January 30th, 2013

Official: Lobby System is Dangerous and Grubby

As many of you will know, we received unexpected visit from the Commons Chief Fire Safety Officer yesterday morning.

I think it’s fair to say that he was not at all happy with what he saw in some of our offices, i.e. the large amounts of paper lying around.  He stressed to me the need for immediate action.

I know that a clear desk policy is simply not something we do, but we do need to be seen to be taking action.  Therefore this is a plea to everyone to take a dispassionate look at your office generally and your desk in particular.  Do you really need ALL the newspapers/magazines/piles of paper which are lying around?  If not, please, please throw some of it away as soon as possible.  If you really can’t bear to part with any of it could you at least tidy up – a neat pile looks a lot less than a haphazard heap that appears to be about to fall over!

The Fire Officer will be back for a further inspection SOON, possibly as soon as FRIDAY THIS WEEK, and certainly next week.

Look at it this way, the paper attracts the mice (who use it for nesting material so the pest control officer tells me) – so less paper means fewer mice, which can’t be bad!


Elizabeth Johnson


Parliamentary Press Gallery

They are officially a hazard. Guido could have told you that already…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    parliament is one big hazard.

  2. 2
    Tooth fairy says:

    Bigger rodents sit in the chamber!

  3. 3
    Someone else says:

    Would that it would kick the Balls boy

  4. 4
    A tweet from Dave's lip reader says:

  5. 5
    The savant10.4 highway patrol says:

    Mice in the lobby

    Rats in the debating chamber

  6. 6
    Justin Welby, Archbish. says:

    I know that food banks are just a crude Labour stunt but I’m gullible enough to have been taken in.

  7. 7
    Dumb Question says:

    Will not a neat pile of paper burn just as well as an untidy pile of paper ?

  8. 8
    Agatha Chrstie says:

    Anyone heard of the mousetrap ?

  9. 9

    My God! It is Ephesus yet again…

  10. 10

    Yes. But you need the Right type of smoke.

  11. 11
    after eating in the lobby says:

    my arse ring is on fire

  12. 12
    Dreamliner pilot says:

    The lithium-ion batteries in the ipads and not the paper is what they should be worrying about.

  13. 13
    Silent Bob says:
  14. 14
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    The communal shredder has obviously broken.

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Any chance that the Fire Officer will close the place down when he comes back? We can but hope!

  16. 16
    The 21st Century says:

    Could they not scan all the articles they need to keep, and store them on a disk?

  17. 17

    Dearly Beloved,

    Five more days! Five more days! Five more days! Five more days! Five more days! Five more days! Five more days!

    In the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit.


    The Reverend Clink is tired and resting after oversampling the communion wine yesterday, solely in the interests of protecting the safety of his flock…

  18. 18
    Dumb Question says:

    Does the fire officer go by the name of Fawkes ?

  19. 19
    SP4BS says:

    No, it won’t.

    A tidy pile of paper, will burn slowly like a log, because it has a lower surface area (ie the air can’t get to the middle etc.).

    If starting a fire with newspaper, crumpling bits up into smaller bits makes them burn more slowly.

  20. 20
    █████ Watch says:

    Butt plug in, bags packed. Now time to google: Shiv…

  21. 21
    T'Old Fella says:

    A tip: after prepares hot chillis wash your hands thoroughly and dry them before you go to the toilet or alternatively you don’t wash your hands and shake hands with a member of the opposite persuasion, you have been warned!

  22. 22
    The Public says:

    Why does a ‘press gallery’ need an ‘adminstrator’? Sack this waste of space now.

  23. 23
    Miss Chutney says:

    I have a scotch bonnet in my eye

  24. 24
    Billmasyer says:

    I wonder what Miss Trmmingham had for lunch?

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Cameron has been reported to OFCOM for lying in a TV political broadcast, by stating that the deficit is being reduced.


    It’ll be interesting to see what they do with this.

  26. 26
    Owen Jones Mum says:

    Owen ? OWEN !

