I’VE BEEN alerted by a parliamentary colleague to an internet forum on which, apparently, a particularly ill-mannered constituent of mine is bemoaning the fact that he received a Christmas card from me.
His greivance, inevitably, is that he resents me spending tax-payers’ money on such frivolities. If only he had bothered to check the facts before he switched on his computer; MPs do, indeed, receive an annual communications allowance for annual reports, newspaper advertising and such. But Christmas cards are expressly excluded, and members wishing to send them must do so at their own expense.
Which is what I do. Most feedback I receive from recipients at this time of year is generally positive – even from those who mistakenly believe they’re paid for through my expenses.
This happens every year. I wish it were possible to go through my mailing lists and weed out the easily-embittered. Alas, whatever the facts, if certain people want to be offended, there’s very little I or anyone else can do to prevent it.