Letter: Swampy vs democracy

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The Independent Online
Sir: There is a difference between the idealism of youth, which prompts so many young people into taking up some form of voluntary activity, and the political minority rule advocated by the anti-roads protester Swampy ("The Gospel according to Swampy", 17 February).

He appears to believe that we should substitute the tyranny of single- issue politics with, in many cases, its anarchy, for democratic procedures where a majority view is taken. If he believes that single-issue politics will not experience corruption, he is more naive than appears.

What is necessary in a democracy, apart from a fair voting system, is strong institutions which thwart corruption. Unfortunately, many of these have been found wanting, but that does not mean that we give up and abandon the role of institutional control.

Someone who takes the financial benefits of a structured society and thwarts the majority will of the providers needs to look at his own moral base before lecturing others.


Halifax, West Yorkshire