Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dear Dracula

I receive a personal letter from Michael Howard, Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. Well, a personalised letter to be more accurate, although he has so little faith in their database that he apologises if he has addressed me incorrectly. (I would have found 'Dear Comrade' more agreeable but that's a trifling point).
The letter means either that their database has me down as a potential Tory voter, in which case it's a crap database, or - which is more likely - they regard this as a Labour marginal and are writing to everyone in the constituency.

For anyone interested in political language their five pledges are classics. Two of them refer to 'setting out plans' to do something. Now I could set out plans to sail single-handed round the world in my kitchen sink but it doesn't mean I'll do it. This very morning I made plans to do some ironing today but instead I ate five bacon rolls and then slept for two hours.
The pledge on 'Lower Taxes' says: "In our first month, a Conservative Budget will cut wasteful government spending. This will give taxpayers value for money and stop Labour's next round of stealth taxes." Notice how that doesn't say that the Tories will cut taxes. They will merely seek to avoid some hypothetical tax rises by a Labour Government.

Enclosed with the letter is a survey because Mr Howard wants to know the things that really matter to me. Since he has generously provided a reply-paid envelope it seemed churlish not to complete it.
So in in answer to 'If you could improve one thing about your neighbourhood, what would it be?' I wrote 'Less Conservative voters.'
In answer to 'Would you consider voting Conservative?' I wrote 'Not before Hell freezes over.'

Their pledge on schools makes no reference at all to the quality of education, only a commitment to expel more pupils. But their own survey is an example of the decline in standards since it contains the spelling 'inheritence'. Presumably the public school prats who work at Conservative Central Office don't even know how to use a computer spell-check.
Helpful as ever, I have circled this error in red ink and imposed one hour's detention. For, as Michael Howard says in his letter, it's important to "restore discipline to Britain's classrooms."

Strange but true: I don't normally run the Blogger spell check but thought I'd better for this one. It suggested I replace 'Dear Dracula' with 'Dear Draggle'. I looked up 'draggle' and found its original meaning was 'to trail behind others.'


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