Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Making it work

Sir: Your leading article (24 April) tells us that: 'A hung parliament would be a disaster. Coalitions do not work in Westminster's adversarial system.' Can't you see that the adversarial system, with its focus on doing down the opposition rather than on working collegially to decide what might be best for the nation, is exactly what we are sick of? If our voting preferences result in a coalition then we'll expect our elected representatives to damn well make it work. If they let it become a disaster we may choose not to vote for any of them ever again.

Derek Rowntree


Dividing lines

Sir: James Forsyth's observation (Politics, 24 April) that there may be only a fortnight (now a week) to save the Conservative party makes one wonder why David Cameron has not made use of the material in Brendan O'Neill's article 'Fifty Commandments of New Labour' (24 April). A soundbite on the 4,300 new criminal offences and a commitment to cease and reverse legislation would certainly win over a percentage of the new young voters apparently being mobilised by the reality TV effect of the prime ministerial broadcasts. This is a serious dividing line between the parties, and I would not trust the Lib Dems with it. Is there not some new media way of getting this point across to that constituency?

Mark Moody-Stuart

London E1

Sir: It's own-goal time. I am not embedded with any party, but your anti-Clegg smears last week, courtesy of Messrs Forsyth and Howker, are unpleasant and likely to backfire just as the Tories' home-grown efforts have. As for policies, the schools reform agenda of the estimable Michael Gove is not just the Tories' 'best single policy', it is almost their only clearly stated policy, as opposed to woolly 'Big Society' waffle. As for James Forsyth's claim that if the Clegg bubble fails to burst, 'it could be the end of the Tory party as we know it' - this is just an open invitation to those wanting a government that will bash the bankers rather than the BBC to take the appropriate action.

Mike Venis

Faversham, Kent

Sir: As a 'targeted Tory' voter in the East Oxford constituency, I have received three personally addressed letters from the Lib Dems. I had begun to wonder how the Lib Dem propaganda in East Oxford had been financed. I had not realised that this effort was being paid for, either directly or indirectly, out of public funds ('Squeaky clean? Nick Clegg is sleazier than you think', 24 April).

Give me Lord Ashcroft any day.

Charles O.M. Judd


Brown's error

Sir: Toby Young may like the soundbite that comes from hindsight but shows little understanding of political reality when he writes, 'It is now generally accepted that David Cameron made a colossal blunder in agreeing to the televised debates' (Status anxiety, 24 April). …

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