Letter: Implications of the Tory losses

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was amazed by the lack of insight demonstrated by John Browne (Letters, 14 May). He attributes, rightly, the resentment of voters in Newbury to the Government's 'arrogant disregard for the wishes of the people'. He then goes on to suggest that the very leader who elevated this approach to an art form be reinstated, even temporarily, as Tory leader.

A principal factor in Baroness Thatcher's departure from office was that very disregard for any view not entirely consonant with her own. That her replacement, almost the exact opposite in terms of personality, equally has failed to satisfy the wishes of the electorate, demonstrates the shallowness of the leadership-cult approach to policies and government. A system of government and legislation that relies on a benign despot may be acceptable but only until, as eventually happens, that despot undergoes a malignant change. It leaves an awful lot to chance and luck. Mr Browne's comments do nothing to address the fundamental problem of British governments of whatever political hue for the past 40 or so years, and are indicative of the attitude that alienates the electorate.

The main constitutional issue must be to abolish the unhealthy dependence on such personality traits and to install a system of government that actually reflects the voting patterns of the electorate as a whole. The change in composition of a Commons elected under PR should share power more evenly across the political spectrum and force these counter-productive, almost gladiatorial cult issues aside in favour of a more constructive approach based on consensus.

Yours faithfully,

J. A. HAGGIE

Winsford, Cheshire

14 May

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