    I thought I told you before, you are not allowed to pretend to be someone important.

    Now, run along and put the recycling out and mummy will read you clause 4 again.

  27. 27
    Person says:

    Nothing. He’s a politician so has carte-blanche. Or carte-noirish in Londonistan

  28. 28
    Bored Subbie, Daily Mail says:

    Murdoch will be chuffed to hear that half of his output ends up, shredded, as nesting material.

  29. 29
    albacore says:

    That there Chief Fire Officer’s a right spoilsport
    Do you reckon an M P would burn if caught
    In the mother of all great conflagrations?
    He’d talk it out with E U regulations

  30. 30
    The Horizontal Wind Turbine says:

  31. 31
    T'Old Fella says:

    Miss C, that is just Gordy

  32. 32

    For a Labour MP to do that rather taking the biscuit.

    It is like crapping on someone’s front doorstep and then knocking on the door to ask for some toilet paper.

  33. 33
    Got a new crayon says:

    Cameroon did say that Lobbying was the next big scandal waiting to happen.

  34. 34
    Elsie Beattie (83 and a quarter) says:

    Why does your internet site consist, almost entirely, of women in skimpy bikinis, dear?

  35. 35
    T'Old Fella says:

    You might be thinking of spontaneous combustion, often cited in the anals of victorian mysteries where the only thing left is a scorched floorboard, The temepature for a human to catch fire would have to be very high probably well over 500 C

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    The deficit isn’t mentioned in the letter.

  37. 37
    Mr Rotivator says:

    Maybe that’s why it is a convention that Members don’t shake hands with each other (nor shake each others’ members)

  38. 38
    T'Old Fella says:

    The Lobby, is that the place where one group of gasbags meets another group of gasbags?

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    Shut up!

  40. 40
    Frederick Gideon Threepwood says:

    It reminds me of the classic episode of Old Harry’s Game where the Health & Safety Officer (Derek Keen – Keen by name, keen by nature) ends up in hell.

    Satan; ‘You’re not married are you Derek?
    Derek; ‘Strangely no. For some reason my prospective partners became upset when I asked them to fill in a simple 20 page risk assessment before we slept together’.
    Satan; ‘You were beaten to death by your girlfriend using a manual were you?’
    Derek; ‘That’s amazing. How did you guess?’

  41. 41
    The Candle Effect says:

    Doesn’t need to be that high, and the combustion is not necessarily that quick. Destruction though is assured.

    They have banned smoking ? So one wonders what ignition source they could be worried about. Lithium Ion batteries ?

  42. 42
    Bored Subbie, Daily Mail says:

    We’re an upstanding organ of huge weight, Elsie. We can be as saucy as we like.

  43. 43
    Mark Wouters says:

    The House of commons is a Laughing stock the MPs have to sign a the offlcial secrets act MPS are Powerless to tackle any of our Social problems or make war the Monarchy and House of Lords and their tiles Must Be ablolished

  44. 44
    Elsie Beattie (83 and a quarter) says:

    Well, My Reg, God bless his memory, had you marked as Nazi sympathisers, dear. A leopard never changes it’s spots.

  45. 45
    Economist says:

    Reeves is banging on about the debt. That is being paid down (we haven’t defaulted yet…).

    Nothing misleading there.

    The assumption is that paying down debt means that debt is being reduced. Not true. They have been paying down Labour debt for sure, and perhaps not debt incurred by this government.

    Cameron has only spoken about deficit on Conservative web site:

    ‘in the two years since we came to office, we’ve already cleared one quarter of the deficit left by Labour.’

    The claim is based on public sector net borrowing being reduced. That includes investment though, which is what has been cut.

    Actual borrowing is down only 15%.

    Academic though as web site is not regulated by OFCOM.


    Do not need retards on the left who caused this mess in the first place to point this out though. A simple walk down the high street reveals all: Especially if you look at any remaining displays in bureau de changes.

  46. 46
    Bored Subbie, Daily Mail says:

    Hence the bikinis, Elsie. Keep devouring our twisted product. Thanks.

