A rather late Hansard trawl, featuring wallets, idiots in Sussex and what they read over lunch at the DWPTuesday, June 30, 2009
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 13 January 2009, Official Report, columns 581-82W, on 10 Downing Street, how many Downing Street-branded wallets have been sold by the gift shop in the last 18 months or nearest equivalent period for which figures are available.
I have rooted around in the Hansard for the 13th and turned up nothing, not that that is of any great import. However, suppose you were a shopkeeper, hotelier or whatever, and the customer you are dealing with whips out a Downing St wallet, wouldn't you check the details carefully and compare them against those of known dodgy cards?
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to combat homophobia in developing countries.
Chris Bryant: I have been asked to reply. The UK believes that every state has an obligation to protect the rights of all its citizens, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people, without discrimination of any kind. We regularly raise this with governments of countries where the rights of LGBT people are violated. In countries where same sex relationships are illegal, we continue to press for decriminalisation.
Somehow I dount that 'our friends the Saudis pay much heed', although having spoken to a gay Saudi a while back, he found the UK scene a bit disappointing, as he reckoned there was far more going on in Riyadh etc. Hey ho... As an aside to an aside, it was only in 1981 that the French legalised these things. True story.
Erm, a bit late, this one:
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government has made any representations to the Portuguese authorities on pursuing its investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the last six months.
Chris Bryant: Our embassy in Lisbon has continued to raise the case with the Portuguese authorities. The head of the Portuguese Criminal Investigation Police has made clear to the embassy that he is ready to consider any credible new leads mat come to light.
Am I missing something here?:
Mr. Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department is taking to assist older people during the recession.
If older is a euphemism for pensioners, don't said folk have rather less to worry about than the rest of us?
Quite an eclectic reading list at the DWP, compared to other dpartments. Bar the usual selection of dailies, news weeklies and Private Eye, they also get The Voice, Eastern Eye, Asian Woman and Gay Times. Maybe they are checking their adverts, although the DWPs ad agency ought to be doing that for them.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of schools staff have been admitted to hospital as a result of violent behaviour by pupils in the last 12 months.
Primary and nursery education teaching professionals - Non-fatal major injuries - 4, Over-three-day injuries - 13.
We all know that secondaries can be a warzone, but the figures for those teachers were 5 and 49 respectively.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of... (c) hoax calls to emergency services...were recorded by each police force in 2007-08
I would have guessed London led, followed by the other conurbations, but no. The Met/CoL had 969, but Notts and Sussex got to five figures - 10,412 and 12,478. Alas the otherwise good people of the West Midlands led with 17,903. Why the shires, for Heaven's sake? Do they just like seeing fire engines, or are there a lot of very foolish people there / a smaller number of hyperactive idiots? There may well be issues of definition, rigour in reporting etc at work too, but even so.
Further unexpected stats: London (7,995) leads for begging / vagrancy (fancy...), followed by Gtr Manchester (1,387) and then Dorset (1,351). I suppose the pickings might be quite rich there. Only 51 requests of 'ten pee for a cup of tea guv' in Warwickshire though.