Letter: Deceitful are unfit to govern

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The Independent Online
ALAN WATKINS ('Back to basics never meant calling in the Sex Police', 13 February) tries to make the case that 'back to basics' is not about morality. He quotes the Prime Minister's speech which, indeed, does not directly refer to sexual conduct. However, it includes 'decency' and 'self- discipline', which clearly do refer to an implicit moral code of behaviour.

Alan Watkins is surely being disingenuous in suggesting that Lord Parkinson was forced to resign for returning to his wife and family. He was forced to go because he made a profound error of judgement. He clearly lacks self-control and he lied to his wife, mistress and others. These failings are not the behaviour of a 'decent' man demonstrating 'self- discipline'.

A minister or Member of Parliament may do what he likes in the privacy of his own bedroom, with or without a partner. It is only when his behaviour exhibits misjudgement and deceit that it renders him unfit to govern.

Phil Ridgway

Woodbridge, Suffolk