How (not) to write to your constituents

Paxman quotes the famous letter from Anthony Henley, MP for the rotten borough of Southampton in 1733, to his constituents after they suggested he might like to take their interests into account when voting on the excise bill (I’ve also seen it quoted by Hunter S. Thompson):


I received yours and am surprised at your insolence in troubling me about the excise. You know what I very well know, that I bought you.

And I know well what perhaps you think I don’t know, that you are now selling yourselves to somebody else.

And I know what you don’t know, that I am buying another borough.

May God’s curse light upon you all.

May your houses be as open and as common to all excise officers as your wives and daughters were to me when I stood for your scoundrel corporation.

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