political history web links to all the political party manifestos since 1945, newspaper reviews not fully supportive of the film, and think tanks and their reports. A very useful resource for anyone wanting to track politics and variations on views in the UK since 1945. Also well worth checking the manifestos, and what actually happened after the election. Wow. Recommended.
So far I've stayed well away from politics, but with some extraordinary pro-government propaganda going unchallenged, time to ask you to read from some alternative sources please. The following web sites are all worth looking at - note that I do not agree with all they say, but they have the right to say it and to have their views considered especially when our three main political parties seem to have all the same policies. In no particular order. .
If you are not happy with the three main political parties and want something other than the potential fourth party, do take a look at Left Unity and be sure to watch the film or buy the DVD of "Spirit of '45" by Ken Loach. I am familiar with films being applauded in cinemas, but this was the first film I have seen receive a standing ovation in a cinema.
Politics Resources (UK) - enormous quantities of facts, figures, claims and counterclaims to wade through- some data handily gathered together on the web site and many external links.
BigBrotherWatch- every minute detail of what you do watched? || Labourstart, links to external news articles.
Labour Uncut || Trades Union Congress the annual gathering of all unions. || Coalition of Resistance