Shooting Yourself in the Foot (With Tipp-Ex)

We have some local elections coming up, so there’s loads of stuff coming through our door from people who want our vote.

One such note was a curious, word processed, self-printed letter from an independent candidate. It takes up two sides of A4.

I applaud his willingness to stand up and serve his community. Mainly because I wouldn’t do it. But I do have some reservations about his letter.

It rants about political leaflets and avoiding “branding”, and takes a very, very long time get to the point. It has a lot of biographical information before it actually says anything about voting for him.

Initially, I thought it was someone who had moved in nearby, just introducing themselves.

Worse, if it is trying to get my support, it’s overlooked something major. It doesn’t tell me – clearly – what his views actually are. At all. There’s some vague stuff about financing and local infrastructure, but that’s about it.

Maybe this is the genius of it, though – at one point he says about how much support he got when he went door to door. I wonder if it was because his views were so wishy-washy everyone could relate.

That said, he also uses “I” way more than “you”. This isn’t a blog we’re talking about, it’s a serious letter about local politics and why he should be involved. So all the info he gives is fine but it doesn’t give me an indication of why, in the name of [insert deity of choice], I should give a flying [insert expletive of choice] and vote for him.

For the record – I’m not here to knock his politics. But I do feel the need to point out flaws in how his case for support has been presented. Mainly because it’s interesting. Partly because this bit near the end tickled me:

“I have been a member of both The Conservative and The Labour Party”

Instead of a full stop, the line ends with a long strip of Tipp-Ex that stretches across about half the page.

I have questions about this.

1) This has been typed on a computer. Why not just delete it before printing?

2) Was it not read when it was up on the screen?

3) It’s been posted through what I assume is many doors. Doesn’t that mean you’ve spent a lot of money on Tipp-Ex? That money could have gone towards “local services” or “infrastructure” or whatever it was.

Ok, probably not… but still…

4) If it’s gone through as many doors as I think it has, and you didn’t read it on the screen, why not print one copy, check that, change it, then print the rest? I mean, mistakes are often easier to spot in print anyway…

I could go on. At least someone spotted it with enough time to Tipp-Ex it. There’s a silver lining there, I suppose.

I got curious, though, and held the letter up to the light. The original text behind the Tipp-Ex, when combined with the visible section, provided an interesting little insight into the state of local politics:

“I have been a member of both The Conservative and The Labour Party and am currently a member of the Labour Party.”

Campaign fail. I’d never heard of this person before that letter turned up, but it sadly does make me question their ability to represent others in any serious manner.


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