And will I vote for you at the next election? Guess

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The Independent Online
DEAR DAVID FABER: You are Conservative MP for Westbury. You want to know what I think about things. I know this, because your letter was on the front of a four-page (free) tabloid, the West Wiltshire Westminster Report, which came through my letterbox.

In your letter you say: 'In order to ensure that I fully appreciate your views on a number of issues, I have taken the step of including an opinion survey on the back page of this newspaper. By sending this survey to over 35,000 homes, I hope to ensure that everyone of my constituents has a chance to air their views. This exercise really does help me to better represent local opinion at Westminster. That is why I would be grateful if you would take the time to complete and return it to me.'

Thank goodness I am not a pedant. If I were, I would start grumbling about your split infinitive, your inability to spell 'every one' as two words, your uncertainty as to whether a singular pronoun such as 'every one' can take a singular verb ('has') at the same time as a plural adjective ('their') and your over-fondness for 'ensure'. That kind of nit-picking has always repelled me. I am glad to see a Tory MP with the courage to break grammatical rules and treat language creatively. Were not you, David Faber, once upon a time research assistant to Jeffrey Archer? It certainly shows in your prose style.

There are 13 questions that you need help with, as follows.

1. If it was your decision, would you devote more or less resources to Law and Order?

2. Tick box if you have been a victim of crime in the last 12 months.

3. Would you support the introduction of a national identity card?

4. Tick a box if you have recently been treated by the NHS.

5. If you have, how satisfied

were you with the treatment you received?

6. Should Child Benefit be given to all mothers, regardless of income?

7. Do you think the present ( pounds 84.50) TV licence fee to be too much, too little or about right?

8. Do you expect to buy tickets when the National Lottery is launched?

9. Are you aware that David Faber MP holds surgeries to advise constituents who have problems?

10. Do you support moves towards a more centralised Europe?

11. Should the following be controlled at Westminster or by the European Parliament: a) Defence, b) The Economy, c) Law and Order?

12. Would you support tougher restrictions on the availability of videos, and a stricter regime concerning their classification?

13. Do you have specific action you would like to see the Government take which would help to improve the position you and your family find yourself in?

Well, Mr Faber, I have thought long and hard, and here are my answers.

1. I would lock up Michael Howard for an indefinite period to see if crime figures went down.

2. This is not a question.

3. Would I support the introduction of a national identity card, if what?

4. Nor is this a question.

5. This question can only be answered if the previous 'question' produces the right box.

6. No. I think it should be given to all children.

7. It should be rounded up or down. pounds 84.50 is a silly figure.

8. I still have a raffle ticket from the Bradford-on-Avon Summer Fayre, 1988, of which I have not heard the result. Until I get definite news, I will avoid the National Lottery.

9. Yes.

10. What moves are you talking about?

11. I support the European Parliament taking over our defence, economy and law and order, on the grounds that they couldn't help managing them more competently than the current gang of incompetents at Westminster.

12. Yes. I find it almost impossible to classify videos, and, in any case, every time I sort them into piles the piles fall over, mixing up Stand-up Comedy, Sitcoms and Monty Python all over again.

13. Yes. I would replace the bunch of third-rate, mediocre/incompetent, self-satisfied, small- minded people running our Government and get people with vision and imagination to take over. I would request them not to put capital letters on law and order and talk about Law and Order as if it were a commodity you could buy and sell. Above all, I would ask them not to put newsletters through my letterbox asking inane loaded questions on subjects of interest only to MPs going to party conferences.

I hope this helps.

Yours sincerely,

Miles Kington

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