Saturday, May 07, 2011

This week

Monday was a Bank Holiday, thanks to my grandfather.

Tuesday, took part in a dinner hour debate on changes to the Immigration Rules affecting Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 (General) is abolished, and only 1,000 exceptionally talented people are to be admitted in the coming year. The qualifications needed for Tier 2, highly skilled workers, are raised, and also subject to a numerical limit. See

Wednesday morning, Subcommittee F of the European Union Committee. We considered a draft report on the EU's Internal Security Strategy, and will probably finalise it next Wednesday. Afternoon, took part in Janet Whitaker's question on the shortfall in the provision of the Teachers' Education Service for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children, Its a subject to which I'm sure we will return, because the Traveller Education Service is either being totally extinguished or severely curtailed by local authorities up and down the land, in spite of the fact that Gypsies and Travellers are the most disadvantaged educationally of all minorities, in terms of absence and uner-achievement.

Thursday, David Chidgey had sent a message to say he had missed his connection in Johannesburg on his way back from Maputo, so I stood in for him when his question on Sudan came up, I voted against the Government for the first time on Angie Harris's amendment to knock out the police commissars from the Police Bill.

Friday, worked at home, and dear Victoria gave me some help with the paperwork.

Early evening, to the Frontline Club in Paddington,to the launch of Ursula Smartt's magnum opus on media law. She has done a fantastic job covering a very topical subject, and dealing with very recent cases. Somehow I missed her husband Mike's emailed photos, and I haven't discovered how to insert photos into an old entry, so the picture is a bit late. But nothing can dim my admiration for her versatility!



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Later I had my regular conversation with Maurice in Auckland on Skype. Its a terrific boon to anybody with close relatives on the other side of the world.

Speaking of IT, I bought from Amazon a Netgear NAS MS2110, a 'network attached storage' device that gives users of the network a terabyte of storage,plus an additional Western Digital hard disk that mirrors the first. Netgear pride themselves on their technical support, but my experience of getting answers to simple questions was dire. After being kept hanging on the line for ages, I was told that the product was out of warranty, and that I must have bought it more than a year ago. I had to scan and email the Amazon invoice to convince them I'd bought it as recently as April 10, 2011. Does this mean that Amazon had the product in their warehouse for a year waiting for a buyer?

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