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The Hansard Trawl, featuring newts and a contrived Shakespearian joke

Hain is back. Boo and indeed hiss:

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many breaches of information security there have been in his Department in the last five years. [281095]

Mr. Hain: There have been no breaches of information security in the Wales Office in the last five years.

Shouldn't that be 'as far as we know'?

The cost of running the CAP:

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to the public purse of the Common Agricultural Policy integrated administration and control system was in each of the last five years.

Jim Fitzpatrick:...It is not possible to provide the specific costs to these bodies of administering IACS-only schemes in the time available without incurring disproportionate costs, as they do not separately collect such figures.

However, it was the merest bagatelle of £292m in 2007-08. Doubtless a bargain at 15 times the price.


Our old friend (so to speak) Jane Kennedy deserves credit for her choice of reading matter while at DEFRA - Farmers Weekly, Farmers Guardian, Fishing News. Wonder if she has taken a personal subscription to those titles now... Lord Hunt opts for the farming mags, but skips the fishing title.

Something to gladden the hearts of both a former Mayor of London and Gussie Fink-Nottles everywhere:

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people qualified to survey land in England for signs of great crested newt activity.

Huw Irranca-Davies: People with suitable experience and skills can apply to Natural England for a licence to handle/disturb great crested newts. For the year April 2007 to March 2008, Natural England issued 1,074 great crested newt licences, permitting activities for the purpose of science and conservation. Figures cannot be broken down further to indicate how many of these licence holders were engaged in surveying land for signs of great crested newt activity

Must make the licence holders a wow at dinner parties. Newt disturbing sounds almost as alarming as sheep worrying. How does one disturb a great crested newt? Suggest that its titular distinction is not all that, frankly?


Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter of 31 March 2009 from the right hon. Member for Banff and Buchan on his constituents in Macduff.

Ruddock's answer, alas, was not that doubtless blameless burghers of Macduff should lock up their families to keep them safe from the wicked burghers of Macbeth.

Moving south:

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the eutrophication status of the Humber estuary is; and if he will make a statement. [280778]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency, which surveys waters in England for their eutrophic status, does not consider the Humber to be eutrophic or likely to become eutrophic in the near future.

Thanks for clearing that up HI-D. Feel free to look it up, I had to.

Dominic Grieve has a lengthy question about re-offending rates among of those convicted of sundry crimes against the person or property, and theieves and burglars are the most given to recidivism. Note, however, that those with custodial sentences were more likely to re-offend than those subject to court orders - imprisoned thieves re-offended at a rate of 75.6 and court ordered thieves at a rate of 59.1. Interesting, no? Doubtless those imprisoned had committed graver offences, but even so.

Better late than never:

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to support Earth Hour on 28 March 2009; and if he will make a statement.

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 26 March 2009]: I apologise for the delay in this response (blah)

(Snigger)

The Foreign Office's ministers manage one foreign language title between them: Le Monde, which Miliband reads, apparently. Private Eye is considerably more popular, with Miliband Major, Malloch-Brown and Lord Davies all poring over HP Sauce and the Broonites once a fortnight.

And yet more newtery:

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost to the construction industry of compliance with conditions attached to planning permissions in respect of (a) great crested newts and (b) bats in each of the last five years. [280860]

Mr. Ian Austin: No estimate has been made of the cost to the construction industry of compliance with conditions attached to planning permissions in respect of great crested newts or bats.

O'B is clearly the primo caudataphile (or might he be a - gasp - caudataphobe?) in Parliament.

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Blogger James Higham said... 8:47 am

Eutrophication - fabulous word to use at a party.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 9:14 am

Shame it does not mean something more pleasant.  



Blogger JuliaM said... 11:41 am

"..note, however, that those with custodial sentences were more likely to re-offend than those subject to court orders.."

Or, looked at another way, more likely to get caught reoffending.

Perhaps the 'university of crime' isn't all it's cracked up to be? More of a polytechnic, in fact...  



Blogger Croydonian said... 12:53 pm

Julia - you have to wonder, don't you?  



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