Mr Squeaker stared emptily, eyeballs swollen and liquid By Quentin Letts PUBLISHED: 22:30 GMT, 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:35 GMT, 20 December 2012 Basso profundo: Jo Swinson resembled the Sergeant Major in It Aint Half Hot, Mum Last days of the Commons before Christmas and attendance, ahem, was slight. Hangover season There were certainly a few bleary eyes and deep voices evident but it is not the intention of this column to cast aspersions. No! We will simply commiserate with the high proportion of Hon Members who seemed to be suffering from coughs, cold and splutters.
Another thing Thatcher was right about: People even prefer leaders in feminine roles to have a deep voice, new research showsFormer PM had lessons to lower her voice to make it sound authoritative | UPDATED: 22:03 GMT, 12 December 2012 Elocution lessons: Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was taught to speak in a lower pitch, and now research shows she was right Even women prefer leaders in typically female roles to have a Thatcheresque deep voice, research has shown. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously had elocution lessons to lower her voice and make it sound more masculine and authoritative. She was advised – correctly, in light of subsequent research – that members of the public would find this more appealing.
Property developer is fined after he crashed 100,000 supercar through family's shed, hedge and fence | UPDATED: 22:08 GMT, 10 December 2012 Property developer James O'Brien, 37, was hauled into court and fined after smashing his 100,000 supercar through a hedge and into a family's garden, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. He ploughed his black Audi R8 sports car — with the number plate R8 OFF, pronounced 'write off' — through a hedge and into the garden, demolishing a shed, bench and a fence before stopping on the back lawn. The sports car shifted the garden hedge by about 15 metres, left tyre marks in the grass and scattered children's toys, including trikes and plastic skittles
Council using lie detector tests to root out benefits cheats catches 4,000 fraudsters in just four months Software analyses calls from claimants for signs of stress in their voices The technology is similar to that used by insurance companiesSouthwark Council in London say they have saved 1,400,000 | UPDATED: 00:44 GMT, 30 November 2012 A lie detector test trapped nearly 4,000 benefit cheats in just four months. The offenders were picking up council tax discounts worth 1.4million by falsely claiming they lived alone. But they were caught out by technology that analyses phone calls for signs of stress in the speaker’s voice