Well, I'm sorry I annoyed a few people, there
I did a forum search on 'Synaptic' and 'no updates', but failed to find or overlooked the relevant thread(s). I also don't browse the forums regularly, so don't tend to see the newsy stuff.
I did come across the ibiblio news tangentially, but I did not realise that it affected all repos. I was unaware that it was the source for all mirrors.