When I had responsibility for answering mail to the Class War Federation, I would estimate 2-3% of the letters we received were from people with mental health problems.
I have no idea if this is common to all political organisations, or if CW was any more or less prone to such correspondence. Sometimes it was very entertaining. One man in Blackpool was convinced he was being spied upon by the town's CCTV (you may be right I told him, that's what it's for) but he was probably incorrect when he claimed secret messages were being passed to him via advertisements on Blackpool bus shelters (Why they were using the buses, and not the trams for this intimidation was unexplained).
As always in Class War, we encouraged those under attack by the state to fightback. This approach was not without its consequent victories. Our Blackpool correspondent was insistent that the reason David Blunkett resigned as Home Secretary in 2004 was nothing to do with 'nannygate', but his own work exposing the harrassment Blunkett had conducted of him via the Blackpool district bus system. A second correspondent, Gaz Derbyshire, wrote such long letters I am not sure a team of secretaries could have covered every point raised. In 2006 Gaz, probably wisely, instead put his thoughts into book form, the catchily titled "Book 1, Part A, First Contact? Do, Re, Me, In God I Trust" with the subheading Complete Re-Writes.For some reason the authors were listed as Gaz Derbyshire, Gary Martyn and Arch Principle, even though I am sure this was Gaz's work alone.
Showing he was no fan of political correctness, Gaz had illustrated the front cover with a confederate flag, and a further ten books were promised in a series of eleven. Where the other ten books are I know not, but Gaz Derbyshire needs to be added to the list of those with alleged foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. As he states in his book:
"In addition in Book IV, which was in March 2001, I was given informal information as to the amount of actual plane hijackers for the 11th of September 2001 terrorist attacks, namely that of 'nineteen'. This above information was received from a woman called "Julie Madison" who had worked at one time for a solicitors firm in London that represented the company providing engineering skills for the Iraqi Big Gun" (p.xciii)
There are several things I particularly like about this quote. The Iraqi connection is entertaining and so general it is a wonder it did not end up in the case for invading Iraq Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair were pushing in 2002-2003. Also we have the figure of 19 hijackers known, to a London Solicitor, as early as March 2001.
This means the various press articles naming Zacarias Moussaoui as the intended twentieth hijacker (and indeed parts of his trial) are rather superflous. We also have the figure of Ramzi Binalshibh, a Guantanamo Bay resident widely seen as one of the planners of 9/11. According to Yosri Fouda and Nick Fielding's book on 9/11, Binalshibh made strenous efforts to get himself into the US so he could take part in the 9/11 attacks. He was unsuccesful, which handily ensured the numbers being discussed in London remained accurate.
Then again, it could be that the claim Julie Madison (who she?) knew the number of 9/11 attackers eight months beforehand is bollocks. I will allow the reader to decide!