I know I shouldn’t do this

but I just can’t resist it.

The Cabinet Office has launched a trial version of a new central government portal called alpha.gov.uk (snappy title). This trial site is a taster for what the designers hope could be a “new, single UK Government website”.

image of alpha.gov.uk webiste

I cannot help but be amused by the fact that one of the “popular tools and topics” the authors have chosen to showcase on the front page is “guide to redundancy”. Someone, somewhere in the Cabinet Office has a wry sense of humour.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/05/11/i-know-i-shouldnt-do-this/


  1. Wonderful! Also the name of the site reminds me of Alpha Complex from the excellent RPG “Paranoia” where the players are troubleshooters – “whose job is to go out, find trouble, and shoot it”. :-)


    A guide to redundancy there would probably be quite different, and much more lethal.. ;-)

    Keep your laser handy!

    • David on 2011/05/21 at 2:59 pm

    If only there was one place you could direct people to that contains directions to all other services which are available direct over the internet.

    Such a thing could have all public services in one place, directly available from a single site.

    Can anybody think of something that might fit the bill..?

    • Mick on 2011/05/21 at 8:56 pm


    Assuming the question is not simply rhetorical irony… To be fair, directgov attempts to do this. It even tries to help users who don’t know (or care) which government body provides the service they are interested in. So for example, there is a heading “home and community” which takes you to pages covering private renting, council housing etc. rather than just listing Government Departments and leaving the user to figure out which one he needs. Unfortunately directgov (like its predecessors, ukonline.gov.uk and open.gov.uk) suffers from the “not invented here” syndrome. So rather than build on what already exists (some of which is actually rather good and useful) the current administration makes the classic (and recurring) mistake of wanting to throw it away and build a new one.


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