Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Loss Of Liberty, Thanks To An Off-Shoot Of The Green Ink Brigade.

I'm not going to have time to write my diary in the evenings for the next few days, thanks to The Boss and the local elections. Greg and I have just been ordered to help one of the candidates in his campaign to become a local councillor - in our supposedly free time, of course.

"If he'd just shave off that ridiculous twirly beard and sideburns combo, he wouldn't need any help on the doorstep," says Greg, but Andrew doesn't take any notice of that.

He's probably contemplating the creative possibilities offered by his own facial hair - when he's not fretting about LibDems getting creative with paper and ink.

Jen had promised to send me a letter she'd received last week from the LibDem to whom her MP lost his seat - which finally turns up in the post today. I'm so surprised when I see it that, like a fool, I email a scan of it to The Boss - who then goes up in metaphorical smoke.

"Christ, those LibDems know how to walk a fine line," he says, when he phones me to discuss the damn thing further. "Look at the colour of the paper, and the ink. The only thing missing is the bloody Commons crest."

For once, Andrew's right. The letter is within the rules, but it could very easily mislead. In it, the MP advises his constituents to vote for the various LibDem candidates at the local council elections in his constituency - as party political a message as can be - and which therefore mustn't be sent out on House of Commons headed paper.

Whenever The Boss wants to send anything similar to his constituents, we use the cheapest, plain white paper you can buy - which the Party has to pay for, of course, and not the taxpayer. It looks like shit, and doesn't really carry much clout at all.

However, Jen's new LibDem MP has found a cunning way to suggest that his suggestion of how to vote in the local elections has the official stamp of approval - which is why The Boss is blowing his top.

The letter is printed on cream paper which is exactly the same shade as the proper HOC* stuff, and the header is printed in green ink - also of the exact same shade as that used by the HOC. The lay-out of the MP's name and address is also the same, and the only thing missing is the Portcullis crest.

Now The Boss has decided that, if the LibDems should prove capable of similar campaign creativity in Northwick too, our candidates will need all the help they can get. Which apparently takes the form of me and Greg.

So, in the absence of a good barber with a way with twirly facial hair, that's the next few evenings spoken for - and all thanks to the new Green Ink Brigade. I can't wait for Friday night, and some time alone with Max - if he hasn't gone off and left me by then.

I wonder if you can cite jury service and local elections as grounds for divorce? Not to mention facial hair...

*HOC - House of Commons, as usual.


  1. I wouldn't think you can cite jury service and local elections... but I'd advise aginst growing any more facial hair ;-)

  2. Oh, God. That's entirely outside my control. I shall revert to the balaclava with immediate effect.