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Sanity won and lost


He had lost a General Election by less than 20 votes.

Throughout his four years in the wilderness he was haunted with thoughts of how he could have won over the lost voters. On re-election he became the most assiduous MP. Lost causes were pursued and unreasonable requests answered promptly. Nothing was too much to please his voters.

The eternal grind of suffering fools gladly became a strain. To preserve his sanity, he took to writing a patient letter to the incurable moaners and a second letter for his own pleasure. He ventilated his wrath in the second letter, then destroyed it.

Heroically suffocating his anger, he wrote to one constituent:

‘Of course I will take up this important matter once again.

Although the last 12 replies I have had have been disappointing, there is no reason to believe that they may now not have a different view. May I add that I greatly admire your single-minded persistence and your refusal to be fobbed off.

As soon as I receive a reply I will contact you again.


He sublimated his rage with a second letter:

What in the name of Satan is wrong with you ?

Twelve times I have taken up your futile idiotic complaint. The first six replies carefully explained that you not have a snowball's chance in hell of getting any satisfaction. No court in the land will believe that you suffered trauma and deserve compensation because a postman gave you a ‘funny look.’

I know that we live in an age of compensation culture, but your moan is transparently bogus and fraudulent. Can’t you find something useful to fill your empty life with instead of plaguing me with your snivelling whining.

Writing the second letter made him feel good. He was so satisfied that he absent-mindedly printed both letters. The next day his secretary sent the second off to the constituent. A writ was a real possibility from a constituent who had now found a far more promising cause for complaint.