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DUP-SF stranglehold a sad indictment of our demoralising and predictable political system

letter of the day: general election

Your correspondents, Stephen Johnson and Cadogan West (Write Back, May 8), both raised important issues that are particularly relevant in the forthcoming election.

Firstly, there is the concern over the secrecy of political donations. The electorate do have the right to know who funds political parties in UK elections, especially if they come from offshore donors.

As I understand it, the NIO's standard excuse for not revealing donations is for reasons of security. If this is the case, it is rather worrying as it suggests very little progress has occurred since the Good Friday Agreement.

The other issue is a real poser; it raises the question of should we, the electorate, return the very same parties at Westminster that have consistently failed at Stormont?

The answer is, of course, no, but then politics in Northern Ireland has never really concerned itself with delivering good government; it is simply about maintaining the tribal vote.

The anomalous case of Sinn Fein is a case in point - an Irish political party standing in a UK election is very hard to understand, especially when they manage to claim expenses without even taking their seats at Westminster. I understand Lady Hermon has already raised this very matter several times.

It can only be for tactical reasons that Sinn Fein are standing in the general election, presumably in an attempt to reduce the moderate SDLP vote.

These issues the electorate will certainly need to carefully weigh up when deciding which candidate to vote for.


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