Norman Baker in election leaflet typo – but he has the last word

Norman BakerTwenty years ago, I spent about 4 solid days, and nights, in a small flat in Chesterfield with a doggedly industrious group of Liberal Democrats. There had been a mistake with the imprint on the North Nottinghamshire and Chesterfield. This had not been noticed before the 250.000 leaflets had been printed. We had to stamp over the mistake and sort them. Oh, and for good measure, agent Paul Holmes, never one to underestimate anyone’s capacity for work, had procured 40,000 envelopes for us to stuff for a by-election in Bradford.

We made it, though. And at least we made the effort, unlike UKIP in Gateshead who seem to think that the rules about these things are an optional extra.

That’s why I felt a sneaking sympathy for poor Norman Baker, whose European election freepost in his Lewes constituency spelled Sussex as Susex.

The Argus reports:

Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, blamed a typo for the spelling of Sussex as Susex on the front of the Let’s Talk booklet which was delivered to homes across his East Sussex constituency.

Rather than re-print the booklets, stickers were placed across the error.

However, some arrived without a sticker, resulting in people taking to internet forums to point out the blunder.

And Norman dealt with it in a very matter of fact way, pointing out that we could have reprinted them but didn’t want to be wasteful:

It was a typo.

Rather than be un-environmental and pulp the copies, stickers were placed over the error.

I guess it wasn’t as bad as the regional list election address for the 2003 Holyrood election address calling for better pubic transport.

What’s your favourite ever leaflet typo?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Alisdair McGregor 7th May '14 - 3:16pm

    The UKIP Candidate in a Nottingham By-election whose leaflet announced him as the candidate for a “Bi-Election”.

    Of course, every LibDem wondered aloud if there was also a Lesbian, Gay & Transgender election.

  • The responses from his constituents (shown in the report to which you link) reveal just how warmly Norman is viewed by them. With people usually so quick to knock politicians, it’s nice to see voters take a forgiving line here. As someone who worked for Norman a few years ago I know he’s a good, genuine man, and I think his constituents know that too.

  • Paul Griffiths 7th May '14 - 3:36pm

    In 2010, the Conservative PPC for Worcester misspelled “Worcester”. He still won.

  • Robert Eggleston 7th May '14 - 4:10pm

    If they got as far as the 7 point imprint then it may be a sign that they read it at least

  • Mark Smulian 7th May '14 - 4:10pm

    Not exactly a typo, but I once saw a leaflet issued by a Liberal candidate who lived a few streets outside the ward she was contesting.
    She wished to stress the close proximity of her home and her readiness to help people, and thus used the rather unfortunate slogan: “I live in your doorstep and am always available.”

  • Caron, there’s a typo in the second paragraph of this article….. 😉

  • I was fortunate enough to notice the offer of a ‘personal massage from your Alliance candidate’ before I took it to the the printers.

  • Kay Kirkham 7th May '14 - 9:15pm

    While fighting a ward called ‘Windhill & Wrose’ Labour put out a leaflet called Labour Rose – their normal title. An indignant voter promised to vote for us because she said Labour couldn’t spell ‘ Wrose’. Naturally we accepted her support with gratitude.

  • 40,000 tabloids headlined, not disgrace or outrage, but DISGRAGE. We delivered them anyway. I’d estimate that fewer than 1% of people noticed.

  • Peter Chegwyn 7th May '14 - 10:28pm

    A Sussex constituency (not Lewes) once delivered 20,000 leaflets referring to the ‘Two Panty System’. Only one person noticed.

  • Steve Griffiths 8th May '14 - 8:53am

    Well we’ve all been there. In the 1980s I recall writing a local election address majoring on an unwanted development in a particular village. I got the name of the part of the village completely wrong; I think I called it ‘The Close’ instead of ‘The Row’ (which was in another part of the village). We came within 15 votes of taking the council seat, from nowhere in the previous elections!

  • Lots of Tory leaflets at the last election put the word “No” rather than “Major” in front of the phrase “Top down reorganisation of the NHS”.

  • Simon Banks 9th May '14 - 1:49pm

    In Leyton we were once preparing a Focus on the desktop publisher and I wrote a short article about police carrying guns. It ended with the statement “the police have a hard job and need support, but we do not want gun law”. The first version printed off read “The police have a hand job…”. We were so busy falling about laughing that we failed to notice the next bit said, “but we do want gun law” and that’s how it went out. No-one commented.

  • Peter Andrews 11th May '14 - 7:03pm

    I think it was spotted before it went to print but the best typo I have ever seen is ‘more boobies on the beat’ as a headline 😉

  • Ian, I do hope the Two Panty system wasn’t a reference to the Paddy Pantsdown issue?

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