Letter: Sleaze breeds apathy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: On Thursday the good folk of the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea voted on the state of British politics at the end of the 1990s. Over 70 per cent made it clear that they want nothing to do with the whole miserable affair.

The media has subsequently been full of Michael Portillo and various other politicians attempting to apply gloss over the rust, suggesting that over 46,239 people were washing their hair, put off by the weather, or worried about missing Coronation Street.

Wake up, you arrogant fools; the vast majority of the population of this country feel that British politics has nothing to do with them. We believe that apart from a few exceptions it's a game played by a minority on a power trip feathering their own nests.

It wasn't the weather or what was on TV that made over 46,000 people say, "to heck with it, what's the point?" It had more to do with a week that has again confirmed just how sleazy our rulers are: Jeffery Archer revealed to be a serial liar, the ongoing scandal about the funding of the Conservative Party and Tony Blair telling Londoners that they will have the mayor that he wants, not who they want.

Contrast this with the fact that at the beginning of August over 90 per cent of the population of East Timor turned out to vote for their future. They believed that if they voted their rulers would listen, and that was in spite of their experiences over 25 years under the iron fist of the Indonesian army.


Newbury, Somerset