Letter: Right, left and satire

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Sir: Andrew Marr's article (8 December) about the corrosive effect of satire on the behaviour of politicians was a useful reminder of why so few people want to be in politics. However there is another, unequal effect of widespread cynicism about politicians: it hurts the left more than the right.

Disillusionment works to the right's advantage - if people believe politicians can't achieve very much, or it is not worth voting because 'they're all the same', then politicians promising to do little but keep income tax down will win the day. Politicians promising a better tomorrow for everyone at the expense of individuals now are not going to be creditable.

Certainly I know that Liberal Democrats win at local level after long campaigns that raise people's expectations of what service local government should provide. However, with most of what was called Fleet Street in the hands of the Tory press, it's hard to expect any national debate to get beyond 'How much is it going to cost me?'

Yours faithfully,

IAN MANDERS

(Liberal Democrat)

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Kingston Council

Kingston upon Thames

8 December

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