How to lose votes and disappoint your constituents - a lesson from Mr Chichester - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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How to lose votes and disappoint your constituents - a lesson from Mr Chichester

Friday, 22 July 2011
He may have 17 years of experience in the European Parliament and now serve as one of its Vice-Presidents, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of epic lapses in judgement. The following tale from the column by High Street Ken appearing in the Independent today explains all:



[L]ast month in Totnes, 89-year-old grandmother Eileen Noakes emailed her Conservative MEP, Giles Chichester, to ask him to vote for a 30 per cent EU emissions reduction target. Mr Chichester replied to his constituent, politely informing her that while he supported such targets, he would not vote for it without competitor countries doing the same. Mrs Noakes, unimpressed, replied a tad tetchily: "Dear Mr Chichester, is this what you teach your children – don't do the right thing until everybody else does it too?"

Mr Chichester, clearly taken aback, consulted his staff, who told him he ought to respond, which he duly did. "Your fatuous and ill-informed comments, clearly intended to insult, merely serve to prove how silly you are," he raged. "How dare you personalise this issue by involving my children? What sort of contemptible person are you? You obviously can't mount a serious case. Yours, Giles Chichester MEP."

Ouch. Nicely done sir, although perhaps next time it would be wiser to explain your group's position rationally rather than launch into insults towards those who voted and gave you a mandate to speak on their behalf?

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