I have just returned from delivering leaflets. To be precise, they were Labour Party leaflets concerning the forthcoming local elections. I now have a great deal of sympathy for the postmen and -women of England.

I learnt very quickly that delivering leaflets is a very hazardous occupation. Firstly, there are the dogs. There are a number of ways of telling whether a house is likely to contain a dog. For example, stone statuettes of puppies are more than just a sign of dreadful taste. They often suggest that there is a dog lying in wait. The worst kind of dog is the one which remains silent until you actually lift the flap of the letter-box, when it whisks the leaflet out of your hand, and promptly tears it to shreds.

Also, the huge variety of letter-boxes means that delivering leaflets is a job which it is almost impossible to get the hang of. The worst possible combination (which is all too common) is a box which is at the bottom of a door, has a stiff outer flap, a layer of rigid bristles, and behind that another flap. I fail to understand why anyone would feel the need to protect themselves in this way. And the poor postman!

So, please, bear in mind that people have to put things through your letter-box occasionally, and take pity on us. We're not trying to sell you anything!