Letter: Scotland does need its Senate

VIVIAN LINACRE suggested that the possible establishment of a Scottish Senate was only of interest to 'the political classes' (Letters, 10 July). What exactly are 'the political classes'? Shouldn't all voters take at least a passing interest in politics since it affects their own lives?

Neal Ascherson's article on the Scottish Senate was of great interest to me, a pensioner who belongs neither to 'the political classes' nor the media. It made clear that few of those attending the conference were politicians and that there were no MPs. There were activists in civil society, from churches and trade unions, from learning projects and business centres, from carers' groups and law centres, says Mr Ascherson.

To many of us ordinary folk it seems that our needs and views are treated with contempt by the 'political classes', and we would welcome a body prepared to listen to us and to present our views to those who are in a position to act.

Indeed, perhaps the country is in such a mess, and people so contemptuous of politicians exactly because no such vehicle exists at present for articulating our needs.

This is especially so in Scotland where the democratic deficit is glaringly obvious. The establishment of a Senate would be an encouraging step towards a badly needed Scottish parliament.

Barbara Simon