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Where your money goes, part 483

From Hansard:
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 7W, which Ministers attended each training course; what the name of each course was; and how much each course cost. [265657]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Ministers in DEFRA have taken the following personal training courses at public expense since 1 January 2008...

HI-D did not give the fees, but one of the courses was called 'leadership training. Yes, really:

So, who cannot - or maybe could not - lead? Was it Tony Benn's sleeper agent son? Jane Kennedy? 'Lord' Hunt or HI-D himelf? Enquiring minds want answers. Shades of the tale of Attlee offering a minister ship to a receipient who suggested that he was not worthy or somesuch and Attlee then withdrawing the offer. Anyone who can lay hands on a fuller reference and relay it to me would win if not my undying gratitude then at least a day or so's appreciation.

Elsewhere, we discover what has been nicked / lost from the Dept of Children, Schools and Families. As a sidebar, DCSF is opposite the Adam Smith Institute, which probably motivates those on both sides of the road.

If they are paying £14.96 per USB key, they have been had, unless we are talking 16gb +. That things go walkabout from offices is hardly a public sector only problem, but I am intrigued as to how the lost are divided from the stolen. In the case of staff passes, 120 were lost and 17 stolen. The latter figure seems suspect, and I suspect refers to repeat losers concocting a cock and bull story to avoid having to pay for lost passes.

Over at the DCMS, we disover what is going on with mobile phones and Blackberries - I refuse to refer to Blackberrys:

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) BlackBerrys and (b) other mobile telephones have been provided to (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005.

Mr. Sutcliffe:
My Department only holds information for the current year. My Department has 116 Blackberrys and 60 mobile telephones.

And there are two ministerial Blackberries and on ministerial mobile phone, but there are four ministers - Andy 'mascara' Burnham, Barbara 'colour me beautiful' Follett, 'Baron' Carter (although he is shared with BERR) and Gerry 'unworthy of a soubriquet' Sutcliffe. So, who doesn't deserve a phone at all, and who only gets a vanilla mobile? It must be pretty humiliating for minsiters at the bottom of the food chain when SpAds are showing off their new toys at upgrade time.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:22 am

What are the odds that these are Common Purpose courses?  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 9:29 am

Greg Hands for PM!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:50 am

And his surname would make for so many great headlines too.  

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