Wednesday, 2 July 2008

David Clelland tells a bitter truth

When a constituent wrote to MP David Clelland accusing him not of representing the interests of local people but those of his party it touched a raw nerve. Sir Patrick Cormack, a much under-valued MP of the old school, is one of the few who can honestly say 'I've always taken the line it's country-constituency-party, in that order.' For most, it's party first and last. So Clelland replied petulantly 'I don't want your vote. Stick it'. Thereby revealing what most MPs really think; voters are a confounded inconvenience. Clelland, though, is clearly making a rod for his own back.

Some years ago the manager of an internationally known London hotel received a letter of complaint from a guest who claimed to have seen a cockroach during her stay. She received this reply:
'Dear Madam,

I am mortified that you should imagine you saw a cockroach in your room. Never in the 256 years that this hotel has been open has such a thing been alleged. Our standards of cleanliness, housekeeping and hygiene are second to none, our controls on the opportunities for pests and vermin to enter are superlative, our monitoring and management of room standards amongst the highest in the world. Frankly, I am incredulous. I can only suggest that you yourself brought the creature in to the premises in your clothing or luggage. As a result of which I have instructed the toxic fumigation of all the rooms on the floor on which you stayed, an exercise that has meant substantial lost revenue for the hotel.

Yours etc.'
The effect was only spoiled by the secretary who inadvertently attached the post-it note to the back of the letter that read 'Send this woman the cockroach letter'.

If Mr Clelland doesn't want to lose all his electors one by one he'd be advised to invest in some standard response letters to constituents of inoffensive and non-committal insincerity. His colleagues will be able to provide templates. Oh, and a secretary who counts post-its the same way a theatre sister counts swabs.

1 comment:

Blue Eyes said...

The thing which grates is that the letter didn't contain anything "offensive" apart from an accusation that the Labour party have become authoritarian and "fascist like". A total overreaction from Clelland.