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The Villages

Date: 2008-02-03 17:15
Subject: pocket boroughs - in which derek conway takes the piss
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Music:porcupine tree
Derek Conway is down, but not yet out. He's still saying he did nothing wrong, and that MPs aren't paid nearly enough. I think he may have misjudged public sentiment if he thinks this is going to win him friends.

In other news, MPs are slowly starting to declare the family members they employ - around one in four of them, apparently. I should point out that it's not unusual, or frowned upon, for an MP to employ his wife as a secretary. For MPs from constituencies far from Westminster, it's a useful way of keeping marriages together. The problem, as in Conways case, comes when the person involved is being paid a disproportionate amount for the work they do.

And now it turns out that for the past 16 years Peter Hain has been employing his mother as a part-time secretary. Once again, there's nothing illegal about this as far as I know.
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Date: 2008-02-03 23:03
Subject: angry, angry, angry, angry
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:angry (as you may have noticedangry (as you may have noticed
Music:porcupine tree
This comes at the end of a long, generally calm day listening to music and finishing the copy-edit on NW2. An Afghan student named Sayed Pervez Kambaksh was sentenced to death for downloading from the internet and then distributing a report on women's rights.
Apparently the case has caused such a stir that the Afghan authorities are trying to row back from it by saying the death sentence was a `technical mistake.' This is not over yet. The Indy has been putting together a petition for the Foreign Office protesting this ridiculous state of affairs, as do Reporters Without Borders and I commend them to all of you.
I know we must respect the beliefs of other countries and other peoples and not impose our own belief systems upon them, but this is a disgrace. Fancy, living in a country where you can be sentenced to death for looking at an article on women's rights on the internet and then showing it to other people.
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