Readers' letters - February 19

System will favour Tories
Coronation Street actor Shayne Ward urges readers to go on a dechox for a good cause. See letterCoronation Street actor Shayne Ward urges readers to go on a dechox for a good cause. See letter
Coronation Street actor Shayne Ward urges readers to go on a dechox for a good cause. See letter

Isn’t it strange that the Government wants to cut the number of elected MPs while increasing the number of unelected peers?

And this despite a cross-party committee finding no good reason for reducing the number of MPs.

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As Professor Anthony King points out, this also reduces the already limited pool of MPs who are suitable to be Ministers.

Reducing the number of MPs means redrawing constituency boundaries on a larger scale.

Now I may be a twisted old cynic, but isn’t it highly likely that this will favour the Conservatives at the next General Election?

David Cameron’s political advisor Lynton Crosby is a veteran of Australian politics where he helped the Liberal Party and allies to victory. Boundary changes were notoriously used to keep minority parties in power in certain states.

Could Crosby have suggested such a thing?

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He might have learned from that wily old bird Jim Callaghan who delayed implementing a Boundary Commission review that would cost Labour seats.

It did no good.

Labour lost the next 

Roger Backhouse,

Address supplied


No mandate for policies

Mr Hunt validates his action in imposing the new NHS contract on junior doctors by mentioning the outcome of the last election.

He maintains the electorate has given a mandate for the NHS reforms because the proposals were in the Tories’ manifesto.

But the electorate cast their votes for many different reasons – loyalty to the party, voting for another party because of dissatisfaction with their own political party.

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Other than the box to tick for the candidate, there are no boxes to confirm or not confirm the approval of a given policy.

This is an inherent weakness in the voting system.

So it is too simplistic for any minister or member of Parliament, or local councillors for that matter, whatever colour, to state they have a mandate for a given policy.

Michael Reilly via email


Go on dechox for cause

Every year, hundreds of thousands of lives are cut short by heart disease and in the North West alone, heart and circulatory conditions take the lives of around 18,700 people each year.

That’s why I’m calling on everyone in the North West to join me in the fight against heart disease by signing up to the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) DECHOX campaign.

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By challenging yourself to give up chocolate for the month of March and asking for sponsorship, you will help fund £1m of life-saving research that will make a difference to millions of 

For self-confessed chocoholics, like me, it won’t be easy, but every pound raised will be crucial in helping fund the cutting-edge breakthroughs for those fighting a daily battle with heart disease.

Last year more than 19,000 people took part in DECHOX and raised an astonishing £800,000 and this year I am helping BHF raise even more.

So whether you’re an undercover chocolate eater, a crafty nibbler or a full-on midnight fridge raider – challenge yourself to a DECHOX and sign up today at!

Shayne Ward

Coronation Street actor