What I can confirm is that if as a retired solicitor you are doing your own conveyancing you have to telephone HMRC, my esteemed Comrades, to procure a paper SDLT1. You are told it will come within 2-3 weeks. In fact it came within a few days. While HMRC may perceive that control is necessary and so the form cannot be downloaded, unless to someone licensed to carry on a reserved activity who is registered as an unpaid anti money laundering gatekeeper and has vertiginous minimum PI cover, the very least they can do is to carry out whatever security checks they deem essential and, if met, commit absolutely to a 2-3 day turnaround in that event.
While I am moderately in favour of free market capitalism, at least as an alternative to Momentum, its tendency towards monopoly is reprehensible, as is its total incomprehension of the concept of self-restraint.
And whatever the political system HMRC will remain in practice outside the control of HMG as Peter Harris describes in his latest tour de force for reasons I will set out in a comment on that posting.