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A list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act.

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User ID: 199460
United States
03/06/2007 04:10 PM
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A list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act.
Granted, this appears to be a British version, but wouldn't it be interesting to see the US equivalent...

59 things that would have stayed secret

What they didn't want you to know: A list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act.

»Ministers and MPs were claiming thousands of pounds on taxis as part of £5.9m in expenses for travel

»The Thatcher Government concocted a plan to search for the Loch Ness monster using a team of dolphins

»Foreign diplomats – who have diplomatic immunity – were accused of rapes, sexual assaults, child abuse and murders while working in Britain

»The Government agreed a £1.5m bailout of one of the most troubled schools in its flagship city academies programme ten days before the 2005 general election

»People charged with certain criminal offences in Warwickshire are 30 per cent more likely to be convicted than those in Bedfordshire. The figures showed huge variations in performance of the Crown Prosecution Service

»Politicians are spending £2.2bn a year of taxpayers’ money on private management consultants

»Ted Heath was once offered concert work by Idi Amin of Uganda. The eccentric dictator made his offer in a 1977 telegram

»Ian Huntley was officially “eliminated” as a suspect six days into the investigation into the Soham murders

»Thousands of women are getting breast enlargements, tummy-tucks and nose jobs on the NHS

»Tax inspectors are routinely offered bonuses to encourage them to collect as much money as possible

»Weapons used by paratroopers on Bloody Sunday have ended up in the hands of the army in Sierra Leone, paramilitary police in Beirut and even in an Arkansas gun shop

»Tony Blair spent nearly £2,000 of taxpayers' money on cosmetics over six years

»Seventy-four police officers serving with the Metropolitan Police have criminal records

»Senior civil servants in the Home Office were paid more than £2m in bonuses despite the scandals that have engulfed the department

»The Prime Minister wined and dined celebrities at the taxpayer’s expense at his country residence, Chequers. Guests included Esther Rantzen, Trevor Brooking, Elton John and Des O'Connor

»Killings carried out by strangers have increased by a third since Tony Blair came to power

»Government advice at the time of Prince Charles’s divorce from Diana suggested that his marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles would be illegal

»A clandestine British torture programme existed in postwar Germany, “reminiscent of the concentration camps”

»Britain helped Israel to obtain its nuclear bomb 40 years ago, by selling it 20 tonnes of heavy water

»John Prescott met the US billionaire Philip Anschutz as the businessman’s representatives were aggressively lobbying the Department for Culture, Media and Sport over the progress of the gambling bill and plans to build a supercasino

»The NHS has been giving girls as young as 13 contraceptive injections and implants that make them infertile for up to three years, in an attempt to cut teenage pregnancies

»The Prime Minister took trips costing more than £1.2m over four years from 2002 on RAF jets allocated to the Royal Family and government VIPs, including those for holidays abroad

»Police in England and Wales spend £21m a year on interpreters

»Britain has extradited four times as many people to the US as have been sent in return since the introduction of fast-track extradition

»More than 1,000 girls aged 14 and under had abortions in a single year

»Alastair Campbell thought that it was a “barmy” idea for Tony Blair to appear on the Simpsons show in 2003, but that Mr Blair could be seen to “seize any opportunity to promote Britain”

»The Metropolitan Police spent £900,000 policing illegal street meetings by the cleric Abu Hamza and his followers

»The Yorkshire Ripper probably committed more crimes than the 13 murders and seven attempted murders for which he was convicted

»Six British military policemen died at the hands of an Iraqi mob in Majar al-Kabir because nearby reinforcements decided it was too dangerous to rescue them

»Health tourists received free NHS kidney treatment worth about £30,000 a year, potentially competing with British patients for scarce transplants

»DNA tests showed that, since 1998, 3,034 men had been wrongly named by mothers as fathers of children for whom they had claimed maintenance. The taxpayer had to repay these sums

»Robert Maxwell was being investigated for war crimes and was to be interviewed by police just before he drowned

»In 2004 the BBC paid £15.5m in staff bonuses when it was planning to cut more than 3,000 jobs

»Rich landowners top the league of EU farm subsidy payouts

»The railway stations that provide the worst facilities for passengers were revealed in a National Audit Office document

»More than 300 babies a year are being left with brain damage because of oxygen starvation caused by lack of proper care at birth

»John Birt, Tony Blair's key adviser in Downing Street, identified the abolition of National Service as a significant factor in the “exponential” rise in crime over the past 50 years

»Illegal immigrants are getting into Britain by enrolling on university courses, obtaining visas and then failing to turn up to study

»A former No 10 adviser lobbied the Government to relax gambling laws and pave the way for valuable casino contracts on behalf of Kerry Packer, the Australian billionaire

»Cherie Blair became the first Prime Minister's spouse to be given a government car and driver for her personal use

»A cache of more than 300 weapons, including air pistols, swords and an improvised flame-thrower, were seized from schoolchildren in one year

»Police were instructed to let off offenders with a caution if they commit any one of more than 60 types of crime, ranging from assault to some types of theft, criminal damage and underage sex.

»More than 700 nurses and doctors were disciplined for drink or drugs at work in the past ten years

»Plans to turn Britain into a “world leader” in internet gambling were drawn up by ministers

»In one year hundreds of 10»year»old children were charged with crimes including serious sexual offences, robbery, actual bodily harm and assaulting a police officer

»Lord Falconer was dragged into a dispute over plans for a supercasino at the Millennium Dome when it emerged he had met representatives of the US billionaire behind the venture 13 times

»Two hundred serving police officers have criminal records for offences that include assault, breach of the peace, theft and vandalism.

»Documents suggested that one in 15 officers has broken the law

The full extent of the damage caused by “Black Wednesday”, when in 1992 Britain fell out of the ERM, was revealed

»Humphrey, the Downing Street cat who mysteriously disappeared in 1997, had not been put down but had been sent to “a stable home environment where he can be looked after properly”

»Documents from the mid1980s showed how Mark Thatcher was paid commission for a Middle East building contract for which his mother had lobbied

»Previously secret health inspections of some of Britain’s most prestigious restaurants revealed criticisms of some of those run by Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc

»1980s school dinners could be the cause of three young Welsh people’s deaths from the human form of mad cow disease

»The Elgin Marbles were damaged by two schoolboys fighting in the British Museum in 1961. One of the boys fell and knocked off part of a centaur's leg

»Some NHS dentists earn up to £250,000 a year in fees, as demand for those who have remained in the public sector increases

»Greg Dyke asked to be reinstated as Director»General of the BBC a week after he was sacked over the Hutton report

[link to www.timesonline.co.uk]

One of the reader comments at the site is asking the editors to please do a US version, so maybe we'll get one lol.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15418
United States
03/06/2007 04:33 PM
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Re: A list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act.
That's cool, let's bash someone besides the USA for once!