Letter: Blair's 40% majority
Friday 14 May 1999
Blair's 40% majority
Sir: Some years ago I was a director of an old-established company whose chairman was the largest shareholder, with just over 40 per cent of the equity.
He thought his holding gave him the right to veto the decisions of the board because of his "majority". When it was pointed out to him that 40 per cent constituted a minority he would reply with total conviction: "But I always consider it to be a majority." Predictably, the company's future was shorter than its past and it has not survived.
I had not thought to look upon his like again until I read your report "Blair cools on PR after coalition chaos" (12 February) . "The idea that we cannot form a stable government after winning more than 40 per cent has certainly been noted," said a Downing Street source. A stable government, however, is most certainly obtainable in Scotland but only if the 40 per cent party faces up to the fact that most people are against.
It needs to rule by a more eirenic method than merely trying to grind down other elected members, each of them with his own legitimacy.
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