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Letter to Arnold Schwarzenegger from his old friend Lightning-Bolt. An honest critique of his virtues and sins as the Governor of California.

Author profile picture Lightning-Bolt
Recipient profile picture Arnold Schwarzenegger
27 October
Dear Arnold Schwarzenegger,
(Post Script) This letter was written to Arnold Schwarzenegger, an old friend of Lightning-Bolt’s, during the very final days of his Governorship of California. The letter never reached its intended destination as it was sent via a fat carrier pigeon which veered hopelessly off course in a crosswind and found itself flying over the Pentagon where it was promptly shot down. The letter, stained with pigeon’s blood, was extracted from the tube tied to its feet after it plummeted right outside the front gates of the Pentagon and was kept in a dossier marked “Suspicious Mail Delivered to United States Soil”. The dossier in question was accidently leaked under hapless circumstances when one of the staff threw it in the garbage and a bin man who in his spark of curiosity thought he was onto a conspiracy and took the file back home to read all the letters. To his disappointment, not a single conspiratorial word was included in the file, which he then tosses out the window. As the queerest twist of chance would have it, a strong wind similar to the one which blew the pigeon off course, scattered the letters across the sky and this one made it back to Lightning-Bolt’s front door. January 1st, 2011 The Office of the Governor of California 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814 To: Arnold Schwarzenegger Dear Arnold Happy New Year. We’ve made it through the first stinking year of this decade and now we’re in for a whole new set of realities. Are we sure we’re for this? Probably not. It’s been quite some time since we’ve spoken, feels like a distant memory an entire lifetime away which comes back to you during the unlikeliest of moments. Yours came back to me last night during a particularly unhinged new year’s party when word finally reached me that your time as the Governor of California is coming to an end. It’s no secret to anyone that you’re leaving the state of California in a shape which resembles very closely to a human body after it’s thrown out of the top most window of a skyscraper. You’ve created one blighted mess with the institutions all eroded and finances so messed up that $6 billion debt you picked up has now climbed to well over $25 billion. If I know you at all, I know that this fact is wrenching your gut in all sorts of abstract shapes and that this wasn’t your intention. This letter is not an exercise in twisting the knife, but as a friend telling another where and how he screwed up. Ugly memories from a lifetime away will come streaming back at you, don’t fight them. There are lessons to be learnt. New recollections are beginning to unfurl as I remember the day you took over the office of the Governor in 2003 on that bright November morning. Stomping all over that dense-headed slobbering mess Gray Davis, you marched into office like a true rising star. You muscled your way into office as the leader of California, with no practical political experience under your belt, with all the confidence and manoeuvrability of tornado. You had all the makings of success, you said all the right things during your campaign, vowing to build the state of California back together and getting the fiscal house back in order. Claims so out there and lofty that they would’ve been received with scoffs and howls of persiflage from the polarised legislature had it come out the mouth of any other candidate. But not you Arnie, you were the new political action hero. Charming, witty, charismatic, arms the size and magnitude of steel girders, you had a good moderate grasp on social issues like supporting the Death Penalty, gay rights and abortion, and you always had education and the youth, especially the disabled in mind. You had the support of businesses in your back pocket, because when you burst out on the political scene, you tore apart the stale fabric of state-wide politics which were growing fuliginous with repetitive recurrence, injected it with your stardom and turned it a living blockbuster. The Californian people could finally look forward to a dream, but what they fell into instead over the course of your stay in office was a social nightmare which has ended with you leaving office in a few days with an approval rating so shamefully low that it’ll go down in history. Hell, you only managed to score a single percent higher than your predecessors 22%. How the mighty fall… What the people of California wanted was an iron infrastructure, a well-regarded school and university system, protection for the financially and physically vulnerable without any sacrifices for everyone else. Sadly, in today’s society that is a pretty tall order and we’ve reached this rotten stage through centuries of greed and