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Some more Parliamentary odds and ends

Lucky old Hillary Benn:

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pig farms he has visited in his official capacity in the last 12 months.

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 1 June 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has visited two pig farms in the last 12 months.

Benn's a vegetarian.

Elsewhere, some EU-related nuggets:

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the proportion of domestic legislation which was enacted as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the latest period for which figures are available.

Caroline Flint: A House of Commons Library analysis of the effects of EU legislation on British law between 1998 and 2005 gave a figure of 9.1 per cent.

For all that those are fairly antique figures, the percentage is less than I would have thought.

Great uses of public money department:

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the estimated marginal cost to the UK Permanent Representation to the EU was of European Parliament plenaries taking place in Strasbourg in the last 12 months. [277080]

Caroline Flint: The estimated marginal cost of Strasbourg plenary sessions to the UK Permanent Representation to the EU for the past 12 months was around €65,000. The UK Permanent Representation, on behalf of the Government, engages regularly with the European Parliament, including the Strasbourg plenary sessions, in order to achieve the best outcome for the UK.

Philistines or prudent?:

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department has spent on artwork since November 2008. [276476]

Mr. Straw: Since November 2008 there has been no expenditure on artwork incurred by the Ministry of Justice HQ, the Office of the Public Guardian, nor the National Offender Management Service.

Asked about child poverty, Kitty Ussher could not give the answer sought, but did come up with 'Risk of living in relative (60 per cent. of median) low income poverty (AHC) for children by region and country (per cent.) three-year average'.

And the chart looks like this:

While I do not buy into the relative poverty argument, note that the People's Parties most loyal client regions have seen the strongest advances. I don't suppose those figures will be going into leaflets, posters, PPBs etc.

Away from written answers and on to debates:

Paddy Tipping (Sherwood) (Lab): I beg to move, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to prescribe the maximum wage that can be paid; and for connected purposes....Outside the Westminster village, away from the political classes, there is a growing demand for openness, fairness and justice, and we should listen and respond to it. So how would we set a maximum wage? There is a simple solution. We could say to everybody that no one should receive more than the Prime Minister—£194,000 a year....If we are sensible, we need to link the minimum wage to the maximum wage. For example, there is a strong case for arguing that the maximum wage should be 10 times the minimum wage. Based on £5.60 an hour, that would give a maximum wage of £120,000.

And so on.

I could make the point, yet again, that 'social justice' is envy soft-soaped into a higher virtue, but life is too short.

Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley) (Con) gave a rebuttal, "I shall certainly not call a vote, but this has to be one of the daftest ideas that I have heard in this House, and we specialise in them on occasion". There's more, but that's the best bit.

Tipping's fellow class warriors / economic illiterates are David Drew, Kelvin Hopkins, Judy Mallaber, Denis MacShane, Albert Owen, Ken Purchase, John Robertson and David Taylor.

MacShane may well be loathsome spotted reptile, but I did not have him down as a half-wit.

And a brief addendum from the Lords:

Baroness Greengross To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will commission research into how many people suffer from incontinence, and how many are likely to suffer from incontinence in 2030. [HL3939]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department is currently funding research on a range of aspects of incontinence, but none specifically on prevalence. The department has no plans to commission research into the number of people suffering from incontinence.

Well, who would 'fess up to a clip board wielder, eh?

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Blogger James Higham said... 1:07 pm

I wonder what brings someone to harm plants by being a vegetarian.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:16 pm

Indeed. Time for a quote: "Vegetarianism is harmless enough though it is apt to fill a man with wind and self-righteousness".  

Blogger ScotsToryB said... 5:56 pm

Was that a quote or an aphidorism?


Blogger Croydonian said... 8:33 am

A quote. It has an author - Sir Robert Hutchinson.  

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