LETTER : Find a better way to win votes

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From Professor Henry Maddick

Sir: "Issues can be discussed between parties, but in an election one is out to get votes." So said Peter Mandelson on TV.

What a defence of the sleazy tactics used by him in the Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election!

Had he been selling financial services or pensions in the way he sold his candidate ("More cartoon than campaign", 22 July), he would have been severely disciplined, if not sacked. Yet today's profile ("Not spin doctor, but counsellor") says that in focusing the campaign on the Liberal Democrat candidate, Mr Mandelson - Tony Blair's "close friend" - carried out a "collective decision".

What was wrong, then, with New Labour's programme? Was it not good enough by itself to win those votes?

Yours sincerely,

Henry Maddick

Romsey,

Hampshire

29 July

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