Letter from the i editor: No overt political persuasion


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The Independent Online

There are a few subjects where we know when we write that we are out of kilter with the views of the majority of the population, or at least the more vocal half of it.

The most obvious being any return of the death penalty – and if I had any doubts about my view then the scandalous execution of Troy Davis, despite the credible doubt about his guilt, was enough by itself to harden my views.

But, as i’s Mary Dejevsky points out, executing people is not a vote-loser outside of the liberal urban pockets of the East and West coasts and the Great Lakes, we tend to frequent and regard as America. In fact, much of America puzzles over the EU’s blanket ban on the death penalty.

Cue the angry letters. The same anger could be guaranteed to be triggered by any number of hot-button subjects ranging from whether Britain should get out of the EU, adopt the euro, bring back corporal punishment in schools, introduce stiffer jail terms for all offenders, allow Travellers to stay on their pitches, introduce limits on fuel and travel price rises, cap the salaries of Premier League footballers and the bonuses of bankers, and allow VIPs special travel lanes for the Olympics.

Without much fear of looking more stupid than I normally do, I think I could tell you a Daily Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph reader’s opinion of most of these subjects, and an Independent and Guardian reader’s too. But the new family of i readers is tougher to judge, both because of the fact you are new, and that you choose to shell out your hard-earned 20p for a paper of no overt political persuasion. In turn, this makes it all the more stimulating sitting in this chair. See you tomorrow.