A lot of things we didn't think we knew, 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
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
More than 1,000 girls aged 14 and under had abortions in a single year
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
More than 300 babies a year are being left with brain damage because of oxygen starvation caused by lack of proper care at birth
Countries with poor human rights records and those on the front line in the War on Terror, including Iraq, were targeted by the Ministry of Defence as the most lucrative places for British arms companies to sell weapons
Weapons and ammunition are being smuggled into Britain by coalition forces returning from war zones
Restaurants belonging to Britain's leading fast-food chains were branded "extremely poor" by health inspectors
Ministers knew that a postal voting scandal was looming just before local polls that sparked claims of stolen votes
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
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
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
Two hundred serving police officers have criminal records for offences that include assault, breach of the peace, theft and vandalism.
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
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 GOS says: Actually, some of these we did know already, and most of the rest came as no surprise. Let's face it, we're not that stupid, and the British public are getting used to being let down, duped or betrayed by those we employ and/or elect to serve us.
And Tony Bliar appearing on the Simpsons? Anyone who was foolish enough to watch that dreary evening of rubbish on Red Nose Day will have seen Tony Bliar acting in a sketch with Catherine Tate. To tell the truth, he was rather good. Perhaps in entertainment he's finally found his true calling - it sure as hell isn't in politics, because as a Prime Minister he's been almost as disastrous as Margaret Thatcher, and in terms of damage to British society and freedom, far worse. Not sure he did Iraq all that much good either.
The Red Nose Day broadcast did have one little ray of sunshine, we thought. Paul O'Grady introduced a very touching item about children who have to care for their sick or disabled parents, and how Red Nose money is used to provide someone to take their place so they can have a day off. Just as we were all feeling cosy and sympathetic about helping these poor children, O'Grady punctured our bubble by pointing out that if the government cared less about persecuting smokers and drivers and a bit more about these children, the intervention of Red Nose Day wouldn't be necessary.
And he's quite right, of course. In a so-called civilised, advanced society no child should be saddled with the task of caring for the people who ought to be caring for them. This should be what we pay the state for. This should be part of the most basic purpose of the NHS. We shouldn't be doing this to kids who have quite enough to do fending for themselves and trying to get some sort of education without the support and help of able-bodied parents. It's not the parents' fault they're sick - but it certainly is the state's fault if there's no-one but a twelve-year-old to care for them.
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