Friday, 3 July 2009

This hybrid ain't no ass

MINISTERS can’t stop talking about the environment. However, there isn’t all that much actually happening about it. It’s all very well building big wind farms and telling people they should fly less. But you can’t go to work on a wind farm, and most people don’t fly down to the local supermarket to do their shopping. On the other hand, most of us use cars. So I took the political challenge into my own hands and drove around Westminster in the new Honda Insight hybrid. I used to think a hybrid was a mix of two animals, like when they breed horses and donkeys to make mules. But this hybrid was no ass. Instead, it has two engines, one normal and one electric. So you use less fuel, spend a bit less cash and pump out a lot less pollution. Indeed, the Honda hybrid was a lot more impressive than I’d expected. It has a top speed of 113mph, a smooth ride, electric everything, automatic gearbox, and a built-in MP3 player. It saves money AND the planet all at once. So good job Honda. Now you just need a great advertising campaign to go with it. I favour a car-wash scene with Holly James polishing the bonnet. It’s the perfect combination of high octane girl on electric wheels.
AS you might expect from Britain’s most outspoken MP, I won the award for “Alternative Parliamentarian of the Year” in 2008. This occurred at the prestigious GovNet Alternative Parliamentary Awards—parliament’s version of the Oscars, where top MPs from all parties get awards to mark the good work they do. So it was with a mixture of pride and sadness this week that I handed this coveted award over to the 2009 winner. And who might it be? None other than maverick Tory MP David Davis who was singled out for the excellent work he’s done to protect our civil liberties. Dangerous Dave has taken on the government over ID cards, detention without trial and ludicrous plans to store everyone’s DNA on a big database. It’s largely down to him that the powers-that-be have backed down on these crazy schemes. All in all, it was a good night and it turned the spotlight on some of the good stuff that MPs do. With others trying to make everyone look like a bunch of crooks who’d sell their granny for a duck island, it was nice to highlight folk like David who just want to help people. . . after all that’s why most MPs are here. I think the Daily Sport should have its own Parliamentary awards with categories for beauty, friendliness and, political incorrectness. Now that WOULD be a refreshing change.
POSTMEN from Lands End to John O’ Groats rejoiced on Wednesday when Labour MP Angela Smith introduced her bill to protect them from dangerous dogs. If a crazy canine bites you in the street the owner would be prosecuted and you’d get compensation. But the law doesn’t apply on private property, including gardens. Angey got the backing of the CWU—the union that looks after postmen— and she’s taking this all the way to the top! She stood up in Parliament and proposed that the Dangerous Dogs Act be changed to protect postmen, community nurses and anyone else who risks getting chomped by a hungry rottie. I like dogs but I also like getting my post. People need to take responsibility for their poochy pals and that involves stopping them from noshing on public workers. So good luck Angela. I’m right behind you, especially if there’s a dangerous dog about!
HOW do you turn 20 pence into 50 quid in these dodgy economic times? Easy — just find one of the many “dateless” 20p coins that are floating around. The Royal Mint created about 200 000 new 20p pieces. Normally, every coin has the year of issue stamped on it. But someone “forgot” to put it on the new batch — making them the first undated British coins for 300 years. This makes them rare for coin collectors who are shelling out £50 for the cocked-up coins! How about that to beat the recession! A 20p that wouldn’t even get a pack of crisps down the pub will buy you a whole evening out! Or, if you want a quiet night in, you could buy 80 copies of Daily Sport, a six pack of Carling — and a copy of Hello! for the missus

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