Letter: A tradition of sleaze

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The Independent Online
Sir: With the Independent's current probing of the 'sleaze' factor in government the following item from another newspaper caught my eye:

That Members should abuse their power, that they should wantonly deal with the purse and credulity of the people for a short period, just while they vainly think themselves at the summit of fortune's pinnacle, will not, perhaps, be more strange at any future period, than it has been at all periods that are past: But that they should triumph in their own wicked perversness and the people should remain tame under the indigations put on them cannot fail to surprise.

This was printed in the Westminster Journal on Saturday 13 May 1749. The author was Thomas Touchit.

The word 'Members' appeared in the form 'M. . . .s' to overcome the censorship of that time when there was less open government.

Yours sincerely,

DOUGLAS MERRITT

Bristol

23 March

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