Proof Gordon Is Wasting Money

Brown is, we are told, pounding out 10,000 words per day. If he were the “Fastest Typist In The World” (150 words per minute), then this would only take him 67 minutes of each day. Leaving him plenty of time to do those constituency duties which he claims he is still doing.

But Gordon isn’t the “Fastest Typist in the World”. Let’s assume he’s a ‘fast’ typist (40wpm), then his 10k marathons will be taking him four hours and ten minutes of each day. Assuming he is doing constituency work until, say six in the evening (as he is paid to do), then he’ll be working until around 11pm each night. Meaning he won’t see his kids. Which Brown professes not to do, so we must assume therefore that he’s letting his book time eat into his constituency work.

More than likely he’s officially a ‘slow’ typist (23wpm). In which case he’ll be spending seven hours and fifteen minutes of publicly paid time on his book. Even allowing him two or three hours for constituency work, that’s a pretty busy day. But those times are merely for copy taking…

What’s the average typing speed when someone is composing? Well, that’s just 19wpm. And how long would it take to compose 10,000 words if one is typing at 19wpm? On average, not taking account for poor eyesight and periodic fits of rage, it would take eight hours and forty-five minutes. Pretty much the same as a full working day, that the taxpayer, not Simon and Schuster is footing the bill for..

Maths via email from Stephen Bray

Big Green Government

How do bureaucrats save their jobs? They re-invent themselves as green advocates. You can imagine Sir Humphrey explaining to the minister that instead of sacking a few dozen burdens on the taxpayer, he can redeploy them as green advocates. It’ll cost more, but it’ll be green…

When is a quango not a quango? When it is an “Office”. In this case the new Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), “a cross Whitehall team dedicated to taking forward” green initiatives. So far the only initiative they have come up with is a £50 million taxpayer subsidy to middle and upper-class greens who can get £5,000 off the purchase of an expensive electric car. That £5,000 will end up directly in the profits of foreign electric car manufacturers.

The Foreign Office now has a Climate Change twitterer, no really. We are supposed to be getting small government and a Big Society. We’re actually getting a Big Green Government…

Quote of the Day

David Lammy tells the Fabian Review

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown both served our party, but neither is now active in British politics.”

Robinson – “I Must Try Harder”

When the Political Editor of the BBC is writing public memos to himself suggesting that he he “must try harder” because he managed to miss the fact the coalition was coming, things aren’t exactly going well. Just like he missed the leadership coups when his sources’s Blackberries were vibrating right under his nose.

Robinson took a month making a documentary about the coalition negotiations before seeing the light, Guido was outlining the contours of the coming coalition before election day. It became blindingly obvious the Tories were not going to get a majority. Is better-late-than-never-Robinson really the best talent that the BBC’s vast news budget can buy?

The race to take over from Robinson is well under-way, this mea culpa should help those vying for the job.

Yvette and Hazel’s Multi-Million Furniture Shopping Spree

Eric Pickles has been getting under the skin of his shadow John Denham with digs about the £2.78 million spending spree on furniture, redecoration and suchlike that his former Dept. of Communities and Local Government splurged before Labour was booted out. Pickles had a heydey in the press and parliament with tales of Harriet Harman’s multi-million pound Serene Green Tranquillity Room at the Equalities Office.  Denham wasn’t going to let that happen to him.


Denham’s SpAd, Jake Sumner, knew where the bodies were buried and in a spirit of comradeship FoI’d confirmation that it was Yvette Cooper, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, who approved the spending in a letter of 2 June 2008 to the then Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, Denham’s predecessor at the Dept. of Communities and Local Government. So it was Yvette, not Denham, who authorised the purchase by Hazel of £134,503 of red sofas. Presumably chosen to match Hazel’s hair…



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Quote of the Day

Out of the bubble prole Andy Burnham tells Mumsnet

“I’m afraid I’m going to depress you all by saying that I don’t have a sweet tooth and don’t eat biscuits… Give me a beer and chips and gravy any day.”

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