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The Hansard Trawl, featuring the junket of a lifetime and fork lift trucks

Oh to be a recently retired cop with the drug squad:

"Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 1193W, on the Caribbean: crime, what funding the UK provided for the establishment of the Drugs and Crime Task Force in Anguilla.

Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has provided approximately £50,000 in funding for the establishment of the Drugs and Gun Crime Task Force in Anguilla.The Drug and Gun Crime Task Force was established in 2006 by the Commissioner of Police in Anguilla. On the request of the government of Anguilla, the FCO provided co-funding for experienced, retired officers from the UK to train and mentor the task force following its inception. The task force is now fully funded by the Royal Anguilla Police Force".

Doubtless all thoroughly worthwhile and so on, but meanwhile sundry retired plod get to hang out in one of the nicer bits of the Caribbean and get paid for it. Jealous, me? Bet they would have found fewer volunteers to work in Baghdad.

Moving swiftly on, thieving squaddies / squaddies not exactly doing a good job of guard duty:

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military vehicles of each type were reported (a) stolen and (b) missing in the United Kingdom in each year since 1997.
2007 was particularly bad, with eight motorcycles, one van, one quad bike and a fork lift going AWOL. Overall, motorbikes and quad bikes are the most popular targets, presumably as they lend themselves to quick getaways. But fork lift trucks? If one considers that the Red Hats would have to be spectacularly dim to to be outran by a fork lift trucks, then I suppose they are being loaded onto trucks and spirited away thus. On the upside, at least no tanks / self-propelled artillery pieces have gone walkabout.

Sticking with the boys in green, here is the most egregiously dishonest use of the 'disproportionate cost' excuse in living memory:

"Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any munitions containing white phosphorus manufactured in the UK have been used in theatres of military operation against UK armed forces in the last 10 years".

Bill Rammell: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost".

It is not as though our military have been involved in that many ops since 1999. I would have thought a few phone callls would have flushed out an answer.

A missed opportunity:

John Mann: To ask the Leader of the House if she will publish lists of all hon. Members who participated in each round of voting to elect a Commons Speaker on 22 June 2009.

Barbara Keeley: No list of Members who voted in the secret ballot is compiled.

Shame, as it would have given us all the chance to point and laugh at those MPs who just could not be bothered to vote. Plus it would have been so much fun to say to a canvasser for a sitting MP, 'your candidate couldn't be bothered to vote for the speaker, so I can't be bothered to vote for him / her'.

Weird question o' the day:

"Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of students achieved a B grade at GCSE in each subject in each of the last three years".

Maybe the international laughing stock that is the Honourable Member from Winchester had some point he wanted to make about his own exam results or those of his progeny.

Someone who, perhaps, should have declared an interest:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to establish a Royal Commission to report and make recommendations on electoral reform; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made to the House on 10 June 2009, Official Report, columns 795-99. The Government will set out proposals on taking the debate forward.

Drew has a majority of 350. Bye bye...

Yet another less than straight answer from our beloved PM:

"Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what criteria he plans to use to decide on his next nominee for the post of European Commissioner;

(2) what criteria he plans to use in deciding on the UK’s preferred candidate to be the next President of the European Commission. [281437]

The Prime Minister: The treaty establishing the European Community requires that Commissioners shall be chosen on the grounds of “general competence”. The Prime Minister nominates a candidate to become the UK Commissioner who has the right skills to be able to do an excellent job as a Commissioner. I have made clear that the UK supports Jose Manuel Durao Barroso in his candidature to become European Commission President for a second term. Mr. Barroso has been an excellent Commission President since 2004.

What he meant to say was re point 1, 'The candidate will be a Labour MP / Lord, who will have shown me slavish devotion over many years, and furthermore could do with a nice tax free salary and all the fringe benefits he/she can trouser / handbag over the next few years'.

Re 2 - 'Someone who has a face like a potato', perhaps?

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Blogger JuliaM said... 4:25 pm

"On the upside, at least no tanks / self-propelled artillery pieces have gone walkabout. "

Yet! I'm checking eBay now...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:45 pm

Fancy going 50/50 on one or the other?

There was a chap in Brixton who had a road-legal Scorpion tank painted street line yellow, and having been harassed by the plod many times he mounted two papier mache be-uniformed pigs on it, complete with an incendiary slogan. Last spotted on a low loader rounding Clapham Common, having been seized.

More on it here, but alas no photo links that actually work  

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