hubris, qualities which are inherent in the political human. The way of the left-leaning Democrat would’ve been to raise taxes in order to keep up with the rising costs of these services. Whereas, the Republican method would’ve been to acknowledge the price of these fiscal ‘luxuries’ and either scale back on all of them or scrap some of them. And you’ve continually labelled yourself as a Republican have you not? You once told me that Richard Nixon was the reason you turned to that political direction, despite my apprehension. You said he inspired in you all the qualities of a good country which ran contrary to the socialism in Austria from which you fled. You need only take one quick glance at history and you’ll see the black rot that Dick Nixon’s name is spreading across the pages. He’s gone down as a liar and a cheat, who turned the United States into untrustworthy institution of repugnance and violence. But it wouldn’t be fair to compare you to him. Afterall, we are never our heroes. You told the people precisely what they wanted to hear, no tax rises. “More taxes will destroy what we’re trying to save, which is jobs and revenue.” Remember that? “Jobs bring revenue to the state, and revenue allows us to do the right things for education, environment, disabled and elderly people, and all those who are in need. A tax increase would be the final nail in California’s financial coffin.” I do admire your determination, but I’m sorry my friend, you just can’t have it both ways. Your words sound like they’re coming out of the mouth of a mutant spliced together from all perfect characteristics of a Republican and a Democrat. It would’ve taken one long read of your first budget to see how misguided your ambitions were before you signed all over them. Some would argue that it was your first act as governor which galvanised this terrible wildfire that left the state’s finances in cinders when you pledged to repeal Davis’ Motor Vehicle License Fee, which he had tripled, costing motorists $158 a year. In doing so you also blew a giant goddamn hole, which cost $4 billion, in a budget already in the red. The best strategy would’ve been to tell the voters you’d only cut the fee down by half or even a quarter until you got your finances back in order rather than block off yet another source of money. On the flip side, property values in California were turning lucrative with positive growth and unemployment was under 7%, sounds like the Golden State is breeding golden geese. But despite all of that it was impossible to generate enough revenue to fund all the operations you desperately wanted to keep alive. And once that property bubble burst, you were in bad fucking shape because you started making deals with your own future, hacking away at the state’s safety net with the machete of damage control in a feverish effort to rebalance its shambolic finances. Billions of dollars which were set aside for AIDS prevention, women’s health services, care for the poor and vulnerable, drug treatment for pregnant women and rental subsidies for the elderly, you purged. This turned out to be a grim precursor to that final budget you signed for 2010-11 where you eviscerated £256 million meant for childcare for low paid workers who just recently fell off welfare, $80 million meant for investigations into child abuse and neglect, and $133 million meant for mental health services. No matter how hard you tried to get a grip on the downward spiralling finances by cutting social services, debts kept ballooning and deficits continued to increase to a point where you even resorted to borrowing against future earnings by pawning off 11 state properties in a distress sale to a real estate consortium for $2.33 billion. Gambling away the future of your voters is no way to secure their present, and had they found out just what you were doing to their safety net, they would’ve dragged you out of office and torn you apart limb by limb. Had you just levelled with the people in the first place and told them up front all the hard truths about the finances and inevitable tax rises then you would’ve at least given them the choice of picking between a reality with low taxes and compromised services, or one with high taxes and better infrastructure. Instead, you drove them deeper into a collective civic delirium, all the while the economy alongside your political power atrophied. All those promises you made about quality education never bore fruit either, causing yearly tuition fees to double (California State University from £1428 to $4230) or even triple (University of California from £3900 to $12,150). It wasn’t as if both universities were operating effortlessly before you got your hands on the education bills, but by the time you were through with them, both schools were completely crippled when it came to their operation capacity, fewer class choices, fewer professors and lecturers and barely any athletic programs. Oh, how you marched into office wanting to shake