Letter: Luvvies, sillies and Labour

From Mr Ian Flintoff

Sir: Though jokily, Tony Banks pinpoints a sad truth about the parading of "celebs" as tinsel on political platforms: it doesn't win elections and could be said to patronise the public ("Dear Ken Follett", 12 April). This rather mindless involvement of performers and artists as mere decoration in political campaigns derives from the US, where movie stars, however intellectually wanting, are so revered that they can even make it to the White House.

This contrasts markedly with European models - people such as Vaclav Havel and Melina Mercouri - who are articulate, radical and significant voices in the political arena in their own right.

I hope Tony Blair will encourage this kind of involvement, particularly as it is a truthful reflection of the plight of the arts in Britain: anger, articulacy and deprivation, rather than glitz and glamour.

Yours sincerely,


London, SW6