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The daily Hansard trawl

I get terrible blogger's block during the recesses, so hay / sun etc:

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether information is retained by the House authorities on where and when an hon. Member uses their House of Commons pass; and if he will make a statement.

Nick Harvey: It is not the policy of the Commission to comment on security matters.

The first rule of Commons Club is you don't talk about Commons Club, presumably.

Sir Michael Spicer (a splendid chap from what his one-time research assistant once told me) seems intent on taking referring to onself in the third person not so much to a new level as to a new dimension:

"Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Leader of the House when she plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire dated 19 February 2009, on lobbying".

And the MP for West Worcestershire is....

Meanwhile, what manner of mouth breathers are deemed employable by the Valuation Office?:

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) e-learning programmes and (b) modules the Valuation Office Agency has. [275784]

Mr. Timms: There are currently 26 e-learning programmes available to all Valuation Office Agency staff. These are listed as follows and broken down by module....3. Grammar (Basic English Skills Grammar and Punctuation), Punctuation (Basic English Skills Grammar and Punctuation)

Some days it's like swimming through glue, isn't it? Mind you, this one intrigues: '22.Ten Thumbs'.

Meanwhile, don't you envy the staff at the Department of Energy and (snort) Climate Change:

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on branded stationery and gifts for (a) internal and (b) external promotional use since its establishment. [273780]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is as follows....£2,454: the cost of a mug for each member of staff, and low-cost pens.

Given that folk can be quite protective of the mugs they use in the workplace, telling one from the other would be a bit of a struggle. Unless they are such sad cases that they take the mugs home, in which case they are truly lost souls. While the purchase of 'low-cost' pens is not to be deprecated, I'm sure knowing that will make the DECCas feel really appreciated. Can't find either on ebay, by the way.

Anyway, onwards.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2009, Official Report, column 784W, on the Tenant Services Authority: publicity, with which stakeholders the authority engaged through the expenditure on public relations activities; and what the output was of each project funded by the expenditure on branding.

Iain Wright:....The TSAs expenditure on branding funded a single project to develop a new brand identity. The outputs included research via consultation with tenants and stakeholders and development of the brand identity covering everything related to the brand, including the TSA logo, publication styles and development of the TSA mission statement, exhibition signage and promotional items.

And here is the logo. Good job they consulted with tenants and stakeholders, eh?

Putting on my semiotician's hat, I suppose one could say that the pink indicates gay friendliness, but beyond that, what is one to make of either a bulging rectangle or a truncated circle. Suggests that the tenants can look forward to being cramped, does it not?

I doubt that when Jane Kennedy first sought the votes of the burghers of Liverpool she knew that this would happen:

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on odour emissions from the mushroom composting industry. [276587]

Jane Kennedy: I have received representations on the subject from my hon. Friend and also from Misson parish council.

And for this, she canvassed, kissed babies, stuffed envelopes, toured the 'pool in an open topped bus etc?

And her travails continued:

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much waste was recycled in each London local authority area (a) in total and (b) on average per head of the population in (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 2007-08

Excluding the City, Bexley produced the most rubbish per head and Tower Hamlets the least. Hammersmith & Fulham fares none too well, as to adapt a Woody Allen joke, they turn their rubbish into television programmes. (Rimshot)

And is this really a good idea?

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether proposed walk-in health centres will provide access to incontinence stores.


Meanwhile, in the debates section, what about this for sleight of hand:

Mr. Bone: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for that response, but in December 2005 Tony Blair said that our EU contributions were linked to reforming the CAP. Last year, our contribution to the EU was £3 billion, and next year it will be £6.5 billion—an incredible increase of 117 per cent. We have seen no reform in the CAP and a massive increase in our contributions. Is not the EU again fleecing the British people to prop up French farmers?

Hilary Benn: I do not agree that there has been no reform of the CAP. If the hon. Gentleman cares to go back 30 years or so, 80-plus per cent. of the EU budget went on the CAP, and it is currently about 41 or 42 per cent.

Did you spot it?

Meanwhile, I am on the verge of feeling sorry for Jane Kennedy, as the poor woman really seems to be getting the brown end of the stick at the moment:

"Paddy Tipping (Sherwood) (Lab): What recent discussions he has had with representatives of the farming sector on the future of the English pig industry.

Jane Kennedy: I met Mr. Stuart Houston, the chairman of the National Pig Association, at Morrisons’ new abattoir in Spalding, which I was privileged to open last week.

The glamour, the glitz, the pizazz of a minister's life, eh readers? She's a member of Labour Friends of Israel, but does not appear to be of the House of Judah. If she is, getting a minyan going in her birth place of Whitehaven, Cumbria might have been a bit of a struggle.

Having taken pity on Ms Kennedy, doubtless she will do or say something staggeringly evil within the next few days.


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Blogger JuliaM said... 12:30 pm

"Meanwhile, what manner of mouth breathers are deemed employable by the Valuation Office?"

I doubt they are unique in the Civil Service. I bet you'd find most other departments had something like this too...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:38 pm

Julia - Probably, and if truth be told swathes of the private sector too. Depressing, however one looks at it.  

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