Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The ocarina

We had an example yesterday of a supremely misjudged oral question.

At topical DCSF questions Ed Balls opened with a mini-statement about the Baby P case (which actually turned out to be not quite such a mini-statement, to the extent that the Speaker has now ordered him to come back and make a proper statement later in the week, which he can be questioned on). Obviously - and particularly given the rather unedifying scenes at last week's PMQs - the mood was serious and sombre, with only a few heckles from the Tories.

Then up pops Philip Hollobone, with this gem: "On another subject, the ocarina is an easy-to-play, easy-to-learn, easy-to-teach circular flute, and the centre of the UK's ocarina industry is in Kettering. My constituents, David and Christa Liggins, actively promote the use of this low-cost musical instrument in schools across the country. Would the Secretary of State agree to meet my constituents and me to discuss how this low-cost instrument might help the Government to teach more school pupils how to play musical instruments?"

I particularly like the 'on another subject'. I wish Ed had just come back and said, no, I've got rather more important things to do at the moment. But he didn't.

No comments: