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The Hansard Trawl, featuring class war, curry and gouging druids.

Starting with the Lords today, with Lord Avebury declaring, so to speak, 'we don't want more bread, we want the whole (expletive deleted) bakery':

"To ask Her Majesty's Government what charges BAA levies on users of VIP suites at airports under its control; how many persons were on the list of those entitled to use the suites when the Government transferred responsibility for managing them, including selecting those entitled to use them, to BAA; what progress is being made in considering how to open up those facilities to a wider market, including domestic and foreign customers; and whether ability to pay will be the criterion for access to the suites".

Maybe the noble Lord had his nose pressed up against the glass last time as his title did not allow him access to the Elysian Fields. Anyway, he was slapped down by Adonis thus: "Since the privatisation of the British Airports Authority in 1986, operational issues such as this have been a matter for the airport operator".

Class war is all the rage in the other place:

Lord Dykes: To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they propose to prevent the granting of excessive bonuses to senior executives of banks.

To which Myners replied: : "The Government are clear that the banking industry, both in the UK and globally, needs to develop sustainable long-term remuneration policies that take better account of risk".

Best not mention that Dykes has claimed some £66,000 for his main house in Normandy.

A not insignificant point is raised by Lord Dholakia:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review immigration rules in order to deal with skill shortages facing the curry industry.

And the answer is good news for rogan josh fans (C's mind wanders to a happy place): Lord West of Spithead: "The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises Government on shortage occupations. Skilled chefs, including those in the curry industry, are currently on the shortage occupation list for tier two of the points-based system".

And an on odd one

Lord Kilclooney: "To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the new Passport Office in Armagh City has any signage at its external elevation at the public footway".

The short answer to which was no.

The Commons was not very interesting yesterday, but The Man is coining it in Wiltshire:

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the annual (a) running costs and (b) income from entrance charges, shop sales and other revenue at (i) Stonehenge, (ii) Old Sarum and (iii) Old Wardour Castle were in each of the last three years.

Income at Stonehenge was £5.9m and running costs £2.1m...

This sporting life

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people of each (a) sex and (b) ethnic group participated in each sporting activity for which his Department records figures in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

A little number crunching suggests that the 'whitest' sporting activities are bowls and horse riding (based on percentage BAME participation), and the least, basketball. Meanwhile, male boxers only outnumbered female ones by a factor of three to one.

And over at the nation's Big Houses:

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many hours of purposeful activity were recorded on average by prisoners in each month in the last five years.

And the average varied from 22.2 hours in December 2008 to 26.7 hours in July 2005, so circa 3% of a month.


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Anonymous Conor Reidy said... 3:44 pm

It really does puzzle me how the esteemed members of the upper house manage to concoct some of these questions.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:53 pm

They are a fairly imaginative bunch, and tend to come up with more novel questions than the Commons. The debates are of a higher quality too.  

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