If you live in Kemptown, then the chances are you’ve been lucky enough to receive a hand-delivered, personally-addressed envelope in the past fortnight from David Van Day, former chart-topper and burger-flipper, now prospective city councillor for the Conservative Party. The envelope (for the benefit of those who failed to open it) contained a card outlining the many reasons why we should all vote for him in the upcoming elections. Like you I received a copy. Unlike you, I actually read it.

And what a read it was. The front of the card featured a full-sized mugshot of Mr Van Day (which is enough to put anyone off), inset with a photo of him shaking hands with David Cameron, alongside the slogan “David is backing David”. I’m sure that’s true, though possibly the support is only one way.

The real joy, however, comes on the reverse of the card, where David (Van Day, not Cameron) has chosen to take up the rest of the mailing with a personally written letter setting out his vision for a better Brighton. Which would be fine if the man could actually write. Unfortunately the whole thing is so poorly constructed that it's barely coherent, and would be drowned in a sea of red ink if it went within half a mile of a secondary school English teacher.

He begins confidently enough:

“I am very proud of the fact that I was actualy born in East Brighton!”

And proud of the fact that he can’t spell ‘actually’. Unless that’s what the Conservatives mean by a ‘New Direction’. As the letter goes on, Mr Van Day demonstrates his inability to spell words such as ‘whose’, develops an alarming misuse of the humble apostrophe, commits some heinous crimes against grammar, and even manages to get the name of one of his own pop groups wrong, before “remembering that elected I will be the servant of the people”. He left out an ‘if’ there. And it’s a pretty big if.

But all that aside, my favourite bit is this...

“As opposed to a city that could soon become over run by rats because of the misguided rules of refuge collection imposed on us by this labour council”.

Just who are these people encouraging rats by collecting refuges? I'm 100% against domestic violence, but even I feel it should be strictly one person, one refuge. There's no need for people to build up vast collections. It'll only attract vermin. Someone should tell those lefties on the council before it's too late.

But don’t worry, if David Van Day doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are alternatives. Namely his Conservative colleagues, Simon Hackett and Victor Mower. Hackett & Mower may sound like a local gardening firm, but David sets us straight: “Together we are your three propspective candidates”. Propspective? Mr Van Day certainly knows a lot of long words. It’s just a shame none of them exist.

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Published in The Kemptown Rag on 30th March 2007

That'll Be The Day
by Phil Gardner
   Phil Gardner 2007