down those reified orthodoxies which so grossly pervaded the political history through that perennial Republican/Democratic binary. You had your eyes on that centralist majority, that untapped middle ground which would also prove to be the high ground. But once the machine got moving, you lost all control and turned into a partisan, swapping sides when it served you best and always at odds with the lawmakers in your administration. Calling them “girly-men” and sending senate majority leaders metal bull testicles when they don’t agree with your plans shows the right spirit, and you more than most know my eye for that kind of sick sense of humour, but in a political office that sort of symbolism won’t earn you many friends. Although every decision you made in office widened the already continental divide between you and your voters, you never lost the support of your business backers. The general public found themselves on the wrong end of two of the most vicious budget cutting reforms of your administration; a law in 2004 which reduced the worker’s compensation by, among many other things, letting employers pick the doctors who would evaluate on the job injuries, and the 2010 state pension legislation which slashed the level of benefits given to new hires. The private sector being exempt from those cut backs and taxes didn’t have to sacrifice as much – or anything at all in some cases – as the workers and students. You might recall the time you expressed your opposition for Proposition 87 which was an alternative energy initiative that slapped an extraction tax on oil companies for every barrel of crude oil filled, on the grounds that it was an unjust tax. I still hold true to my belief that you made a stupid goddamn mistake there, letting those oil barons cleave the ground into pieces without impunity to fuel our hopeless addiction to fossil energy. This would’ve urged oil companies to look for alternative, less environmentally damaging ways to farm fuel. And no to mention the $400 million a year it would’ve bought in, a ticket to the same gravy train Texas and Alaska have been riding for the last few years, swimming in the billions of dollars of revenue they’ve pulled in over the time they’d enforced this act. So, you spend another $38 million to crush Proposition 87 and cajole all those oil companies to continue backing you. Chevron Corporations even chipped $44,600 to your re-election campaign and another $50,000 to your privately funded inaugural ball in 2007. I imagine the execs at Chevron weren’t too pleased when two years later you found yourself in the soup and decided to pull a 180 and proposed an extraction tax to pump $850 million back into the state treasury. Mother of God! Let us not forget that whole deathmatch you picked against the nurses during your first year in office… The unions were breathing down your neck and your solution to appeasing them is to shelf a law which mandated a lowering of the nurse-to-patient ratio, effectively leaving nurses with far more patients under their care. The California Nurses Association were in livid exasperation as they felt stabbed in the back by this. And it’s not as if you didn’t hear their fulminating on account of registered nurses being sent to each one of your public appearances to hound you across the state. At the first annual Women’s Conference, which you cosponsored your wife Maria (send her my love by the way) you heard some rogue voices in the crowd, those of nurses heckling you naked, which you even made great effort to identify as “special interests” who “don’t like you because you’re always kicking their butts.” Then came that TV advert which lingered on people’s screens all throughout the day like expensive perfume clings to skin. “The one thing the public should know is that one day you will be in that bed and realise that because of the number of patients one nurse has to take care of, you may be calling and there’s no one there.” You’ve got to admit that’s one powerful TV spot, pointing the fingers straight at the people, then tacitly at you. Hitting the right nerves which trigger compassion and fear simultaneously, and denouncing you all within the same breath. Had you a team of media wizards like that on your hands and you’d have been untouchable on the TV screen. Anyway, you saw in your infinite wisdom to then double down and privatise the state worker’s pension fund in 2005, not only adding fuel to the nurse’s anathema for you, but incited other state workers; police, teachers and firefighters, to join in this burgeoning demonstration against you. That acrimonious symphony of voices in opposition to you were all screaming the same thing, pay based on seniority rather than merit and to release the $2 billion that had been promised for their pension. If you were ever looking for that particular moment in time when your public approval rating took a nose dive, it was then, because it tripped and fell to a bloody broken nose of 36%, leaving about 