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Midgley Corner – Too much choice

There's really too much choice today. We've got an American satellite TV installer who decided the simplest way to drill a hole through a wall was to shoot at it with his gun. It created a hole all right, unfortunately it also created a fatal hole in his wife who had the misfortune to be standing on the other side of the wall. Then there is the BA + BAA Heathrow Terminal 5 meltdown – nothing more needs to be said about that. However we are picking on an announcement that the creation of a new national e-crime unit was being held back because the Home Office could not find the £1.3million needed to provide its initial funding.

Now £1.3m may seem a lot of money to you and me (OK, not you, if you happen to be an equity partner in a City law firm) particularly as we are all contributing £3500 to bail out Northern Rock but it is not a lot of money in government and parliamentary terms.

For example, Scottish Nationalist MP Alex Salmon ran up an expenses bill of over £130,000 last year, during which time he visited the House of Commons just 6 times. So, if he stayed in Scotland for the next 10 years (where he already has a job as the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament) that would fund the new unit. Then there is the Speaker of the House of Commons who is reportedly going to spend £100,000 in legal fees to prevent more public disclosures about MPs £23,000 second home allowances. Hmmm… 646 (the current number of MPs) x £23k = £14.8m. If MPs just bought their TVs from Currys rather than John Lewis, the saving there could probably fund the unit.

And £1.3m is also considerably less than the £1.59m the Ministry of Justice (aka the Department of Constitutional Affairs, aka The Lord Chancellor's Department) spent on its rebranding exercise. I guess its all a matter of priorities.

One reply on “Midgley Corner – Too much choice”

My favourite one is the following:
THOMPSON, MANITOBA, CANADA. Telephone relay company night watchman
Edward Baker, 31, was killed early Christmas morning by excessive
microwave radiation exposure. He was apparently attempting to keep
warm next to a telecommunications feed-horn. Baker had been
suspended on a safety violation once last year, according to Northern
Manitoba Signal Relay spokesperson Tanya Cooke. She noted that Baker's
earlier infraction was for defeating a safety shut-off switch and
entering a restricted maintenance catwalk in order to stand in front
of the microwave dish. He had told coworkers that it was the only way
he could stay warm during his twelve-hour shift at the station, where
winter temperatures often dip to forty below zero. Microwaves can
heat water molecules within human tissue in the same way that they heat
food in microwave ovens. For his Christmas shift, Baker reportedly
brought a twelve pack of beer and a plastic lawn chair, which he
positioned directly in line with the strongest microwave beam. Baker
had not been told about a tenfold boost in microwave power planned that
night to handle the anticipated increase in holiday long-distance
calling traffic. Baker's body was discovered by the daytime watchman,
John Burns, who was greeted by an odor he mistook for a Christmas roast
he thought Baker must have prepared as a surprise. Burns also reported
to NMSR company officials that Baker's unfinished beers had exploded.

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