Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

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The Independent Online
Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

Sir: Even your leading article "For democracy's sake, sack him" (31 March) follows the line that sleaze is a distraction from the main election issues. I find that a bizarre reading of a bizarre campaign.

The issue in this election is accountability, in a great range of forms. Is Westminster government free to refuse the constraint of full partnership in Europe, and to emasculate local government? Can individual ministers preside over preventable disasters and stay in office? Is it acceptable for one party to hold power for a quarter of a century? And, of course, can members of a government exempt themselves from public morality?

What is bizarre is that nobody seems willing to say this is the core of the election. The real issues used to be economic, but the electorate knows there is as near consensus there as does not matter. But the divine right of Westminster governments - that is not only a real issue, but a gigantic one.

Although we seem to be too shy to say we care about such things, sleaze is a proxy that we dare to name. So - let us talk about it.

Dr RODDY COWIE

Belfast

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