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The Hansard trawl, featuring ghastly diplomatic postings, steel ingots and the misery of being a child in Southend

Is Tom Watson in the pay of the Beast of Redmond?

Mr. Watson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when his Department plans to update its web browsers from Internet Explorer 6. Source

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department plans to update its web browsers from Internet Explorer 6. Source

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department plans to update its web browsers from Internet Explorer 6. Source

And so on.

The DoT's answers are the most amusing -

The DVLA 'Plan[s] to upgrade from IE 6 between September 2009 and March 2010 on its main campus, and September 2009 and September 2010 across the Local Services Network.'

MCA - Currently still using IE6 as required for core business systems, but plan to test IE8 in early 2010 with an aim to migrate in mid 2010.

I would suggest junking the loathsome IE and switching to the tasty, Omega-3 rich environment that is Firefox. (Mozilla - I am quite happy to accept a tenner for that plug).

Lashings of woe for our diplomatic types:

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, East of 6 February 2007, Official Report, column 821W, on embassy closures, which (a) UK High Commissions and Embassies and (b) other UK diplomatic posts have closed in each year since 2007

Chris Bryant [holding answer 3 July 2009]: Since 2007, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has closed three high commission offices in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (in 2007); St. John’s, Antigua and St. George’s, Grenada (both in 2008)....During the same period, the FCO has opened embassy offices in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo; Juba, Sudan; and a British Interests Section in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
If I had been sunning myself in Grenada and was offered a post in Sudan I would be on the phone to my lawyer faster than you could say 'banana daquiri'.

David Amess continues to be a doughty Friend of Israel:

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel about freedom of worship for all faiths in Jerusalem; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK attaches great importance to guaranteeing access to Jerusalem and freedom of worship there for those of all faiths. The UK continues to support a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and a new Palestinian state and guaranteed freedom of worship for all.

Perhaps he could have mentioned that post '47 shuls in East Jerusalem were either destroyed or converted into animal pens and the like.

Odd question o' the day:

Colin Challen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will appoint a chief scientist to his Department.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: There are currently no plans to appoint a chief scientist in the Treasury.

Insert any of the old warhorse jokes about the dismal science here.

And this has precisely how much to do with the lovely constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk?

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the answer of 7 March 2008, Official Report, column 2875W, on Kosovo: internet, what recent estimate he has made of the number of internet users in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Foster: There has not been a more recent estimate of internet usage in Kosovo since that cited in the answer of 7 March 2008, Official Report, column 2874W.

And the lardy member for West Brom is still at it:

Mr. Watson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when the Government Equalities Office plans to update its web browsers from Internet Explorer 6.

Michael Jabez Foster: The Government Equalities Office currently has no plans to change its web browsers.

Why not roll back to Netscape Navigator, eh?

Someone is angling for a Five Year Plan:

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if the Government will take steps to increase the demand for steel in the UK.

Ian Lucas: (blah blah blah).

I would think that a COI campaign across media could be entertaining: 'Steel ingots, every home should have one'.

When compelled to count my blessings, not having to do PE is one of them:

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of schools in each local authority area provide pupils with the opportunity for at least two hours of sport per week.

And the place to be a juvenile salad dodger is Medway, with 20% of them able to avoid cross country running and the like. There is the least chance of escape from sadistic PE teachers (are there any other varieties?) in Southend - 97%. Poor wretches. Mind you, armed with particularly powerful megaphones, Southend's schoolchildren could taunt Medway types across the intervening Thames, knowing that if the Medway kids ran after them they would be wheezing within minutes.



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