55% of your current voters disinclined to re-elect you. When you lurched violently 180 degrees and hired a Susan Kennedy as your chief of staff, a democrat and not to mention former cabinet member of the guy you took over from, that must’ve been one hell of a day in your office. Leery faces and suspicious furtive glances shooting like a swarm of arrows across the desks as she walks into the office. This came just in time for your new makeover, a political revamp, whether intentional or not, when you swivelled yet again and cast yourself as an eco-governor. You challenged George W. Bush’s EPA as they refused to regulate their tail-pipe emissions, defied your entire party and even the president when you announced that you’d cut down California’s carbon emissions down to 20% of 1990’s by 2050. Although that move didn’t come without opprobrium, did it? The Republican’s felt cheated by one of their own and finally saw you for your willingness to throw them to the sharks to save your own skin. What did that scum-sucker friend Dana Rohrabacher say about you that one time? “His number one goal was not to be seen as a failure. Unfortunately, when all you want to do is appear not to be a failure, you’re doomed to be a failure.” Pick a thesaurus you baboon! However, there’s some grain of truth in his ineloquent remarks. You had an extreme case of monomania over your political image, to such an extent that you lost sight of the reason why you ran for the governorship and plugged yourself into this perambulating vortex of a political trip in the first place. But when you finally came to your senses and embraced the climate change problem, you echoed the voices of millions of people which were becoming renascent and the Californians saw in you that old star fire which had turned lambent in recent days. You came back into your own by 2006 when you fused your words to law with the Global Warming Solutions Act, turning yourself into an emblematic figure for environmental protections, both in the political circuit and all around Hollywood. You must’ve been doing something right because it secured your re-election. Your messages beamed far and wide at the speed of sound, at a pace unmatched by any other politician, because with your media credentials, you were the only politico who could call a press conference and find 60 TV cameras there waiting for you. Your old friend Rohrabacher wasn’t exactly leaping with joy at your recent flowering. “It’s insane. It’s totally insane. Who would ever dream that this guy who ran against bureaucracy and regulations would be basing his assessment of his success on a bill that will do more to destroy the viability of the California economy than anything that’s passed in ten years? Republicans believe in freeing human activity and freeing up people – energising them rather than putting shackles on them in the name of some, say, mythical climate crisis.” Christ, these are words which won’t age well in about 10 years… The way you confronted the climate crisis and rallied the people together to curtail their emissions under a common cause, you salvaged what remained of your already ossified reputation and were able to walk out of office at the end of your term without rotten fruit hurled at you. You grabbed the reigns of this problem and quit the hasty side-swapping, myopic compromises and wanton cost-cutting which compromised the future of the people who you had turned against yourself. Though sloppy and inconsistent in most of your other decisions, if there’s one thing you kept your head screwed on real tight for, it was the employment climate of the state. Your nigh-flawless track record of vetoing bills which would’ve imposed more strain and strife over the workers made you their man (for a time). Out of the 67 “job-killer” bills which landed on your mahogany desk, you rejected all but 4 of them. The candle that burns twice as bright, burns for half as long my friend, and you burnt out before you even sat down in the chair. You may possibly be among that unnameable pool of the worst governors to ever take the helm of California, but your heart is in the right place. You made promises which were impossible to keep once things got a bit too heavy and you didn’t want to let the people down. All notions of a plan and direction completely faded once the boat began capsizing and sheer panic took over your brain. You’re a flawed human, but luckily for you, there’s lunatics out there way worse than you, and that’s only natural. You’ve served your reckoning and now you’re leaving the state in the hands of Jerry Brown. It only makes sense that a hardened veteran like that guy would step up to the plate, but time will tell whether he can live up to his credentials. As you’ve said it yourself, “my drug is pumping iron” and there’s plenty of that to go around now that you’ve got all this free time on your hands. Anyway, I must be leaving you. Drop me a line sometime and we’ll go grab a beer. Yours, Lightning-Bolt.


