Its amazing what you can do when you are sober. I am,
of course, assuming this will not have some prophetic result, but I even felt
able today to write a complaining letter to the driving licence people who - for
some reason known only to Swansea - are in Swansea.
have to understand that these people have had my licence off me several times
for reasons associated with drinking when I shouldnt have been and they
were quite right, too.
But just because I have gone diabetic,
they have gone unapologetic and written me an awful letter which at first seems
to suggest they are revoking my right to drive and then suddenly veers off like
a drunken woman behind the wheel and says theres no problem.
delayed the letter for them for a day or so until it gets to the transport minister
via my MP, though Ive just realised its August and theyre all
probably on holiday on a yacht. I wish I could afford a yacht and its probably
my own fault for not staying sober and becoming a politician. Actually, it didnt
seem like a good idea at the time and it doesnt in retrospect.
for what its worth, which is probably not a lot since its holidaytime
everywhere, heres my letter. Its going to our Webmaster, Mr. Gary
Hardy, as what I am reliably informed is an attachment. Im glad of that
because the word gives me an opportunity to point out that his attachment to Ibiza
is now some twenty years long and that is a matter for some congratulations. (Ive
just noticed it on his distinguished letter-headed paper on which he has sent
me three alternative routes to Ibiza and at the bottom it says: LiveIbiza
Established Since 1982 as if it was some ancient apothecary. (I seem to
remember that year well, though I would be obliged if anyone can tell me what
I was doing around then).
The celebrations will have to
wait until my new driving licence appears and I will be setting off on the long
and winding road to come and see you all.
35 Meadow Lane
For the attention of Geoff
Theophilus, Complaints Manager, DVLC, Swansea.
OF REVOCATION OF YOUR TEA BREAK
Dear Mr. Theophilus,
was horrified to receive a letter today from a Mrs L Beynon, which at first appeared
to say I couldnt drive any more because I have become diabetic.
was particularly distressing because I am about to undertake the journey of a
lifetime driving overland (and sea) to Ibiza.
It took several
minutes to realise that in fact it was telling me there was no problem, despite
NOTICE OF REVOCATION
on Earth do you think diabetics - needle in one hand, map in the other - will
first react when they see that?
Mrs. Beynons missive
even had the four pages arranged in the wrong order, so the first one I saw was
telling me to return my licence in the enclosed brown envelope!
am quite sure you could dash off a new version of the letter in your tea break
today. Please intervene, have the letter redone and stop frightening vulnerable
Instead of saying: I am sorry
to have to tell you that our Medical Adviser has recommended a regular review
of your fitness to drive, there is no reason why it couldnt say: I
am pleased to tell you that you may continue to keep your licence, though
you will have to undertake a medical review every three years.
gather from Diabetes UK that there are a million undiagnosed diabetics in this
country, which means you will be sending a million copies of this frightening
letter in the foreseeable future.
Of course, there is always
the possibility that Mrs. Beynon has a wicked sense of humour and is sending out
this awfully-written letter with the pages jumbled up on purpose.
is why I am sending a copy of this superbly-written letter to the Editor of Balance,
the Diabetes UK magazine and to my Member of Parliament Andrew Bennett for him
to forward to the Ministry of Transport, so you had better act fast.
you could do it before your tea break and then, as I have done, you would be able
to ignore the heading above.
There is probably
nothing more important for you to deal with today than this because I have delayed
posting your copy of this letter by a day so the Minister for Transport will have
it first and is about to ring you.
also point out that I have sent it to LiveIbiza.com
where it will appear on Saturday among a selection of some of the finest columns
on the Internet.
It is worth pointing out that the charming
woman I have just spoken to in Swansea said: Do you know, Mr. Newton,
I think you are absolutely right. That letter is a disgrace. I have had lots of
complaints about it before. I would love you to write to Mr. Theophilus.
The Editor, Balance Magazine
Andrew Bennett, MP.