  47. 47
    The spineless BBC can jog on. Thickos says:

    Burn the fascists to the stake.

  48. 48
    albacore says:

    Bradbury reckoned Fahrenheit Four Five One
    Was the temperature paper would be gone
    Most folks today say four fifty Centigrade
    But that’ll do to get an M P real frayed

  49. 49
    Brown out and pay me damages. says:

    What a load of rubbish.

  50. 50
    Wicksy , Eastenders, Heartbeat etc, says:

    It’s called the “Wicksey Effect” and that’s why they banned smoking in McDonalds.

    That huge quantity of lardy humans in one place was, definitely, a fire hazard too far.

    One, sloppily-stubbed, cigarette butt in the remains of a McWhopper would probably have caused a chain reaction in all the other McWhoppers in-store.

  51. 51
    davemcwish says:

    On a (more) serious note, if I were the safety officer i’d take a dim view of “but we do need to be seen to be taking action” as opposed to actually taking action and turn up unannounced at close of business tomorrow. I’d like to think he shut the place down but I suspect that because ‘The Lobby’, MPs and the parliamentary authorities have such an insestuous relationship that the fire officer will get slapped down.

  52. 52
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    What? You mean there are actually papers in Westminster that haven’t already been burnt? Oh, excuse me, I was thinking of official communications to and from MP’s and Ministers. Lost my head, said Anne Boleyn.

  53. 53
    Rick Limerfuck says:

    MPs are fireproofed for the five years.
    They munch on cheap chicken and Czech beers.
    I’d poke up their asses
    A refill of gases.
    Ignite and stand back with the croc tears.

  54. 54
    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Westminster Fire Hazard Reporting Service says:

    What Guy Fawkes was unable to do, Richard Weobley, Joshua Cross and Patrick Furlong (the latter two I*rish Catholics) accomplished, almost exactly two hundred twenty-nine years later, albeit unintentionally, or so it was claimed:


  55. 55
    VftS says:

    Borrowing is not the same as debt. Borrrowing is added to debt.
    While it could be argued that the debt is being ‘payed down’, what that really means is that as the debts become due for payment they are paid. With money that is borrowed to pay them.

  56. 56
    Barney McGrew says:

    The place is a tinderbox and electrical safety hazard. It would be torn down if it were any other building.

  57. 57
    Anonymous says:

    There’s also all that rotting slime, not to mention the detritus from asrecrawling.

  58. 58
    Saffron says:

    What a load of utter bullshit from this asshole and more to the point she is getting paid for this garbage.
    Taxpayers again getting charged for this garbage.

  59. 59
    Curly, the literate leopard says:

    But we do know the difference between “its” and “it’s” and when to use which and when.

  60. 60
    Ar Ess Pee Cee Aye says:

    … and which lot has the dogs in the bedroom?

  61. 61
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Blair’s assistant is still using it. Can you come back next Thursday?

  62. 62
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Ah so! You obviousry Chinese wood froor saresman

  63. 63
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Well, if parliament was moved permanently to, say, Carlisle for example, there really would be no use for that blob by Westminster Bridge.

  64. 64
    Aunt Mat says:

    Paper makes it harder to deny facts

  65. 65
    FlipC says:

    Some interesting choices of words in that email “throw some of it away” instead of reminding everyone about recycling and “a neat pile looks a lot less than a haphazard heap” because who cares if it’s still a fire hazard or not provided it doesn’t *look* like one.

  66. 66
    Tulyar says:

    I was at a meeting in rooms just off the Great Hall a few years ago when the fire alarm went off, and the entire building evacuated. It was caused by waste paper in a bin smouldering and activating the smoke alarm.

    What was apparent however was that the high security of the ‘fortress’ style so often adopted with this goal in mind, actually hindered the ability of the fire appliances to actually get in and deal with the issue. I suspect that those in charge of fire safety are thus highly conscious of the precarious balance between having tightly controlled access to the site and a place which can be rapidly evacuated or entered by those dealing with an incident.

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