Encrypt a Message

Ever wanted to encrypt your own message? See our encryption page!

UK 2010 Election Results

On May 6th 2010 the UK General Election did not give any one party a majority of MPs.

Soon the political parties will be offering their "spin" on the result and how they are the ones that won or they have a legitimate claim to rule. We have analysed the actual results to show the actual facts. See our election analysis page for the facts.

Kent Police News

Kent Police do not currently (February 2006) have an working RSS feed for their news - but we do!

Kent Police have a news archive, but all the dates are when the item was moved to the archive but not when the item was first posted!

The Kent Police RSS feed is not the modern RSS V2 so can give a few problems to some RSS readers and does not include dates so you do now know how old or how recent a new item is!

See recent Kent Police news. See also news from:

Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council News

See recent KCC and SDC news.

Kent County Council News

See recent Kent County Council news. See also news from:

Sevenoaks District Council News

Not all Sevenoaks District Council's news goes on its website. See recent Sevenoaks District Council news. See also news from:

The Government Gateway Secure Mail

H. M. Government has a Government Gateway which it wants people to use to access e-government It incorporates a Secure Mail system. When an Secure Mail is sent, another e-mail is sent to the users personal e-mail address which says:

You have received mail in your Government Gateway Secure Mailbox for reference ...... To read this message please logon to the Government Gateway (https://secure.gateway.gov.uk/)

We logged onto the Government Gateway and found the following secure e-mail:

Date Received 13-Oct-2005 16:02

Subject Online Filing Tax-Free Payment

Service IR-PAYE
From PAYE Enquiries

To view or download this electronic form please click on the following link:
Inland Revenue PAYE Online for Employers

Not very informative. In fact, by following the link to Inland Revenue, we had to logon again - using the same User Id and Password as we logged onto the Government Gateway - in order to find the same e-mail to find out its contents! What a shame they could not have put the text of the final e-mail in the Government's system!


Want to know where a public footpath goes to? Don't come to Kent as the vast majority of their signs simply say 'Public Footpath' or Public Bridleway'.

It would not cost a fortune to indicate where the public footpath or public bridleway lead to and it would encourage people to explore the Public Rights Of Way (PROW) network as then there would be signs to help them find the way back home!


Want to find your MSP?

The home page at http://www.scotland.gov.uk gives no clues on where to find them! There is a link at the bottom of pages to http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/home.htm - obviously the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament know the difference between the two bodies, but does the average Scot?


Want to know the cost of the Sevenoaks District Council subsidised minibus transport for older residents, residents with special needs, those who cannot easily access public transport and young people?

The web page states There is a charge for the service, details of which are available on request.

What a shame they do not put it on there web site. That must be better for the user and cheaper for the council than having staff to answer the telephone!

Official Secrets Act 1911

Britain kept most information secret by default by the use of Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, under which it was a criminal offence to disclose any official information without lawful authority.


Secrets are more dificult to keep in the modern Internet era. It is now possible to see GCHQ from space!

Meaning of "official information"

This means any information, document or article which a Crown servant or a Government contractor has, or has had, in his or her possession by virtue of his or her position as such.

The far reaching scope of Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 means that the colour of a Civil Servant's pencil was a secret because the pencil was an article which a Crown servant had in his or her possession by virtue of his or her position and was, therefore, "official information"!

Section Two of the Act made it an offence, punishable by up to two years imprisonment, for a person employed by the state to pass on any official information to anyone not authorised to receive it, whether or not the information has any direct reference or effect on state security as such. The second part is so completely all-encompassing that could literally be applied to even a minor civil servant disclosing information about how many tea-bags and pints of milk were ordered for his relevant Ministry's department.

Britain has had an Official Secrets Act since 1889, but the most significant law was passed in 1911, in a mood of national panic about German spies posing as tourists. The act was rushed through all its parliamentary stages in one day, with only one hour's debate, and stayed in force for the next 78 years. Its most controversial aspect was section 2, which made it an offence for any civil servant to reveal any information obtained in the course of their employment, without authorisation. It was also an offence to receive such information, even unintentionally. There was no "public interest" defence. Needless to say, the act was in theory breached every day, and most "offences" went unpunished: after all, the most assiduous leakers of information were ministers and senior civil servants. However, there were a number of celebrated prosecutions. In 1977, two journalists were prosecuted for talking to a former soldier who had worked on signals intelligence in Cyprus. They were convicted, but the journalists were given "conditional discharges", and the soldier received a suspended sentence.


The epitome of official British concealment is of course the Official Secrets Act, rushed onto the statute books in a single day in 1911. The spirit of that Act (revised in 1989) was transported to Australia and reappeared as equally (some would say more) oppressive public servant secrecy provisions in various crimes acts


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