IoS letters, emails and online postings (17 May 2015)


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The Independent Online

Last week's SNP graphic belittles the party’s achievement – hopefully not intentionally (10 May). The SNP either won 95 per cent of seats on 50 per cent share of the national vote or got 8.6 per cent of seats with a 4.7 per cent share, depending on whether your national view is Scottish or UK based. I am not in favour of the first-past-the-post system but let me assure you that, as an English resident of Carlisle, I am not alone in believing that both Scotland and the remainder of the UK would benefit from Scottish independence.

Scotland could be a significant small country if it stood alone and could offer a social democratic counterbalance to a right-leaning England over the border. But setting pipe dreams aside, the SNP now has essentially the same number of seats in Parliament as the Lib Dems did after 2010, and I hope you accord them the same space and respect in the newspaper so that their views can be aired and challenged.

Roger Cope


In this election, the results have shown that the political system is broken. Without proportional representation, most people, outside a few marginal constituencies, remain powerless to change anything.

At this crucial time, politics could not be in worse hands. The sheer ignorance and innumeracy of so many powerful people who should know better is astounding. Where is the choice and fresh thinking from our leaders, locked in a world of “me, too” politics? The electorate deserves more than bailing out bankrupt politicians and bankers.

Brian McGavin

Wilmslow, Cheshire

Dan Snow (“If the Tories carry on like this, they will destroy Britain”, 10 May) and many others appear to forget that one of the Liberal Democrats’ demands in forming the last government was a referendum on proportional voting. The result showed the electorate resoundingly favoured first past the post.

Roy Burns


“Overnight, he has turned from the mechanic called to fix the deficit into a 10-year PM” (John Rentoul, 10 May). Correct me if I’m wrong, but he has only fixed half the deficit, and as for “a 10-year PM”, we shall see.

Eddie Dougall

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

The lesson is that, where egos do not prevail, and where the Chancellor and the Prime Minister do not compete for power but are able to work as a cohesive team, they are likely to achieve and retain leadership of the country. Now it is a case of “by their fruits shall we know them”, but we need a strong and equally cohesive Opposition to hold them to account.

Sierra Hutton-Wilson

Evercreech, Somerset

You reported that the Government plans to “take on the EU” over the Human Rights Act (“Cameron can let rip on his own agenda...”, 10 May). In fact, the Act incorporates into UK law the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, which pre-dates the European Union, having been agreed by the Council of Europe (a distinct organisation) in 1950.

The desire of some to repeal the Human Rights Act suggests a lack of concern about the implications for the rest of Europe. How different to the British politicians who played such a leading role in the development of the Council of Europe after 1945, determined to ensure that human rights in Europe would in future be respected.

Hunter Watson

via email

I was surprised that so distinguished a columnist as Patrick Cockburn should describe Great Britain as “a unitary state” (“A last hurrah for British nation building”, 10 May). Great Britain has only a geographic existence as the largest island in the United Kingdom, which is the political entity. It was particularly ironic that he should express himself in such a way as he was writing specifically about the potential threat of the SNP to the unity of the UK.

Derek Watts

Lewes, East Sussex