Oliver Letwin’s article entitled “Trust is vital for moving forward” in your issue of the 16th of February quite shocked me. In it he explained how he came to the conclusion some years ago during the coalition government, how important it was to ‘sit down and talk to people reasonably before reaching conclusions or decisions’.

I know quite certainly that about 6 years ago he was a firm believer in First Past The Post (FPTP) politics. Has he experienced a ‘Damascene Conversion’? The way in which not only Tory governments but also those of Labour have epitomised varying degrees of totalitarianism leaves me in despair. Total control by way of their single-party Cabinets has ruled out consensus apart from the odd coalition which Mr Letwin rather hypocritically, now admires.

Here in Dorset, WDDC's failings were exposed by their auditors. WDDC was forced by public referendum to move from its failed Cabinet system to adopt a Committee system of governance. Amazingly, this was needed to force ‘Mr Letwin’s fellow Tories’ to allow other political parties a say! Councillors representing WDDC towns had been shut out of the WDDC Cabinet decision-making process for years during which a monument to its incompetence and nick-named the ‘Titanic’ was erected in Dorchester despite massive public protest. Word has it that the Tory ‘old ways’ will return with the Unitary Authority going back to an exclusive Tory Cabinet once more. ‘Two fingers to democracy’ once again!

Reading Mr Letwin’s ‘confession’, I had become too cynical to consider a suitable response so dumped it in my rubbish bin. However, reading today’s news about the defection of 7 Labour M.P.’s has given me a change of heart. I see a faint glimmer of hope.

Imagine us all deciding to vote only for parliamentary candidates describing themselves as ‘independent’; an ‘adjective’ I stress, denoting someone as capable of ‘freedom of thought’ and not as a Member of yet another Political Party. This might encourage many genuinely apolitical people from all ethnic groups whose histories, life-activities and beliefs alone would merit their selection. This would be a contrast to the currently dubious qualifications of a public school education, considerable personal wealth or a demonstrable 'egotistical enjoyment' of the war of attrition, Politics.

This would arguably leave not only the 7 Labour ‘absconders’, but many of the other Members of Parliament short of real value in the practical world they have largely abandoned for the ‘bubble’ of Westminster!

Mike Joslin