Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Joe Factor Prompts Note from the Top

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Joe Factor Prompts Note from the Top

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BANKS

EXCUSE me, but I thought letter writing had become a dead art. Texts, emails and Facebook were supposed to have put an end to all that Biro-on-Basildon-Bond stuff, weren't they? Or maybe letter writing is now strictly for the toffs, email for we of the toiling, Twittering classes? The Prime Minister has been at it again, unbowed by the national furore whipped up by the state of his handwritten letter to the parents of a soldier who died in Afghanistan.

This time he's been writing to The X Factor finalists Joe and Olly, though goodness only knows how that will have come out.

I expect the 'good luck' letters will have been sent second class, a day after the nation had already celebrated the fact that South Shields was where 'X' marked the spot.

Worse, both envelopes will be found, months later, to have fallen down a crack in the sorting office furniture and will be delivered two years late, by which time Joe will be a retired 20-year-old billionaire tax exile in the Cayman Islands and Olly will be working on the Christmas post after finding himself, as the luvvies would say, "taking a rest".

Prince Charles has been a busy little scribbler as well, it seems.

In the last four years, according to miffed Civil Service snitches, HRH the PoW (Prisoner of Whitehall) has "bombarded" government departments with eight - yes, eight - memos on subjects as varied as farming, health, the environment and architecture.

Ye gods! The next king is waging a veritable civil war from his escritoire while his mother's struggling First Minister sucks up to Simon Cowell's teenage wannabe rock stars.

Whatever happened to the good old days when kings and queens only raised their heads above the parapet to have them chopped off? And when Prime Ministers were too busy running prudent economies to spend their evenings at Number 10 watching The X Factor? …

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