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Friday, August 11, 2006 

The Health Select Committee

One of the most amusing claims made about this weblog during the recent Wikipedia spat was that it is "selective in its use of facts."

Today, we're going to have some fun with that.

We begin with some carefully selected facts about the Health Select Committee...

Fact: Anne Milton is a member of the Health Select Committee.

Fact: The Health Select Committee has met 29 times since the original appointment/formation of 13 July 2005.

Fact: Anne Milton has attended 18 of these meetings.

Now, if I were to apply facts selectively, I could stop right here and quite rightly claim that Anne Milton has attended the majority of these meetings (more than half, in other words).

But I'm not going to do that.

I'm going to be far more responsible and provide a comprehensive overview.

The attendance records of current members of the Health Select Committee (who have been members since its inception) are presented below in ranking order:

Kevin Barron (Chair) --------------- 29 (100%)
Dr Richard Taylor ----------------- 28 (97%)
Charlotte Atkins ------------------ 25 (86%)
Mike Penning -------------------- 24 (83%)
David Amess -------------------- 23 (79%)
Dr Howard Stoate ----------- 23 (79%)
Anne Milton ------------ 18 (62%)

Again, if I were to apply facts selectively, I could arrange it so that Amme isn't at the very bottom of the pile. All I would have to do is take the attendance records of those who have left or joined the committee since its inception and calculate a percentage based on the total number of meetings (i.e. rather than the meetings they were actually expected to attend).

But I'm not going to do that, either.

This is a list of the of MPs who have joined this committee since its inception:

Doug Naysmith ------ 14 (since late 2005)
Jim Dowd ------------- 11 (since late 2005)
Paul Burstow ------- 11 (since late 2005)
Sandra Gidley ----- 8 (since April 2006)

All of these members have an actual attendance record of 75% upwards. Those who have left the committee since its inception have similar attendance records during their time as active members.

So let's get back to the most inactive member... Anne Milton.

Fact: Out of all of the members of the current Health Select Committee (past and present), Anne Milton has the worst attendance record. By far.

[Note - Fans of this website's shamefully mocking tone may enjoy the following....]

Traditionally, a committee is understood to be a group effort... i.e. a group of members meet, and make an effort. If one of the members fails to meet with the group and/or make an effort, then there's very little point in them being a member of that group.

Yes, even in Parliament, the general system seems to be that MPs who cannot manage the considerable workload that any given committee demands duly resign from that committee, so another person can take their place and meet said workload; everybody understands this process.

Everybody, that is, expect Anne Milton.

Past form (1, 2) would suggest that Amme is treating the Health Select Committee in much the same way that she treats this constituency; she revels in the power and status they provide, but she simply will not (or cannot) handle the pesky workload that each demands... and even if she does lift her game in time to avoid a humiliating shunt from this committee, it will only serve as yet another example of her being shamed into doing more than the Bare. Bloody. Minimum.

[Miltonites! If you wish to dig and double-check on Amme's behalf, then feel free... everything you need is right here. Dennis Paul! Mike Chambers! Come on, fellas... you're supposed to be the A-Team. You know that Amme can't deal with this alone - it's up to you to undo the damage by targeting the messenger instead of dealing with the facts. Prepare your sock puppets and get back on form! What's it to be this time? A xenophobic attack? Homophobic, perhaps? Maybe even another cack-handed attempt at interfering with my professional life in response to me catching you (both) pissing away taxpayer's money by conducting your personal/political vendetta during work hours? Any time you're ready... ]

UPDATE - And here's how Dennis Paul reacted, boys and girls....


IS there a B team and a C team too? Or are Mikey and Denny the only ones left fighting for Annie M.

J 12

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    Hi. I'm Tim. I live in Guildford. I've built a few political weblogs here and there. If you're wondering why I decided to start this particular blog, click here.


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