Author profile picture Lightning-Bolt

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    Dear Priti Patel, How would you feel if on your twenty-first birthday you were sentenced to prison? Upon hearing the news that twenty-one year old Louis McKechnie will be sentenced to jail for three months, I feel sick. He is a student of mechanical engineering, hopi...

    Having a conversation with a public figure on Collate

    Oliver Kraftman on 18 January
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, You may be having some thoughts about writing a letter to a public figure on Collate, such as... "Will I get a response to my letter?" We hope so. We are using the letters you write to build the platform the world needs. Letters you write on Colla...

    The Fall of an Empire in Slow Motion

    Chris Damm on 20 January
    Responses: 0

    Dear Tammy Duckworth, I am writing to say what a great honor it has been to live as your constituent for the last 8 years. You are a dedicated servant to the country and Illinois as a whole. I can always take pride in knowing I've helped you remain in office, even if I'...

    COLLATE'S FOUNDING LETTER: great minds in written conversation in search of leaders, ideas and togetherness

    Oliver Kraftman on 25 January
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, Optimism has been part of my nature for as long as I can remember. As a child I remember watching my favourite football team thinking we’d never lose. I’d believe we could win until the very end of a game no matter how badly we were losing or who the...

    We Want Our Parliament Back

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 2 February
    Responses: 0

    Dear Daniel Finkelstein, Sir, I read your article on the Prime Ministers Office becoming increasingly presidential. This has been a concern I have held for quite some time as I have seen the sacred power of Parliament wither to make way for Prime Ministers to exercise their ...

    Guns in America

    on 22 February
    Responses: 0

    Dear BJ Campbell, Hello BJ! I had an idea for a potential line of inquiry to pursue, in the spirit of Impossible Conversations and Adversarial Collaborations. The general domain of inquiry is guns, gun violence, and the relationship between gun control, gun rights,...

    Thank you for your book, All Measures Short of War. It's importance stands out now more than ever.

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 2 March
    Responses: 0

    Dear Thomas Wright, I recently finished the audio version of your excellent book; All Measures Short of War. As I write this, what you have written has come into sharp focus with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and is more so than ever, essential reading for anyone wantin...

    A new paradigm for Britain's domestic food production

    Christopher Crompton on 30 March
    Responses: 0

    Dear George Eustice, Given your background in farming and your ministerial role, you must be only too aware that the UK is facing a crisis in food security. This has been brewing for a long time, but is being felt ever more keenly this year in the context of world event...

    The Strategic Importance of Rare Earth Metals

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 4 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Iain Duncan Smith, I hope this letter finds you well. I recently attended an event by the Ribble Valley Conservatives where you were their guest speaker. It seems many of those attending that night had questions to put to you, for which you gladly answered. I was unfor...

    How do we break the norm wherein tax cuts are fine and public spending is anathema?

    Christopher Crompton on 4 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Paul Krugman, In Britain, we have been mired with a series of right wing governments that were elected on platforms of cheap populism and empty economic soundbites. We suffered a long decade of austerity with a repeated insistence that we must all “tighten our be...

    How can we deal with our region's growing litter problem?

    Christopher Crompton on 5 April
    Responses: 1

    Dear Andy Street, Where I live in Walsall, we have a constant and growing problem with litter. It feels like almost every street, every bit of green, is choked up with everything from cans to fly-tipped freezers. I see the same issue all around the region. There's an ...

    Issues and opportunities for the local council

    Christopher Crompton on 22 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Councillor Rose Burley, Thank you for your recent letter in support of your renewed candidacy as councillor for Bentley and Darlaston North. You may not remember me, but I rang you during the early stages of Covid regulations after Walsall Council had taken the decision to ...

    The UK's cost of living is a crisis.

    Eleanor on 22 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, The cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control in the UK. Your time in power has coincided with the entirety of my adult life, and I have spent that adulthood watching my country become a steadily more difficult place to attain even the most ...

    Where is UK public transport going?

    Eleanor on 23 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Louise Haigh, In November last year, I noticed that you placed an update on your website regarding the franchising of public transport, and the new Enhanced Partnership in South Yorkshire between the local authority and bus operators in the region. Having spent so...

    Uncrush Our Spirit, Obama

    Joshua Dubrow on 26 April
    Responses: 0

    Dear Barack Obama, America: so much hope and so much disappointment. It seems almost too much to bear. Where is the optimism of 2008? You know how much we have changed? We changed so much that we had more hope and more optimism at the dawn of the second Great Depressio...

    Re: Russian invasion of Ukraine

    Tobias Lim on 5 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Garry Kasparov, For full disclosure, I am neither a political scientist nor a military strategist. As an outsider, I am watching the horrific events between Ukraine, Russia and the West unfold from afar. So I am writing to you from an uninformed place, in hopes you ...

    What do you think about a platform that's healthier for MPs' mental health and incentivises better leadership?

    Oliver Kraftman on 19 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Catherine West, Many MPs, especially female MPs, get a lot of abuse online. The problem is so bad that a parliamentary investigation found it could hamper democracy by discouraging those worthy of public office from running; the weight of public lifebeing just too m...

    Your open letter to Boris Johnson on child junk food advertising should be posted on Collate instead.

    Oliver Kraftman on 19 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jamie Oliver, When I was in primary school, your ideas on healthier school meals were coming into force. We complained a bit, but that’s just a British cultural habit (drilled in from birth!); a few days later everyone had forgotten about the changes. So much so, ...

