Letter: Don't ignore small parties: democracy needs them

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The Independent Online
Your article on the Falmouth and Camborne election mentions only those parties that are already familiar, including the Referendum Party ("If Britain is booming, this isn't Britain", 20 April). Yet Goldsmith's party has no roots and no history, just cash and a sensationalist angle. Meanwhile, a party which has existed for 40 years and has elected representatives at county and district council level, and which is contesting four out of five of the Cornwall constituencies, doesn't warrant a mention.

I refer to Mebyon Kernow, Cornwall's equivalent of the SNP.

Cornwall is now the poorest and most neglected part of the UK. The existence of such a party, which has grown from the grassroots and is supported by people who are neither rich nor famous, focuses the attention of the "main" parties on issues like economic peripherality and centralised government. This pluralism is essential and a sign of health and vigour in society.

Hilary Eddy

Penzance, Cornwall