Letter: Strong government

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Steve Richards rightly makes the point in his article on business men in government (Comment, 18 February) that a key reason for their introduction is that "this was a government full of ministers with no experience of running anything after 18 years in opposition".

The fundamental cause of Labour's difficulties lies as ever in our weak electoral system. Proportional representation, over which Mr Blair is dragging his feet, would have offered him and his colleagues a chance to cut their adult teeth well before they arrived at their present situation. The Labour Party would not have spent 18 years in the wilderness, but different members of it would have gained experience of responsible decision- making as participants in shifting coalitions along the way.

English people talk of strong government as one-party rule. Coalition government, based on proportional representation,would be a good deal healthier, not to say more efficient. In the complex world that we inhabit we cannot afford to be run by amateurs.