Friday, May 09, 2008

Remember Labour's attack on Vince Cable over spending on bee research?

Do you remember the Labour document "100 spending commitments the Liberal Democrats can't fund because their sums don't add up"?

It was popular reading for Labour hacks in 2005. It was packed full of barrel bottom scraping ideas on how Labour could incorrectly paint the Lib Dems as having spending commitments but no explanation as to how we would pay for them.

Number 94 was the one that got the most attention due to the stupidity of the claims Labour tried to hook onto it. Apparently, Labour suggested, the entire economic ediface of the country was at risk because Vince Cable had the following "spending commitment" on his personal website:

"Bees. Twickenham has one of the best bee keeping centres in the country. Many local people support it. Benefits from bees' natural pollination activities are enormous, worth billions of pounds. There is however negligible research into damaging diseases and I have pressed the ministry of agriculture for a bigger research commitment."

Yes, the nation's finances were going to be underminded by investing in bee research!

I have revived memories of this long forgotten Labour work of drivel because I spotted that Blaydon Labour MP David Anderson is making a fuss about the lack of research in, errrrr....bee research.

Here are his recent Parliamentary questions on the subject:

  • To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the emergence of an Asian variation of the bee pathogen Nosema ceranae.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to investigate the reasons for unexplained losses of queens from bee hives.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department plans to provide for bee inspectors in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11.

Rather helpfully, the minister replied with answers suggesting cash was being spent on research into the little honey makers. And presumably, the nation's finances are about to collapse as a result.

Interesting to note that New Labour Queen Bee Blair is no longer in the hive. Could this spell the end of them?

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