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Written Parliamentary Questions: 9th November 2005

World Cup
Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which day in 2006 has been earmarked for the return of the football World Cup trophy to England in the event of victory in Germany.(John Hemming)

A: In the event of the England football team being victorious at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, suitable arrangements to celebrate this success and to welcome both the team and trophy home will be made with the relevant authorities. (Richard Caborn, Minister of State, Department of Culture, Media and Sport).

Wholesale Gas Prices I
Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the likely variability of wholesale gas prices during winter 2005–06. (John Hemming)

A: Variability, or volatility, is a normal part of the working of a well-functioning commodity market. Current UK wholesale spot gas prices are determined by the price of oil and the day-to-day balance between demand and supply in the UK gas market.

When the market is tight small changes in demand and supply will have a bigger impact on price volatility than if the market were over-supplied. The balance of demand and supply, and thus the volatility of prices, will depend on many external factors, including the weather and the availability of storage facilities or import infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. In view of the unpredictability of many of these factors it is not possible to make accurate estimates of future price volatility. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry)

Wholesale Gas Prices II
Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the practice of straddling, whereby a domestic retail supplier sells gas at a fixed price and buys gas at a variable wholesale price.(John Hemming)

A: The Government have not undertaken an assessment of this practice. Pricing decisions in the retails gas market are a commercial matter for suppliers.(Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry)


Bob Piper said…
I wonder if you could table the following Written Question: How much does it cost the taxpayer for someone in the House of Commons to answer banal, frivilous and ridiculous questions from opposition members who clearly have not got enough work to do?

For God's sake man, get outside and have some more photographs of yourself taken rather than clog up Parliamentary procedure for others who have got a job to do.
Chris Vernon said…
On the contrary Bob, John’s questions and Wicks total inability to return satisfactory answers are very valuable. The UK is on the brink of a natural gas crisis, the response from Government on the issue of security of supply is just the tip of a massive global energy crisis currently lurking almost unseen. It is the roll of the opposition to challenge the government, if criticism is to be laid it should be at Malcolm Wicks for his poor responses.
Bob Piper said…
Perhaps you could try to justify the first question too, then Chris?
PoliticalHack said…
The last estimate I saw, Bob, was that written questions cost £134 a time to ask. John's cost us all over £16000 in his short career as an MP.
john said…
Sadly Cllr Piper and Mr Politicalhack do not support my campaign to get trophys displayed in Birmingham as well as London.

In a discussion with the FA the actual date was revealed as part of a discussion involving what happens with the trophy. Personally I feel displaying it in Birmingham would be sufficient, but if they have to display it in London it should also be paraded in Birmingham.

I have decided not to compete in trying to hold the record for numbers of written questions. That would be futile. I am intending to only ask useful questions. (which the World Cup question is one of).

I think my energy questions are doing quite well at the moment.
Bob Piper said…
Sadly, Cllr Hemming's comment bears absolutely no relation to his parliamentary question. Perhaps he would like to refer us to the particular passage which refers to displaying the trophy in Birmingham that my fellor blogger and I allegedly oppose.
PoliticalHack said…
Errrmmmm. Like Bob, I'm a little confused. I've searched everything I've ever written online and I can't find any reference to my alleged opposition to displaying trophies in Birmingham as well as London.

I was quite disappointed that the original plan by the ECB to celebrate winning the Ashes was scrapped. They wanted to start a national tour of the team in Birmingham, but London put in a swift offer to trump the original plan.

I didn't know you had a campaign to display sporting trophies in Birmingham - and the question doesn't make it any clearer.

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