Over the past couple of weeks, Michael Penning MP has been writing letters to different departments asking them how much they had spent on "voice coaching" in the last 12 months. Presumbaly this is because either (a) he can't understand a bloody word some of his fellow politicians say and thinks they need some, or (b) he thinks that some of them have changed the way they speak and is wondering if they've been helped along a bit at the public expense.
Either way, the vast majority, and in this respect I mean pretty much all of the department have responded with the same answer of "none". Well I say all of them, there is one department that's given one of those kind of non-answers that just makes you think "well that's 'yes but we're going to avoid telling you'" type answer. When The Cabinet Office was if it has provided "voice coaching" to any employees, Tom Watson said,
"Voice coaching" is not a category recognised in Cabinet Office management information systems.Call me cynical if you must, but that answer smells suspiciously like one that is deliberately opaque. One's thing is for sure, if Gordon Brown is having lessons they should ask for their money back or have a special course on saying the "solution" properly.