A long time ago (2004?) I clicked on a website link to submit a question for Tony Blair at conference. My question was "When are you going to release the Attorney General's advice on Iraq?". Not surprisingly it didn't make the shortlist, because the answer "When I'm forced to because it has been leaked." wasn't particularly on-message. What that did do was put me on to the Labour Party supporters' mailing list, which seems kind of bizarre given the obvious hostility of my question to the current Party Leader. Possible explanations include:
a) They were getting lots of hostile emails from Labour Party members, so it didn't necessarily mean I wasn't a loyal Party man.
b) They thought the spam equivalent of Party political broadcasts might win me round.
c) They didn't read my email at all, because it wasn't a genuine request for questions but a sham with the fringe benefit of building a mailing list.
My money's on c), but that's just a hunch.
The emails have an all-star line up, the first being from 'Tony Blair' himself. Today's offering was one from Patrick Stewart, the bald Star Trek captain. (I'm pretty suspicious that the 'author' is actually the person advertised). Would Patrick Stewart really be likely to use phrases like record investment in our schools and hospitals
and '...with more Community Support Officers serving local communities'
. Sounds more like a career conscious junior minister to me.
This has prompted me to dig back through the archives. The Jo Brand one sounds quite authentic in tone. There's a pretty serious howler in there though: 'A tenner to help keep the Tories out of government? It's cheaper than paying 15 per cent interest on your mortgage that's for sure.'
Jo believes that Tory policies are likely to make interest rates treble. Hmmm, I'd love to see the economic model that led her to that one, particularly given that they are now set by the Bank of England. When a sportsman extols the virtues of butter subsititute or a comedian praises a political party, you must remember that the area of expertise that made them famous has not necessarily equipped them for other areas.