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  The MiP files: Praise for hip hop and rap!
Updated 11 February 2003, 10.10

What's making news in Westminster?

What decisions are politicians making about your life?

Our Man in Parliament has all the latest info and secret goss every Tuesday!

You can also ask him questions and get him to track down your MP. Go to the bottom of the page for how.

Do you remember a politician having a go at So Solid Crew for making guns and violence look cool?

Kim Howells warned that the gun problem is growing among young people, partly thanks to rappers.

Well, the same man returned to the subject last week - saying music bosses should do everything they could to stop guns seeming glamorous to young people.

But he also admitted that people like Missy Elliott and Ms Dynamite could be "inspiring".

He was speaking after MP Angela Eagle pointed out that some hip-hop and rap music also contain lyrics that condemn gun violence.

She said: "I should not like MPs to get the reputation for being fuddy-duddy and not actually listening to the lyrics of rap and hip-hop, some of which can be very inspiring."

Mr Howells said: "I agree entirely-having three children aged 26, 18 and 14, I have had no choice but to listen to gangsta rap."

Good job Mr Howells' kids are keeping him up to date!

Politicians are always on the lookout for a chance to get their picture in the newspaper!

And here are some good examples of them doing just that.

First of all, there's Tony Blair having a game of bowls during a visit to north-east England the other day.

Apparently, he was absolutely hopeless, admitting: "This is just definitely not my game."

My other picture is of Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the Conservative Party.

He's a big rugby fan, and jumped at the chance to have a quick game while out and about recently.

Looks like he knows what he's doing!

Guess how many bottles of wine the government has stored up in its cellars for when special guests come to visit?

Maybe 100... perhaps a bit more?

Nope, the answer, revealed last week, was a whopping 37,000!

Raspberry-flavoured trifle and powdered egg were being discussed in parliament the other day.

The reason? Some politicians are concerned about things added to food like flavourings.

They reckon they can cause health problems for young people - and want new laws to crack down on their use.

There are more than 4,000 types of flavourings that can be added to food.

And that's "truly mind-boggling" according to MP Charles Hendry.

Each week our MiP will give you the chance to have your MP identified.

Just send us your name and postcode using the boxes at the bottom and he'll do the rest.

This week, Alice, nine, from Hove gets her MP identified.

Ivor Caplin
Where are you from?
School nickname:

Greatest achievement:
Winning Hove election in 1997
Nelson Mandela
Last movie I saw:
Spiderman (brilliant!)
Football team:
Brighton and Hove Albion.
MP I admire:
Margaret Beckett (one of Tony Blair's ministers).
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Not much until I was about 15.
Why does politics matter?
It's about service and trying to change things for the better.
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
I'd bring peace in the Middle East.


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More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
MiP file: The Queen comes into town
The MiP files: Why Blair listens to Foo Fighters!
The MiP files: Threat to cod and chips!
The MiP files: How much is spent on you?
The MiP files: Anger about pet shop plans
The MiP files: Inside Tony Blair's house!
The MiP files: Christmas at the Commons!
The MiP files: Fighting for your voting rights!
The MiP files: Steve's Olympic dream!
The MiP files: Lessons in disco dancing!?!?!
The MiP files: Potter fans in parliament!!


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Also in The MiP files now:
MiP Files: The prime minister's crucial week
MiP file: Tory leader faces off with PM
MiP files: A new leader for the Tories?
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