04 June 2007

Believe it or not

Tonight's Evening Standard has a diary story (probably written by Cllr Phibbs) claiming that Hammersmith & Fulham MP Greg Hands was approached to be a Russian spy in a Fulham pub! After a pint, Greg apparently turned down the offer and reported the matter to the authorities.

Why has Greg has chosen this moment to come out? As the story relates, Greg's wife hails from eastern Europe and he too spent many years living behind the Iron Curtain. He also retains a keen interest in central Asian matters asking regular Parliamentary questions about Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan et al.

As relations with Russia deteriorate, Greg obviously wants us to know where his loyalties really lie. It's the stuff of 'espionage folklore', he quips. His name's Hands, Greg Hands. Shaken, not stirred.


Jon said...

The mind boggles.

First, what does Greg know that could possibly be of any interest to the Russians. Unless they want information on bonkers right wing policies or tactics for merciless self promotion?

Second, rather than brag to journalists about the incident, wouldn't the patriotic and sensible response be to tell Special Branch, then shut up.

What I really want to know is, can Greg tell the difference between a Russian spy and a drunk Polish constituent?

Przyjemnego dnia!

MING said...

I believe it might be possible to extract some details of the report, using FOI provisions.

I trust users / readers of this blog are familar with this provisions?

Please let me know if I should wax upon the matter, and I'd see what I can provide.



hfconwatch said...

Do tell us more

Ming said...

Hello MrBlogMeister (conwatch)

Briefly, two snippets would be of use to you.



The council is very open with its information. Please use the above link liberally.

b. Contact the public authority
directly to request this information.

As a guide, The 'Access to
official information' section of our site explains the procedure you will need to follow to obtain this information. You'll find this area at:


The Council is very open with its information, so please do not feel impeded in your queries, tho you should be aware you should form your queries in a way that can be answered.


You should be aware the FOI Act has provisions against "vexious" request on the on hand, and disclosures on grounds on public interest on the other hand.

I mean to say that you should not be worried about accusations of vexious queries if you can demonstrate the reasons for your query, and you would be wisely advised to proceed along those lines.

Finally, it has to be said that if you are not happy with what the local FOI officer

MING said...

.. (sorry for getting cut off, the above post/ comment continues here), please be informed of the complaints procedure given at http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/Directory/Council_and_Democracy/Corporate_complaints/homepage.asp; after which you may approach Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, Telephone: 01625 545 700, http://www.ico.gov.uk.

I believe there could be a lot of unresolved questions that would be easily cleared up with reference to the above links.

Let me know how this comes along -- or post to the blog.

Ming said...

Dear Jon,

if your mind boggles, I would suggest you seek clarification on the matter.

Is there any other information source you might wish to know to clarify the boggle?

I'd see what I can do.

MING said...

You should also know, that charging over cost of the computers, and pegging these to supposed market rates, is not what a library should be doing.

This move also goes contrary to steps to develop a digital library.

This move goes against economic interests as well.

Around half the borough population do not have access to broadband access, around 90,000 people.

The number of "cafes" in the borough do not provide more than 250 places at the maximum, and there are 180,000 residents in the borough.

There are also very good grounds for suspicion that the user computers are being charged for, in order to pay for staff computers - not an efficiency at all.

This move is an anti-education move, and you should make this abundantly clear at the protest meeting; just in case the education point is raised. Actual moves on the ground are not for education.

Make the above points very clear at the protest meeting please.

And contact me for details if required on r96harris@yahoo.com