Citizens’ Chartist

Another excerpt from An Utterly Exasperated History and there is a purpose:

citizens-charter…he {John Major} saw clearly that what was needed was for people who served you in the Post Office to wear clearly legible name badges. Major’s Citizens’ Charter was his first big idea in government; a collection of guarantees about service standards and accountability that would make you slightly less cross when you tried to get through to someone at the local council.

‘And in the bathroom, the bottles should say “Shampoo” or “Conditioner” in bigger writing, because you never have your glasses on in the shower…’

‘Sir, the communists have retaken power in Moscow … Gorbachev has been toppled…’

‘… and when you go to the cashpoint machine, there should be a little canopy because you can never read it when the sun’s shining…’

‘Hang on, Boris Yeltsin is defying the coup, he has climbed onto a tank…’

‘… and if the buttons on pelican crossings were a little bit higher, the toddlers wouldn’t be able to press them when their mother has no intention of crossing the road…’

Apart from the last point, I think this is exactly what governments should be doing to make our lives more bearable, not mucking around in other country’s affairs. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve slapped conditioner on my head instead of Head and Shoulders and you have to work the ATM at the local Morrisions from memory when it’s sunny.

I’m sure I could get cross about kids and pelican crossings if I thought about it long enough, so I’d better not.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • Max 13th June 2010

    Very good. I have exactly the same problem.

    Reply

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