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Hansard trawling

Nets hauled in, here's what I have found:

"Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many representations he has received on television programmes with content claimed to be unsuitable for viewing being broadcast before the watershed in each of the last five years.

Andy Burnham: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Approximately 50 per cent. of the correspondence received by the Department on broadcasting is about content of which quite a large proportion is about the watershed. Source

Erm, what on earth would the other half of the correspondence be about, or am I having a sudden unintelligence incident?

And Paul Burstow, LD MP for Sutton and Cheam wins the prize for focusing squarely on the big issue of the hour:

Mr. Burstow: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate the House of Commons Commission has made of the number of (a) styrofoam and (b) plastic food service items used in House of Commons cafeterias in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. [275498]

Nick Harvey: The House of Commons catering service estimates that it has used the following number of (a) Styrofoam and (b) plastic food service items in its cafeterias in each of 12 accounting periods from April 2008-March 2009...

I am amazed Harvey did not fob him off with the old 'disproportionate expense' line. Meanwhile, my sympathies to the peon who had to make the estimate. For what it is worth, cup lids peaked at 53,000 in period eight - whenever that was, plastic cutlery (would you trust these people with your silverware?) at 108,100 in period three and plastic food containers at 32,911 in period eight.

Meanwhile, if you do not drive and do not have children living with you, the sharp end of council service provision is rubbish collection. When I pay the council tax I occasionally daydream about contracting out of it and sending my rubbish by chauffeur to the tip and pocketing the difference. /facetiousness. Anyway, would not one think that a tolerable return on one's council tax would be weekly collection? Apparently not:

"Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs...which of the 10 councils awarded beacon status for best practice in waste collection have (a) weekly and (b) alternate weekly collections.

Bexley, Ipswich and Preston, inter alia, have the doubtless coveted beacon status for best practice even though rubbish is left to rot, attract vermin and so forth for up to a fortnight. I do not suppose that the good burgers of Bexley etc were asked whether they considered that waste collection in their area rated as a shining city on the hill / flashing orange light in the distance. I imagine beacon status is not related to the direct business of collecting rubbish, but rather to how many wretched logos appear on the council letterhead - investors in people etc etc.

Elsewhere, Jack Straw does not seem to have noticed Irish independence: "For the purpose of paying the discharge grant, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland are included within the United Kingdom". Éamon de Valera must be turning in his grave.

Does Joan Ryan know something we do not?

"To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the French Government on Israeli soldier Corporal Shalit".

Erm... Last thing I heard it was Hamas rather than Lutte Ouvrière holding the unfortunate corporal.


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Blogger Blue Eyes said... 10:34 am

An excellent overview of the important matters of the day!

"When I pay the council tax I occasionally daydream about contracting out of it and sending my rubbish by chauffeur to the tip and pocketing the difference."

I have similar thoughts but have never thought about disposing of my rubbish in such a glamorous manner. Could one purchase a stretch limo and when it is not transporting non-recyclables could it not be rented to hen parties and sundry party-goers?

In fairness to my local council they empty my estate's bin room quite regularly. I have complained, however, at the amount of trash they manage to "lose" between the bin room and the lorry. Which then has to be collected and replaced in the bin room for the next time....  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:43 am

Cheers BE. I've used the chauffeur comparison when in rant mode. I think a minicab would probably be good enough.

I have weekly collections here, but there seem to be a lot of mouth breathers in my block who do not realise that the big metal jobs are where the rubbish goes, not on the floor.  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 10:49 am

Oh yes we have those "types" here too. Some even think that the stairwell is the bottle bank! Grr.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:08 am

I put up a note to the effect that the bins were there for a purpose, which seems to have had /some/ effect. I fear that putting glass in the bottle rather than paper bank is too much of an ask for some of them tho'.  

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