Tory MP smacks Labour about the balls

Thinking of England at every stroke

A Tory MP from Surrey has exposed Labour's efforts to curry favour with international businessmen by showering them with branded premium golf balls.

Humfrey Malins, MP for Woking, the quotidian neighbour to Surrey county town Guildford, uncovered the balls for businessmen scandal after venturing into the rough on a recent round of golf.

While beating about the bush, he discovered a golf ball emblazoned with the logo of UK Trade and Investment, the government department which encourages businesses to invest in Britain.

An outraged Malins raised a question in the house about what he suspected was a shocking waste of money, demanding to know "how much UK Trade and Investment spent on branded golf balls in the last three years."

The answers are in, and it seems that over the last three years, UK Trade and Investment has frittered away £12,000 over the last three years on the balls.

A quick sweep of the web suggests generic unbranded Titleist golf balls (UKT&I's preferred brand) cost around £6 per dozen. Assuming the bulk discount was cancelled out by the cost of having the logo slapped on it, this suggests the gov has 24,000 golf balls rolling around the planet touting the joys of investing in Britain.

This doesn't leave Malins any the less tee-d off, with the Woking whacker suggesting the government's £4,000 a year on golf balls is "quite ridiculous".

Others might say £4,000 a year is a small price to pay to attract foreign investment into a well off the boil UK economy, though it would perhaps have been more politic to choose British made golfballs.

MPs have a history of finding a hobby horse and proceeding to flog it to death. So, over the coming months we can expect golfing umbrellas, pens, mouse mats, rugby stress balls, paper pads. Oh, and those pesky tax breaks for foreign businesses setting up factories in the UK.

Let's hope it doesn't distract Humfrey from voting strongly against ID cards.®

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