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Today's excavations in the Hansard mine

And written questions got off to a cracking start with this:

"Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to publish the Wales Office Annual Report 2008. [280207]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office Annual Report 2009 was published on 12 June 2009".

Collapse of stout party....

Newspapers and the like continue to exercise questioners:

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals are delivered to the private office of each Minister in his Department; and at what cost in the latest period for which figures are available.

And Bradshaw does not read the Sundays or the Daily Star, inter alia. Sutcliffe gets the Racing Post (Any decent tips, Gerry?). Barbara Follett makes us fork out for Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Music Week and The Stage, while the deeply obscure 'Baron' Carter and Sion Simon do not get any papers. Maybe they just read Metro on the way into work. Given that SS used to write for The Spectator (and infuriated me on a weekly basis, although he did not hike my blood pressure to quite the same extent as Mary Riddell in the 'graph does now), one would think he might feel honour bound to continue reading it.


Maybe Rosindell has found a new hobby:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate his Department has made of the population of each species of bird of prey in the UK".

And the UK's number one bird of prey is the buzzard, with somewhere between 44,000 and 61,000. The Honey Buzzard, Montagu's Harrier and White-tailed eagle do not make triple figures. As to the Hobby itself, there are 2,200 odd of them.

And the winner of today's most pointless question is Robert Neill:

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) postal address...of each Forestry Commission regional advisory committee is.

Admittedly part B, excised above, was to ask about the budgets, but honestly....

I can guess the point that Graham Stuart was hoping to make with the answer to this one, but he was stymied:

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people have (a) committed suicide and (b) attempted to commit suicide in each (i) local authority area and (ii) constituency area in each quarter of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Alas, figures to that level of data were not given out, but note this:

"Results from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for 2000 and 2007 (the two most recent surveys) estimated that 0.5 per cent of persons aged between 16 and 74 in England attempted suicide in 2000, and 0.7 per cent in 2007"

That is a 40% advance in seven years.

Elsewhere, further evidence that the nation is more than a little fed up:

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for anti-depressants were dispensed in each of the last five years.

From 28,995,500 in 2004, it has risen every year, reaching 35,960,500 last year. I found the figures pretty startling, but that's what's in Hansard.

And our villains are being done out of tasty blaggings by foreign villains, with some 12% of the prison population being foreign nationals. Scandalous - coming over here and taking our 'jobs'....

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