Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pagan Pole Dancing

The Sunday Times brings details of the Taxpayers' Alliance Bumper Book of Government Waste 2006. TPA's Matthew Elliott told them:

"Few countries can rival Britain’s waste versatility... Added together, they come to £82 billion of wasteful and useless spending. That’s more than the annual turnover of many east European countries, or more than £4,000 per family in Britain.”

The Bumper Book is an annual must-read, and for the first time it's being published in hard copy (out on 30 January published by Harriman House , £9.99).

Among the jaw-dropping examples of government profligacy this year:

'Senior Aircraftwoman Stephanie Hulme...was flown from her base in Northern Ireland and put up in a London hotel so she could learn the sinuous arts of pole dancing on a £2,100 course. “It hadn’t occurred to me that they might pay, but I just filled in the paperwork and sent it in. I was very surprised when it was approved,” said Hulme, now successfully re-employed as an exotic dancer in a Mayfair club where she earns up to £2,000 a night.'

(Jeez- two grand a night! Think I'll give up my plan to become a plumber, and do that instead. Where do I get a grant?)

'A £225,000 scheme to teach grannies how to wear slippers. The idea was to persuade the over-55s not to wear ill-fitting slippers in case they tripped headlong down the stairs. After three pilot projects in which people were invited to produce their slippers for expert guidance, schemes proliferated, many offering new slippers for old.

...£200 payout to the owner of an African grey parrot alarmed by a low-flying jet ...£30,900 awarded to an 80-year-old woman blown off her feet by a Chinook...£2m-a-year scheme for computer training for hospital porters and cleaners... a pagan priest hired to give spiritual guidance to three prisoners who converted to paganism (£11.56 an hour plus expenses)...£67,000 salary offered by Greater Manchester police for a “diversity director”...two Sussex policemen sent on a six-week trip costing £5,000 to study gay community relations in San Francisco...etc, etc, etc.'

Picture shows the Army's new pagan pole dancing training camp in Budapest (htp Budapest Weekends)

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