Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How long does it take to replace four plugs?

Before you start thinking I mean the electrical variety I don't. No... I'm talking about the things you put in sinks to stop the water from going away and I come to you with some useless and mind numbing trivia about plugs in Portcullis House.

Did you know that there are 112 basins in the bogs, bathrooms and tea points of Portcullis House? Well if you didn't you do now, and I'm sure you'll be most please to be aware of it, in fact, you'll probably sleep peacefully knowing that there are sufficient means for our Lords and Masters to wash their hands [insert corruption joke of your choice here].

However, I also bring grave and shocking news, because on July 17th a survey was carried out in response to a question to the House of Commons Commission by Tobias Ellwood. He wanted to know how many of the basins didn't have plugs (presumably for some personal reason currently unknown), and I hate to have to say this but there are four missing.

Yes that's right, there are four plugs missing in the basins of Portcullis House! [insert poor taste fetish joke here about an MP stealing them and playing games]. It gets better though, the Commission assured Mr Ellwood that "work is in hand to replace them". That's what they wrote back to him yesterday saying, honest.

Yes, almost a week to source four plugs. I imagine there are a number of forms that need to be filled in, along with a health and safety risk assessment, then the PO needs to be signed off. Why one of them couldn't pop to B&Q over the weekend I don't know. It's wonderfully comforting to know that the people behind the running of the country are so efficient isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that many UNESCO World Heritage sites source their materials from B&Q but hey ho.

[Btw, nothing seems to happen when I clicked on "About". "Home" refreshes the ads on the right though. Maybe it's 'cos I'm crawling along with IE6.]

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Just as well they didn't need four candles.

ianvisits said...

Useless trivia moment:

The Pentagon has roughly double the number of toilets necessary for their workforce as the building was constructed when racial segregation was still in place.

When it was opened though, that policy was overturned - but they kept all the loos intact anyway.

Anonymous said...

What sort of planet are we on where an MP believes he needs to ask a parliamentary question to get a new plug fitted (rather than either calling building services himself or actually going out and buying one)?

But good to see you are concentrating on the burning issues of the day, Dizzy.

Sepoy Agent said...

I was there yesterday, and I have to say that Portcullis House has very superior loos. No plastic screens that don't meet the floor and end at head height. No, beautiful solid wood doors, with locks that work, unlike most public loos.
Loos and basins all splendidly clean, and roller towels that hadn't come to an end and collapsed in a soggy mass on the floor.
Clearly a superior kind of person uses these loos!
I have to admit I didn't notice whether there were plugs on the basins.

Sam Duncan said...

It's the inefficiency of governments that saves us from tyranny. If they weren't faffing about procuring plugs, they might start getting Ideas.

Is Portcullis House a world wossname site? I suppose being the world's most expensive office building per square yard makes it worthy of note, but it's less than ten years old. And does this mean that when the Great Reckoning comes, we can't tear it down with our bare hands? I suppose we'll just have to deal with the UN first...

roman said...

....or 'O's' ...., obnoxio

Trixy said...

Presume the question was asked with a 'saving water' element attached to it.

Am surprised, though, that there isn't someone permanently employed to check all the plugs and, in that case, who was the poor bugger who went round counting them all to answer this question?

Anonymous said...

"I suppose being the world's most expensive office building per square yard makes it worthy of note"

Sam Duncan, I think you'll find that honour goes to the Scottish Parliament. Which itself did not have the notable feature of having to be constructed on clay next to a major river and over a big pit housing a station for two effin' Tube lines at a time when LUL was having immense difficulty actually pulling its finger out and finishing the construction of one of them.


Alan Douglas said...

"How long does it take for four plugs ?"

Depends who is doing it - if it was John Prescott, about 5 seconds.


That was about him and fore-play ....

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Typical: MP looking for a bung

Sam Duncan said...

Anon: Bugger. Yes, I'd forgotten about the Numptorium. Momentarily. (Dismissing it permanently from my mind is proving tricky, but I'm definitely working on it.)

Please choose whatever body part you wish to be compared to for daring to point out my error yourself. I can't be arsed.