On the 29th November 2017, I received an email supposedly from:

Sir Eric Pickles eric.pickles@theparliamentaryreview.co.uk

It started with:

“Dear Alexis,

I am writing to invite Confident Communication to represent technology in

The Parliamentary Review for 2018.”

And finished with:

“For now, please contact James Thomas, Director of Policy at The Parliamentary Review,
on 020 7428 6787 at a time of your convenience. He will explain the full details of the project
to you. We look forward to hearing from you on this.


Eric– Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles | Chairman”

Sceptical but intrigued, I called 020 7428 6787.  I didn’t speak to James Thomas, but was taken through the process by his assistant, who assured me that James, was at a very important meeting and would call me back as soon as he was out of the meeting.  But the most important fact was, that I would be asked for £3,500 to offset the cost of the printed document.

After this conversation, I did a quick online search for Parliamentary Review, and found these sites that made worrying reading.




But there are also a number of positive statements to be found.


Hoping to get a definitive answer, I decided to email



At the top of the form to be filled out there is this statement:

“Contact the Prime Minister – Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Please use the form below to email the Prime Minister’s Office. All emails are read and we will do our best to ensure you receive a response. Where appropriate, your email will be forwarded to the Government Department with responsibility for the matters you raise.

Before using the email form, please check the list below for useful information.”

Great, I don’t expect a personal response from the PM, but the promise to forward on my enquiry to someone who can deal with it sounded fine.

My message was:

“Hello number 10 team,

my question is, does this ‘Review’ and company, Westminster Publications, have any genuine linkswith Parliament?  I am being asked for £3,500 to be included in this document.”

1St December 2017.  I included the link for the online version of the ‘Parliamentary Review’. From which the image at the top of this article is taken.

On 11th December 2017, I received this email:

“Dear Alexis
Thank you for your communication.
I must inform you that this is not a matter that the Prime Minister’s Office can assist you with.
You may wish to contact the organisation direct in regards to the issue raised.
Direct Communications Unit”

This is what I think this email is saying to me:

Dear Alexis

Some time ago, we had to read some crap about little people liking to be addressed by their first name, but you will notice that nobody here is prepared to have their name attached to this email.

Thank you for your communication.
This is an automatic response email, so whatever you’re droning on about has long been forgotten.

I must inform you that this is not a matter that the Prime Minister’s Office can assist you with.

Rearrange the letters of this well-known store FCUK, add it to the word OFF and you will understand that we are far too important to be bothered by this stuff.

 You may wish to contact the organisation direct in regards to the issue raised.

This is our token response that hopefully will seem like we care, but actually it’s restating the direction of the statement above.


A meaningless word to end this ‘communication’.

Direct Communications Unit

A group of people, none of whom is required to be individually responsible for any dealings with the general public. This at a time when virtually every business in the world is aware that an identifiable individual, if only by their first name, helps to establish at least a first level of trust in perspective and established clients.  But, if your salary is not dependent
upon the quality of service you provide, it’s not something you need to worry about.


Dear reader, if you have any similar examples you would like to pass on, email them to me at:  alex@vivusclub.com



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