A few weeks ago our five emails accounts all pinged at once. It was an email from Dan's office in Brussels asking us if we would "print off the attached pdf in colour and include one in each AGM notice being sent to our members."
To put it mildly I was a bit irritated.
Across West Kent we have 2,500 members. Printing and folding 2,500 leaflets incurs a cost - and adding them to an already full AGM envelope adds time. What really irritated though was he wanted them printed "in colour"! I don't print our own internal newsletters in colour as I am always conscious that every penny I spend is donated by our members. 2,500 colour A4 flyers would cost £130, which equates to the membership income from five members!
I determined to print off a few hundred flyers and have them available at each AGM. But blow me, down last week someone from Dan's office called to "check we had printed them off and posted them out as requested".
I explained to the nice man that I had no intention of spending £130 of other people's money, but said that if Dan would agree to cover the printing costs, I would be happy to help. This suggestion was declined. Clearly Dan was happy for me to spend our money on his propaganda, but not his own. Instead I was told that his office would send me a supply of colour leaflets to distribute.
The leaflets arrived today. They are an advert encouraging members to buy Dan's latest book "How we invented Freedom - and why it matters". The books are £13.40 from Amazon.
Come on Dan ! I am all for the free market, but expecting your hard-pressed Associations, who are all struggling to raise money to finance the EU election campaign, to pay for the printing and postage to promote sales of your book really is a bit much. Even Jeffrey Archer donated the profits!