    Investing in affordable rail.

    Eleanor on 20 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jo Stevens, I have been a Cardiff resident in your constituency for around a year now, and am writing to you regarding my experiences of train price rises across Wales. I have not travelled by train in perhaps more than a year due to the constantly increasing pr...

    The notion of banning the importation of foie gras into the UK is an immoral affront to the human rights of a minority

    Michael Kraftman on 23 May
    Responses: 1

    Dear Zac Goldsmith, I am writing to strongly object to the notion of banning the importation of foie gras into the UK. British farmers have been banned from making this food since 2006, so those of us who enjoy it have had to rely on imports. I understand that a propose...

    Let the Lords see Burnley, for we are what Britain is truly about.

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 25 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Michael Gove, I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you as a hopeful resident of Burnley, for which you suggested as a potential location for the House of Lords whilst Parliament gets it's long over due refurbishment. I wish to offer my sincere support of t...

    Responsibility and regulation on the internet.

    Eleanor on 27 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Damian Hinds, I am writing to you with some thoughts on the practice and practicality of the Online Safety Bill, which is currently at Committee stage in the House of Commons. The subject of regulation and responsibility on the internet has long been of interest t...

    Keeping Cardiff tidy and litter-free.

    Eleanor on 3 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Sue Lent, I am a local resident in Cardiff, under the purview of your council appointment, and I am writing with regard to the persistent problem of litter around my area. I moved to Cardiff approximately a year ago, and have noticed that there seems to be a r...

    On Systemic Racism in Police Shootings

    Matt Thornton on 7 June
    Responses: 5

    Dear Ali Rizvi, Is systemic racism causing American police officers to disproportionately kill black suspects? George Floyd’s death on May 25th [2020] angered a nation. Everyone on all sides of the political spectrum agreed what the officers did was abhorrent. In t...

    The future of Britain's food security

    Christopher Crompton on 8 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jim McMahon, I am writing to you in your capacity as Shadow Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about the critical issue of our nation’s food security. In a time of short-termist, sticking-plaster politics, we need a serious, credible, long-term ...

    A public thank you to the Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP

    Christopher Crompton on 14 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Valerie Vaz, I’d like to take the opportunity afforded by the Collate platform to thank you publicly for the excellent work you have been doing to represent your constituents as Member of Parliament for Walsall South. I contacted you in 2020 on behalf of my loc...

    The meaning and legacy of humanism: a sharp challenge from a potential ally

    Andy Norman on 17 June
    Responses: 4

    Dear Yuval Noah Harari, My name is Andy Norman, and I count myself a fan of your work. I admire your clarity, your passion for big ideas, and your commitment to clear, accessible writing. I think your books—Sapiens and Homo Deus—are landmark achievements, destined to stimul...

    Space, NASA, and the Problems on Earth

    Tobias Lim on 23 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Mae Jemison, As you know, the Biden-Harris administration has requested an annual budget of $26 billion for NASA in 2023 (with similar sums projected for the years ahead). [1] While this is less than 0.5 percent of yearly U.S. government spending, it is not an in...

    An attempt to 'canonise' young adult fiction.

    Eleanor on 4 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jacqueline Wilson, I read your books widely as a child and teenager, and they were very impactful in helping me grow up. Now an adult, I’m a musician and artist, and was struck recently by the development of ‘Poptimism’ within music criticism, and wondered whether a si...

    The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.

    Rishi Sunak on 14 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you to resign from the Government. It has been an enormous privilege to serve our country as Chancellor of the Exchequer and I will always be proud of how during the pandemic we protected people’s jobs an...

    Prime Minister, you have lost my confidence

    Sajid Javid on 14 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It was a privilege to have been asked to come back into Government to serve as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care at such a critical time for our country. I have given every ounce of energy to this task, and am incredibly proud of what we ha...

    Tonight I handed in my letter of resignation to the Chief Whip.

    Simon Hart on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I had desperately hoped that I could avoid writing this letter, but alas there seems no other option left but to step down from my role as Secretary of State for Wales. You will be remembered as a Prime Minister with energy, vision, determination an...

