(Last published on BLOG “IRISH MY ERSE!” 20 July 2007)
Some twenty odd years ago, following some misinformed or misguided editorial in The Times (of London, England) that paper was gracious enough to publish a letter of mine, written in the hope that it would learn from it.
Though my circumstances at the time were straitened, indeed penurious, I began to receive curious mail. One letter came with a promotional audiotape featuring Captain Mark Phillips singing the praises of the Land Rover. (Those were the days when 4 x 4s would be expected in urban areas only if the military were mounting a coup d’etat or the“Police” in the North of Ireland were going about their Constabulary Duties.)
Another letter invited me to a fine wine tasting, and another to view some Objets d’Art in Chelsea.Yet another urged me to invest in a Condominium in Florida, but I’m a Roman Catholic of the old school, (motto: Inter Mutanda Constantia). Besides, I couldn’t afford the fare.
Perhaps the most curious letter, dated 29 January 1987 came from a gentleman describing himself as Chairman and Chief Executive of Hartley Investment Trust Limited.
I think I may be forgiven for passing it on –
“Dear Mr Kennedy
I am writing you on a personal basis to see if you are interested in working together with myself to raise capital for a fighting fund to ensure the Conservative Party achieve success at the next election.
You are no doubt deeply concerned about the possible threat of a Labour victory at the next election and are obviously considering, as I am, the ramifications of such a success on your ability to create and conserve wealth. I can only assume that your circumstances are comparable to mine, in that you are eager to protect the wealth you have created and the quality of life you and you family enjoy.
It is my considered opinion that if the Conservative Party do not win the next election, penal taxation, exchange controls and a breakdown of our traditional values will take place…….
If you do not wish to be actively involved in this initiative may I presume to ask for a donation to be made payable to the “Conservative Board of Finance Tactical Committee” and sent to me at the address below.
A B C”
When The Times published my own letter they made a minor error in transcribing my address. And all the odd mail I received repeated the paper’s error. Apparently the addresses of everybody who have letters published in THE TIMES were collected on the assumption that they were loaded and Thatcherite Conservatives.
Long before Thatcherism , the Conservative Party was rejected by me through my sponsors at my baptism, when I renounced Satan and all his works and pomps.