Bob Russell, the Lib Dem MP for Colchester, is a bit of a pillock but a highly effective one, especially when it comes to self-promotion. When I was growing up in Colchester, he was never out of the local press, first as a councillor, then as town mayor and then as leader of the council before becoming MP in 1997.
As a former local journalist, he knew how to grab attention. He would attend the opening of an envelope if it got him more publicity.
His political skills have not yet been recognised by his own party, let alone the coalition Government (it probably says something about the esteem in which he is held that his most lofty job has been as spokesman on sport for the Lib Dems), yet he is happy being one of those backbenchers whose job is to ask important questions, on subjects like morris dancing and darts, in order to get another page lead in the Essex County Standard.
Today, though, Bob Russell leapt in my estimation for his blunt reply, below, to a constituent who had complained, no doubt in a particularly mean-spirited whinging way, about the cost of the royal wedding next year (seen on Guido). There are some who will criticise Russell for being rude and there are some who will suggest, without seeing the original letter, that the constituent may have had a point, but I salute him.
Why should constituents be toadied to when they behave like arses? Hurrah for MPs who speak their minds! A bit more contempt for the electorate is in order. All this "servants of the people" stuff is rot. MPs are paid (pretty low wages) to represent us, not to lick up to us.
My only concern is that, knowing Russell, he probably leaked this letter to the press himself for the attention. I'm slightly distressed by the poor quality of his English as well.