The political mating game
Quiet for four years, MPs are letting out tell-tale ylps (known as "parliamentary questions") indicating a mating season is imminent. A classic example was Labour MP Helen Jones's question asking "the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating to the Warrington North constituency, the effects on Warrington North of his department's policies since May 2, 1997". In other words: "Oh no! I've got an election pamphlet to write!" Such desperately generalised queries took up much of this week's education question time, with some MPs getting their pamphlets virtually written for them by civil servants, and other less favoured souls (including Helen) sent packing to the library to do their own research.