Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mark Hendrick goes fishing

0.1% growth. The country is a sneezing fit away from flat-lining. Little wonder our dear leaders were not doing much vox-pop yesterday, given the last three months has seen the end of the longest, deepest recession in modern times marked by the slightest possible increase. Well, not even an increase, all told. If the ONS revise the figure downwards later in the year Gordon's legacy will surely be complete.

If Labour MPs struggling to find anything positive to say about their 12 years in power - what with the aforementioned recession, the increasing deficit, out of control public spending, ID cards, illegal invasion of Iraq, growing gap between rich and poor no better than it was in the 1970s, and so on - they could do worse than to take a leaf out of the book of Preston MP, Mark Hendrick.

One time MEP for the former European constituency of Lancashire Central, Hendrick won the 2000 Preston by-election by a comfortable(ish) margin. He has certainly fostered some kind of reputation, largely for not once voting against the Government line (in a University town he voted for tuition fees, smart enough. Then voted for the Iraq war. Good man. And the DNA database. Everything in fact. Yes-man to the core. Loyalist to a T.)

Well now Hendrick has really taken the proverbial biscuit. Not able to reach for something positive to come from the disastrous calamity that has been Labour in power, he has taken to flooding middle-ranking Ministers with questions that should be prefixed "Could you ensure the answers are easy to copy and paste into my next election leaflet?". These are such blatant electioneering questions it's amazing they're even allowed. Hendrick is wasting our money trying to find content for his election addresses. A scandal by any other name...

But, hang on! Is he actually getting anywhere with this fishing expedition? It seems not. For the good folk in the foothills of Government are not giving Hendrick the kind of answers he'd prefer for his next issue of "The Rose".

For example...

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women resident in Preston have been awarded the Sure Start Maternity Grant since its introduction.


To which comes the answer...

Helen Goodman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions; Bishop Auckland, Labour)

The information is not available


Okay, what about...

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of suspected cancer patients resident in Preston saw an NHS consultant within two weeks of referral in each year since 1997.


Nope, not quite got a good enough answer for his press release here neither...

Ann Keen (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health; Brentford & Isleworth, Labour)

The two week wait for all cancers was introduced from 2000 (HSC1999/205).

Data for the period 1997-2002 is not available.


There then follows a table detailing the information for Lancashire's Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Try again, Mr Hendrick! Try again!

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department has allocated for the treatment of heart disease and cancer care in Preston in each year since 1997.


Ann Keen (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health; Brentford & Isleworth, Labour)

The information requested is not collected centrally.


And again, Mark, come on, you know you can do it!

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles of priority bus lanes have been introduced in Preston since 1997.


Sadiq Khan (Minister of State, Department for Transport; Tooting, Labour)

This information is not collected centrally.


Oh dear! Will an answer ever come?

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage change in numbers of (a) overall recorded crimes, (b) recorded violent crimes, (c) burglaries and (d) vehicle thefts in Preston has been since 1997.


Alan Campbell (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office; Tynemouth, Labour)

Information is not available in the form requested.


Oh fail! Oh shame!

The disgraceful behaviour of Mark Hendrick should really not go unreported. This man is clearly not asking questions for the people of Preston; he is dealing with his own re-election. It's a total waste of time, effort, and money. But clearly it is alright for the man whose expenses claims included quite a lot of cash for a comfier bed. I do hope he can sleep well at night...

2 comments:

Longwayround said...

If he bothered to spend some time in this town, he would know exactly how many miles of priority bus lanes had been introduced in Preston since 1997.

Unless I am very much mistaken, they are those yards along Church Street from Manchester Road to Ring Way and a few yards of right-turn only filter lane heading from Ring Way to Friargate.

Mark Hendrick: what would we do without him?

(Incidentally, I really must change that avatar of mine, I was 23 when that picture was taken.)

Iain said...

He's not the only one. Roger Godsiff, who is in trouble in the new Birmingham Hall Green, is also doing a lot of written questions to produce Ukrainian Tractor Statistics for his leaflets. He's being a bit more successful, but half his new seat won't be very interested in his old seat.