    A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect.

    Brandon Lewis on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with regret that I submit my resignation from the Government. It has been an incredible honour to serve in Government over the last ten years under three Prime Ministers, most recently as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Through the ch...

    With great sadness I must resign from government.

    Michelle Donelan on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been the privilege and honour of my life to serve for our country in the department which I believe is the most important, the true engine of opportunity, the Department of Education. I have spent my career dedicated to trying to create oppor...

    With deep regret I am resigning from the government.

    John Glen on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, After much thought and with deep regret I must inform you that I have made the difficult decision to resign from the government. It has been a great privilege to serve as Economic Secretary to the Treasury under three Chancellors, but I can no longe...

    I cannot defend the indefensible.

    Alex Chalk on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With great sadness I am resigning as Solicitor General. To be in government is to accept the duty to argue for difficult or even unpopular policy positions where that serves the broader national interest. But it cannot extend to defending the indefe...

    I have no confidence in your leadership

    Mims Davies on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep regret and with a very heavy heart that I tender my resignation as Employment Minister. It has been a privilege to serve in your government and in particular this role where I have helped give work opportunities to many thousands of ...

    A jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations.

    Jo Churchill on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been an enormous privilege to have been asked to serve my country as a Minister. I was honoured to be a Health minister during the pandemic and to work collectively with others to deliver care to the vulnerable and drive solutions to the chal...

    There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that time is now.

    Stuart Andrew on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with real sadness that I write to tender my resignation from HM Government. I have been honoured to serve in a number of roles within government over the past few years, most recently as the Minister for Housing. This is a role, although havin...

    There are only so many times you can apologise and move on.

    Helen Whately on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With sincere regret I am resigning from HM Government. I stood for Parliament because I want to make our country a better place to live. I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve as Arts Minister, Care Minister and Exchequer Secret...

    Government simply cannot function with you in charge.

    Guy Opperman on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been the honour of my life to serve as a government minister, under three successive Prime Ministers, including these last five years as Pensions Minister. My view is that it is important to work as a team and deliver on the priorities that m...

    It was difficult to put aside previous transgressions. It must now be obvious that this is no longer even remotely possible.

    James Cartlidge on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I write to resign and, with regret, to leave the post of Courts' Minister. I felt duty bound to remain in post given the very challenging circumstances facing the criminal courts. I took the view there had to be some semblance of Government in this ...

    More important than any government or leader are the standards we uphold in public life.

    Damian Hinds on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With regret, I must resign from the government. I was grateful to you for asking me to return as security minister last year. It has been a particular privilege to serve in this role, and to have the opportunity, alongside dedicated officials, to su...

    The chaos in your Cabinet & No10 this month is destroying our credibility. It can’t go on.

    George Freeman on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with huge regret that I am writing to let you know that I no longer have confidence in your leadership of our country, Government or Party and am writing formally to Sir Graham Brady to register my support for a change of Conservative Party lea...

    The cumulative effect of your errors of judgement and domestic actions have squandered the goodwill of our great Party.

    Caroline Johnson on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you to resign as Vice Chair of the Conservative Party. This is not a decision I have arrived at lightly, and it has been an honour to work as part of your team. I have been loyal and supported you through...

    Loyalty is directed to the party, our values, and ultimately the communities we represent, not any one individual.

    Luke Hall on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I write to resign as Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. I had taken the view that there must be parliamentary oversight of the inevitable leadership contest. However, there are others who can provide that. The current situation is clearly unten...

    The role of grow-your-own in Britain's food production and security.

    Christopher Crompton on 7 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Ranil Jayawardena, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Among the many weighty responsibilities of your new position is the oversight of Britain’s agricultural policy and food security strategy. You will alr...

    Community reporting for more effective policing of drug crime

    Christopher Crompton on 7 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Simon Foster, Your remit as West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner of course encompasses a broad spectrum of crime prevention, mitigation and policing, so it must be a challenging task to decide where to prioritise attention and resources. I appreciate that y...

    Channel 4 privatisation: ideology and reason

    Christopher Crompton on 9 September
    Responses: 1

    Dear Michelle Donelan, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. You must be all too aware that two of the key issues you have inherited with the office are the privatisation of Channel 4 and the question of the future...

