Letter: Lesson for lords

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The Independent Culture
Sir: At our peril we ignore the implications of shabby leaders in the USA mentioned by Gavin Esler ("Cruise missiles won't stop the dangers facing US democracy", 19 December). Their President, their Congress and their Senate, now involved in an unseemly constitutional wrangle, are elected. They are also open to a freedom of information culture in their prurient press. Those in the UK who want an entirely elected House of Lords should reflect on that.

There are many experienced, responsible, wise citizens who will decline to stand for election to our second chamber. They will not be ambitious for public status. Their lives may well be blameless but they and their families will not wish to enter on an election process that would lead to total invasion of their privacy by a "wolf pack" from our snide and scurrilous media. The price of service for some of the people we most need could well be too high. We would have nobody but ourselves to blame.