Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The non-existing previous answer?

I've seen Brown refer to previous answers given by someone else which subsequently turn out to refer to previous answers given by him. I've seen previous answers to other completely different questions referred to as answers too, but, until now, I had not seen another answer referred to in response to a question where the other answer doesn't exist.

Fracnis Maude asked brown how many plasma screen Downing Street had bought in the last 24 mnths and Brown's responses "I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Tom Watson) today."

Does Watson's name appear responding to any questions for that day in Hansard? No he doesn't. Perhaps Tom can enlighten us with the answer that Gordon says he has given?


Barnacle Bill said...

Perhaps Speaker Martin can enlighten us further, but then again it is a matter for MPs, and not us poor taxpayers.

David Boothroyd said...

I think you have fallen victim to the mistaken assumption that all written answers given on Tuesday 4 March 2008 were included in the Hansard for that day. Not so, and if you look at the bottom of column 2412W you will see it says "Continued in column 2413W". There was not enough space to print them all, so they will be included at the start of the written answers section in tomorrow's Commons Hansard.

This is quite routine when a lot of written answers come in on a particular date. The actual answer is sent to the MP who asked the question on the right day; the report in Hansard is just a report, and might be printed some days later.

dizzy said...

Run out of disk space did they?

David Boothroyd said...

The online Hansard is an online version of what is printed. If something isn't in the printed Hansard, it won't be online either. Hence the distinction on the Parliamentary website between the daily issues and the bound volume issues.

If you have a complaint about the way this system operates, then it's the Parliamentary authorities that are in charge and not HM Government.

dizzy said...

Firstly I am well aware of the lag time between print and electronic because when all answers given on a day are not available the online carries an announcement of the fact that answers are delayed until they are all complete for the given day. You see David, I've been reading them every day for two years and no that if they are not complete for the day they are not published. That suggests that they don't just slap up what they've got as a matter of procedure but that the procedure is to wait until they have everything. Thus it can go a couple of days before writs for day x appear.

However, what interests me more is the way you bring up the Government when I hadn't even referred to them. I was merely observing the utter contempt, yet again, with which answering questions is held. I don't doubt that whoever is in power will do it, but you see, as someone that lives in the real world there is nothing more annoying than seeing the bollocks that goes on. It's the kind of crap epitomised by your cpnstant parroting about the Lisbon Treaty which is little more than disingenuous bullshit that holds the intelligence of people in contempt.

No doubt my use of the words bullshit and bollocks will have upset your non-prole like tendencies, so please accept my extra fucking large wanking apologies for treating you like such a big twat. I say that with the greatest of love you understand.

Barnacle Bill said...

I used to watch QT when Tony Wots Name was General Secretary of ZaNuLabor but his infuriating habit of not answering a question made me give up.
It was too stressful, and expensive replacing all the things I had broken/thrown at the TV.
It was the utter contempt that Tony Wots Name had for the questioner, that sneering smile, that used to get me worked up.
Unless of course it was one of those arse-licking questions from his own bench. When you could almost see the moment of orgasm as the questioner's tongue found his ringpiece.
Of course a non-partisan Speaker might help matters, but with AirMiles Martin there's no chance of a sensible QT.
It would appear that the Fifeshire Feartie is following in his master's footsteps.
As for the quibble David over if & when questions appear in Hansard - you're Repetition Balls and I claim my free ice cream!

Oxbridge Prat said...

Dizzy, if you want to share a universe with the likes of David Boothroyd you have to learn to be calm. Sure he's an annoying little shit, but that's just the way he is. He hasn't changed in the slightest since I first came across him on usenet in the mid 90s, and I see no sign that he's ever going to grow up. He's beneath you, so just smile.

Anonymous said...

He may be an "annoying little shit", Oxbridge, but on occasion he happens tgo be right. That may be why he annoys the likes of you so much.

Anonymous said...

Actually, not a case of there being enough time to print them all, but of not enough time to get them scanned, marshalled and proofed before Hansard's print deadline. Generally becausxe some Departments have not got their answers in early enough in the day.

Unsworth said...

And of course there's a delay arising from the judicious editing of some parts of the reports. Especially when they might prove an embarrassment to Ministers.