    On the death of Her Majesty the Queen

    Christopher Crompton on 9 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, I alternate my car radio between Classic FM and Planet Rock, as the mood takes me. Yesterday evening, as I headed off to a music event in Birmingham, the radio was still set to Planet Rock from the day before. Yet rather than soaring guitar solos or ...

    Let the Train Go, We Want to See Our Queen

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 13 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [h1]Let the people see their Queen[/h1] [justify]The passing of Her Majesty last week marked a time of collective sorrow for the nation, a time where we have put aside our petty differences, and shelved our ongoing worries over inflation to simply re...

    This letter is about the socio-political consequences of knee-jerk reactions to increased violence in communities in NYC.

    Jawanza James Williams on 13 September
    Responses: 1

    Dear Internet, To New Yorkers, and Conscientious People Everywhere, I wrote this in February 2022, and subsequently published on Medium. I am adding it here on Collate because I sense this is a place being constructed with the most useful powers social media in mi...

    Farming, fungi and the future

    Christopher Crompton on 23 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Ruth Jones, I am writing to you in your capacity as Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation. At present, Britain clearly has a long way to go to arrive at a sustainable system of farming. While piecemeal changes are being made, we are not seei...

    The Importance of General Aviation

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 28 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Anne-Marie Trevelyan, [justify][highlight=transparent]Firstly, I congratulate you on your appointment to the Department for Transport - a cornerstone for our Levelling Up agenda. I want to write to you to highlight a small but highly important area of the transport sector...

    What do you have to say to the people of Birmingham?

    Eleanor on 1 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jacob Rees-Mogg, As preparations for the Conservative party conference are underway in my home city of Birmingham, I am writing to you in your position as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This is a very salient time for me to write to you, as your party’s co...

    What are your views on the state of American politics and leadership today?

    Tobias Lim on 2 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Erik SuarezΦ, [highlight=transparent]I saw your tweet about Collate a few days ago. [1] As an early adopter of the platform myself, I have to agree. I’ve been using Collate as an opportunity to reach out to public figures, to improve my writing, and to muse about ...

    RLD party is continuously committed to fight for the rights of farmers.

    Yash Chaudhary on 9 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, I am a politician of RLD party and this party is the party of the thoughts of former Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh ji. We are working to take these ethical ideas to the masses. Our party is continuously fighting for the rights of f...

    Truss was the first Tory leader in decades to wrap herself in the image of Thatcher. But would the Iron Lady have approved of Trussonomics?

    Sir Anthony Seldon on 24 October
    Responses: 3

    Dear Lord Charles Moore, [color=rgb(34, 34, 34)][highlight=transparent]It is an honour to be corresponding about Lady Thatcher with the most distinguished authority and interpreter of her in the world. [/highlight][/color]   [color=rgb(34, 34, 34)][highlight=transparent]Brit...

    Learn from Liz Truss’s mistakes, but don’t let them put you off economic growth

    Jason Reed on 28 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Rishi Sunak, In taking over as prime minister from Liz Truss, you have inherited a difficult economic and political situation, to say the least. As a Tory who leans libertarian, I opposed your leadership bid over the summer and was thrilled by Truss’s refreshing ...

    Please, can you tell us how to protect democracy?

    Tobias Lim on 7 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jennifer Dresden, [highlight=transparent]I am an ordinary citizen who is concerned about the future of democracy. You know better than I that the US midterm elections will be a bellwether for things to come.[/highlight] [highlight=transparent]You gave a fantastic int...

    Love, Terror, and Brainwashing — How can we stop cult-like politics?

    Tobias Lim on 15 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Alexandra Stein, [highlight=transparent]In light of recent political developments, I was looking for books and papers to better understand the nature of human organization and social structure. I found your research on cults especially illuminating. So t[/highlight]h...

    What are your plans for Cressbrook Dale?

    Christopher Crompton on 21 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Rachel Elnaugh, I have been visiting the Peak District National Park for many years and regard Cressbrook Dale as one of its gems of natural beauty and biodiversity. The woodland and wildflowers through the seasons are a particular joy, and as National Park access l...

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