Thursday, 10 April 2014

On having received an email from David Cameron

Dear David,
Thank you so much for your email. It is interesting to hear your views on Europe, no matter how vague and ill-conceived they seem to be.
I'm very glad to see, for example, that you are not aligning yourself with the populist xenophobia expressed by UKIP - who, as you rightly say, are in no position to deliver on their promise of parochialising a Britain which, in an ideal world, might one day actually adopt a generous, hospitable and enriching cosmopolitanism. Unfortunately, of course, in this kind of open-minded Britain there won't be room for a Conservative Party which begins its randomly circulated emails with lines such as 'The EU is heading in a direction Britain never signed up to' (largely because said ideal Britain won't be looking to blame Brussels for everything that it's cocked up itself - and would know that ending a sentence with a preposition is deeply unpatriotic) - but, hey, that's a small price to pay for actual real democracy, I would have thought.
There do, though, seem to be a few minor factual errors in your email which you may wish to address before you send it out to everyone whose email address you've been able to snaffle from the internet by exploiting the vagaries of the Data Protection Act.
'Benefit tourism', for example, is a phrase which appears to have been invented by your own press office. Call me an old-fashioned woolly liberal if you must, but I have actually spoken to many of the people that you insist on referring to as 'foreigners' and it seems that claiming benefits, lying on a trolley in the corridor of an underfunded NHS hospital and having to live in poorly maintained social housing are about the last things on their mind. In fact, amazingly (well, I expect it's amazing to you), they appear to contribute to the economy and more than compensate for the British 'benefit tourists' who are currently claiming millions in Germany and elsewhere. If you want to secure the British pensioners' vote, by the way - forget Bournemouth. Most of 'our' pensioners now appear to be living in holiday resorts from the Costa del Sol to the Black Sea. Apparently, EU regulations mean that they can do this and still claim their pensions. Given that you have obviously thought long and hard about how Britain's departure from the EU would affect its citizens, you are probably already aware of this.
Re: point 2 - "Securing more trade but not an 'ever closer union'": isn't that a contradiction in terms? Isn't a 'closer union' good for trade? Or are you thinking of adopting the policy of earlier British governments - i.e. securing more trade through the simple measure of invasion? That would certainly be a 'closer union' - and, let's face it, it seems to be working for your great mate Vladimir Putin.
I wouldn't worry too much about 'justice and home affairs' either. To be honest, you seem to be doing a more than adequate job of ensuring that anything to do with the law is swathed in almost completely impenetrable bureaucracy and that Britain's own affairs are safe in the hands of people who went to some kind of big, swanky public school in Berkshire and/or made their own fortunes by selling 'financial packages' to the gullible in the mid-1990s. What an inspired gesture, by the way, to replace that dreadful Miller woman as Minister of Culture! Appointing a former banker is self-evidently the way forward. I'm sure he'll know loads of stuff about the arts which will place Britain at the forefront of the international stage (that's a thing where theatre happens, by the way, in case you or he weren't sure).
As for 'getting a better deal for British taxpayers', has it ever occurred to you that it might be easier to do this by cutting your own salaries and expense accounts? Or, indeed, putting irresponsible financiers in the dock and giving them the kind of disproportionate sentences you currently reserve for people in hoodies who knick stuff from shops or sell a bit of skunk to undercover journalists? I'm sure we could work out a reasonable tarif - maybe ten years for every million embezzled and tucked away in an off-shore account? Again, of course, this might have a slightly damaging effect on the support for your party, but, as I said before - hey, that's democracy.
Thank you, too, for giving me 'the final decision' on Britain's membership of the EU. It's a shame, of course, that 'final decision' sounds a little bit like 'final solution', but I'm sure that your PR people will be across this going forward. It's a shame, too, of course, that, in even asking the question, you'll be unleashing even more xenophobic nonsense from the likes of UKIP and the Daily Mail. But, hey, needs must when you're a party whose whole attitude to running the country has been to pander to the darkest passions of an imaginary white van man who lives in an imaginary Essex. Maybe, on the eve of your proposed referendum, you should just give everyone a free case of beer (although obviously not Stella Artois, Guinness and other 'foreign' stuff) and hope that, when pissed, even sensible people decide that we're all going to hell in a handcart.
I hope these thoughts will be of use and that you will not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Unfortunately, my reply may be slightly delayed. Wouldn't you just know it - as a hard-working family (that was your term, wasn't it?), we seem to be having more luck getting work in other EU countries than we do here.
All best wishes,

PS Are you sure about using the word 'austerity' to describe the state we're in? How about 'under-performancing'? It's not actually a word, but then why should that matter? 'Gove' isn't a word, either, and you've put him in charge of education!

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