Letter: Benn's Law

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Tony Benn is an admirable relic of the heyday of Westminster democracy, when we were grateful that our betters represented us and we had no chance of participating. Today we are consumer citizens with direct and global and increasingly interactive media, not to mention an all-pervasive democracy of information, NGOs and the other bits and pieces of politics without politicians.

Sweet then it is to read (report, 23 June) that this old parliamentary fixture is one of those worried that the BBC's Question Time is being invaded by the likes of Eddie Izzard and Sting, who apparently have political opinions but lack the necessary political expertise to render them really worth an airing.

Mr Benn says: "It would cease to be a political discussion if it brought in too many people who did not understand the subject."

Can we name this "Benn's Law"? A political discussion cannot be held by people who do not understand the subject matter - unless they are professional politicians, in which case it is only to be expected.



East Sussex