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Yesterday, or rather Friday, in Parliament

First up, Liam Fox was enquiring as to the safeguarding of the spiritual welfate of the boys and girls in uniform:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military chaplains there were in each of the armed services in each of the last five years".

And lo he got some data in return, which was crying out to be charted, so below are the numbers of RN, Army and RAF chaplains 2004-2008:

I was preparing to take umbrage over the referrence by Ainsworth to the Naval Service rather than the Royal Navy, but it does include the Marines and the RFA. Still a rather diminishing name, so I have labelled it the RN in my chart. Anyway, while the Army chaplaincy remains unchanged numbers-wise, both the RN and the RAF have seen falls, although the 2008 figures were described in the answer as provisional. So, does this mean that the RAF and RN are becoming increasingly godless or that they can't get the staff?

Elsewhere, Gregory Campbell wanted to know the cost per inmate of gaols in Northern Ireland: "The target for 2008-09 is £81,500". Not cheap, and I doubt that Ulster lags are living in the lap of luxury.

Julia Goldsworthy has hit upon what ought to be a rich vein to mine:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which former (a) hon. Members who left Parliament since 1997 and (b) Members of the House of Lords from each party have been appointed to positions on public bodies within his Department’s responsibility; and who made each appointment".

I would very much like to see that one answered, but I am not going to:

"Sarah McCarthy-Fry: This information is not held centrally. Information on board membership and remuneration is published in individual bodies’ annual reports and accounts"

Lame. Very lame.

Another one throwing out lots of figures:

"Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many leaflets promoting overseas voter registration were sent to each British mission overseas in the last 12 months".

Go on, guess which mission got the most. It would have to be a country swarming with out compatriots, would it not? Somewhere in Western Europe or the Anglosphere, maybe?

Nope, it is our man or woman in Podgorica who is inundated with leaflets, as 500 were sent to Montenegro. Compare that to the 50 for NYC. Ankara also got 500, while third was Athens with 400. Joint fourth with 300 were Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Moscow. Port Moresby got eight times the total for New Delhi, and Kigali eight times that for Karachi.

Evan Harris really, really needs to get out more. He has introduced a bill to change the succession to the throne, and 'Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to welcome real progress from the Government on this issue'. Nothing? Come off it.

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Blogger Richard said... 9:49 pm

Just FYI, the correct term in 'Naval Service' - that encompasses the RN, FAA, RNR, RNFR, RFA, RM and the QARNNS. Just so you know - it's not belittling to those of us in the service, it actually includes those not in the 'RN Proper' :-)  

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