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The Hansard trawl, featuring what the MoD does in its spare time, the fast moving Peter Hain and *tractor stats*...

The MoD gets up to more than one might think:

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria his Department uses in deciding whether to fund archaeological and cultural heritage projects; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kevan Jones: There are three main criteria used by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in deciding whether to fund projects: compliance with legislation; compliance with planning policy obligations; and the Department’s commitment to be a good practice exemplar in the management of its historic estate. These are balanced against the funding and delivery of defence capability.

There's probably a joke involving Raiders of the Lost Ark in there somewhere.

'Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing, mowed down by the MoD every one':

"Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider (a) reducing the frequency of grass cutting on his Department's military bases and (b) developing wildflower meadows in such locations as a contribution to the Government’s targets for biodiversity"

You have to hand it to our Parliamentarians for their ability to come up with things to quiz the government over.

Didn't take him long:

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has appointed a special adviser since taking office. [281456]

Mr. Hain: I have now appointed two special advisers.

A book which I will be reviewing shortly has a point blank denial by Mr Permatan that he ever uses a sunbed, by the way.

It's the thought that counts. Probably:

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much the Government Equalities Office spent on promoting International Women’s Day 2009.

Michael Jabez Foster: The Government Equalities Office did not spend any money on promoting International Women’s Day 2009.

The Ministers for Women led a debate in the House of Commons on 5 March 2009 on ‘Support for women through the economic downturn and for the future’ to mark International Women’s Day.

I'm sure that some 3.4bn XX chromosome types raised a sisterly cheer to the Minister.

A slightly more pointed one from Rozza:

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many centres for male victims of domestic violence have been opened in each month in each of the last five years.

Female on male DV is the secret that dare not speak its name, and I know far more men who have been downwind of violent partners than vice versa. Which, obviously, is purely anecdotal and of no statistical validity. Further the generally more serious and generally more common character of male on female DV should not be downplayed. Anyway, those of a cynical bent can guess what the anwer is going to be:

Michael Jabez Foster: (blah) "The Government are funding a Men's Advice Line".
So that's a big fat zero then.

"Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many tractor registrations there were in each year since 1997".

Tragically the reponse was not 'tractor registrations have exceeded all norms during the last two five year plans and we continue to build socialism'.

I think I can be forgiven a chart:

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