back to article Osborne plucks strange fruit from the loon tree

HM Treasury has said it will implement three ideas submitted by the public to its Spending Challenge website which include a government e-auction site. The selling of surplus and second hand government equipment will be increased by expanding use of the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) online eDisposals service to other departments …


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  1. SlabMan

    In another cost saving inititative ...

    ... the Government said they would end expensive consultation exercises asking the public for cost-saving ideas, as it had become apparent that all of the feasible proposals had in fact been submitted by civil servants. A further measure of cost-saving has been effected by banning Ministers from having bright ideas that must be rushed into production despite it being obvious that they would fail a 5-minute sanity check. As an added validity test, any Minister mandating an IT initiative costing more than £5 will be thrown from the Houses of Parliament terrace into the Thames. If the Minister sinks, the initiative will be allowed to proceed.

  2. John Lilburne

    So how much ...

    ... are they going to be asking for that large milk bottle from the UK space programme?

  3. JakeyC

    What's the betting...

    That someone is able to buy a govt. computer from their auction site that contains a full database, after they fail to erase the hard drive?!

    For Sale: 1 ContactPoint database, barely used.

    AAA+++++++ Great data leak, would use again!!!1!11!eleven!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope so...

      Then we can see who gets put in prison for up to 2 years and the £500,000 fine per breach can be a way of cutting budgets.

  4. Sampler

    Can I make a suggestion?

    Scarp ministers pay & expenses fullstop - these guys are all wealthy enough to cover their own cost and shouldn't be a burden to the tax payer. Being a minister should be because you want to help your common man, not looking for a payout.

    Will my idea be taken onboard - discussed even? Thought not...

    1. leakyPC
      Thumb Down

      Bad Idea

      This would mean it would be completely impossible (presently very difficult) for the common man to ever become a minister.

      1. DavCrav

        It's not far off impossible now

        "This would mean it would be completely impossible (presently very difficult) for the common man to ever become a minister."

        The idea that MPs are representative of society has never really got off the ground. You get the occasional one or two, but by and large they're all millionaires, or are within five years of getting into the job.

      2. Tiddles the cat


        Just allow corporate sponsorship.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Not a good idea

      Cut their pay and they will be more prone to taking backhanders or representing the interests of business.

      If anything they should be paid more and banned from doing any work other than their work as an MP.

  5. Just Thinking


    What a great site. They have all sorts of stuff, boots, combat jackets, a battleship, camouflage trousers.

    An actual batlleship, in with the surplus clothing. Even has an Add To Cart button! Great stuff.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Brilliant idea. Make it so only the wealthy (or bankrolled by the wealthy) can become politicians.

    Just what we need, more toffs, bored businessmen, washed up actresses and Murdoch stooges in parliament.

    How about we go back to the good old days where only land owning men of good character are allowed to vote.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two aircraft carriers

    Buy one - get one free.

    Will also throw in surplus Eurofighters and a collection of vintage Nimrods (good as new (i.e. not very)). Personal collection only, no time wasters.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NI cards are a good thing

    I didn't need my NI number for a couple of years after I got given it. I would definitely have lost it in that time if it was on a letter, requiring me to waste somebody's time looking it up for me. How expensive can an inexpensive card being produced by a dedicated machine be anyway?

  9. heyrick Silver badge

    Excuse me, little question!

    e-auction website to flog off old govt stuff, thus saving/recouping some money.

    And it will cost how much to set up this website?

  10. only the lonely


    Bizarre site, just bizarre. My favourite ad is the barefoot 'hottie' illustrating the girl's combat trousers; 'Top of The List For The Summer!' It reminded me of the 70's film, 'M.A.S.H.', and the deadpan military radio announcements in the background.

  11. Intractable Potsherd

    These all seem like eminently sensible ideas ...

    ... so how come no-one in a position to implement them came up with them before?

    And the poster who supports NI cards - if you'd lose the letter, how come you don't lose the card? You don't carry it around with you all the time, do you? (Please tell me you don't!)

  12. Graham Bartlett

    I'm not usually PC, but...

    Given that "Strange fruit" has a rather specific meaning of black Americans lynched by the Ku Klux Klan, perhaps this isn't the headline you were looking for?

    James Dyson releasing his second generation of dual-cyclone vacuum cleaners in Germany under the name "Zyklon B" would be a similarly bad idea.

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