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Open government - UK vs Italy

Two tales about disclosure which I've decided to link using the tenuous excuse of open government.

Firstly, Patrica Hewitt's bowel movements. Yes, really:

As expected for our Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, 57, apparently leads a life of exemplary healthiness...a spokesman insisted that she eats "infinitely more" than the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. She has never smoked and allows herself only the occasional glass of wine but given her busy schedule, struggles to "exercise properly with her busy schedule". "And she does have very, very regular bowel movements".

This came to the fore in an item on the healthy (or otherwise) choices made by the Cabinet. So, Patsy, did you decide that the nation needed to know this, or was your spokesperson engaging in a little mischief? Anyway, you now have a new nickname, so thank you. There is the old theory that the best way to retain one's sanity when being berated by some authority figure - teacher, plod, food commissar, Patricia Hewitt - is to imagine him or her at stool, and that has now been made so much easier. I wonder if her colleagues set their watches by Patsy's jaunts to the jakes, or if someone runs a book on the precise daily time? But for the prospects of insider dealing from her department, maybe City Index should start offering spreads.

Raising the tone a little, 897 miles away in Rome they are not quite so keen on the public knowing what goes in and out of politicians being public knowledge. The Telegraph reports:

"A satirical television show claiming that one in three Italian MPs uses drugs was taken off the air last night. Le Iene..tricked 50 randomly-selected MPs into giving samples during bogus television interviews about Italy's budget.... The samples revealed that 12 of the 32 MPs tested had smoked cannabis and four had snorted cocaine....Even a promise by the programme not to disclose any names failed to stop politicians from branding it an invasion of privacy. Other politicians denounced their colleagues as hypocrites. Daniele Capezzone, the leader of the Radical Party, which is trying to legalise cannabis, said: "I have always said that if a police dog went into the chamber its nose would first go on the blink and then it would give up."".

Ho ho.
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Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 9:08 am

great scam.

wish they'd do it here.  



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