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Friday in Parliament - featuring dead badgers, traumatised children and more.

From Hansard I discover what Ed Balls does during the working day:

"Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools he visited on official business in the last 12 months.

Ms Diana R. Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families visited approximately 92 schools over the period since May 2008 on official business".

Even if he only inflicts himself onone class per visit, that must some 2300 children traumatised in a year. Not to mention the teachers who will have been seeking refuge in gin, chardonay or whatever later in the day. Good news for the nation's psychotherapists at least.

And a contender for weirdest question of the year:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to provide a service for the collection and disposal of badger carcases found (a) on land adjacent to individual households and (b) in water courses
I am not making this up, and the response to Drew was not 'are you on crack, matey?'.

"Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA has no plans to provide a service of this nature". Blah etc
Unfortunate perhaps, as we are thus spared dead badger collection boxes to go along with the orange bags, green recycling boxes etc. Perhaps they should have black and white stripes, thus giving the various municipal bin stasis the opportunity to levy ferocious fines for putting dead zebras, skunks etc in the boxes.

Bees are back on the parliamentary menu in a big way (see passim), and I am indebted to Simon Burns for this:

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) organisations and (b) individuals were consulted during the development of his Department's bee health research Rationale, Objectives, Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation statement.

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 18 June 2009]: DEFRA’s bee health research Rationale, Objectives, Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation statement (ROAME) was included as part of the public consultation on the Healthy Bees plan which commenced on 8 April 2008 and closed on 29 August 2008. The consultation documents were published on the DEFRA website and were sent to the following organisations.

Among the organisations quizzed were:

Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd.

Commercial Queen Rearers’ Association Of The UK (My favourite, that. Make up your own off colour joke)

Women’s Food and Farming Union - What is women's food anyway? Probably not pork scratchings.

BASF. If memory serves, the Tommies of WW1 fought in unforms dyed by BASF

A quick one on Gib:

"Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the inclusion of Gibraltar on the UN’s list of territories in the process of decolonisation. [280231]

Chris Bryant: The Government believe Gibraltar should not be included on the UN list of non self-governing territories. The 2006 Gibraltar Constitution provides for a modern and mature relationship between Gibraltar and the UK, and Her Majesty’s Government regrets that the UN Committee of 24’s outdated criteria fail to take this into account. The Government do not consider that any of their Overseas Territories should remain on the UN list.

Chris Bryant saying something sensible. Miracles will never cease.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were admitted to hospital as a result of an accident in school in each month of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The table shows that under 18s are most likely to get hospitalised in late autumn and winter. Given that the peak figure was 27 in March 2005-6, I take the figures cum grano salis, as I was responsible for at least two school-related hospital admissions - I was a little accident prone as a small person

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