A Rochdale resident, Mr P. Scratching, was overjoyed when his letter to the editor of the Rochdale Herald was published in full with only his spelling mistakes corrected. 

Mr Scratching was highlighting the long wait Rochdale commuters had for the number 17 Bus, which has suffered from ‘re-organisational regulatory directive optimisation’ imposed by the Rochdale Transport Executive in a cost cutting exercise which reduced services from 10 to 3 per hour. Huge queues and much anger has resulted.

Incensed by a long wait and his failure to secure a seat on the 5 minute commute to his workplace, Mr Scatching fired off an exacerbated rant to the Herald. It being a ‘slow news day’ his letter was published in full.

“When I saw my letter had been accepted for publication I was overjoyed…”, said Mr Scratching, “…I confidently expected that the bus transport cuts would be reversed, services would come back to normal and that I would be visited by RTE bigwigs with some flowers and a box of Quality Street as a reward for bringing this to their attention. Instead, nothing happened. No one came to see me, no members of the public shook my hand and I have just heard that Rochdale Council are not considering me for a ‘Hero of the Borough’ award. What is the world coming to? They only sodding published my letter!”

Herald Editor Quentin D. Fortesqueue was very surprised that nothing had happened.  “Usually letter to local papers result in earth-shattering changes that can unseat governments. I know that Mr Scratching’s letter was badly phrased, lacked elementary grammar and language skills, and was written on the back of the local Chinese restaurant’s take-away menu making it very hard to read, but all the same, I’m amazed that the power of the media has failed to make lasting change. I can only apologise to Mr Scratching and our readers.”

Mr Scratching is considering giving up his job as a sanitation engineer (toilet cleaner) and becoming a professional writer.