Friday, April 29, 2005

Pressing issues...

Well, I sent this letter last friday to the South London Press:
Dear Friend,

Your article 'Reformers bemoan lack of electoral competition' attributes the
problem of low electoral participation to the voting system.

The problem of super majorities, though, is not intractable. Just because
people voted one way in one election does not mean they will not change
their mind in another. What that would require, though, is that they have
the information to change their minds.

Reading the South london Press, it would be easy to imagine that a national
election is not happening - only two pages a week dedicated to it (and over
a third of that space is taken up with photos). This is hardly the actions
of a news service providing the inormation needs of a local community.

Without information, there is no democracy. Without information, the
democratic principle of giving minorities the chance to become majorities is

Yours for World Socialism,

Bill Martin (Election Agent for Danny Lambert, The Socialist Party,

Well, it was printed today, and seems to have had some effect - they've cut their election coverage down to one column of letters!

On top of that, where they used to have election coverage, instead they have a two page photo spread on roof gardeneing, featuring the beaming face of a charity Patron, Kate Hoey! No mention of her political role, but given her face is plastered all over Labour election material, this must surely help her campaign, and give her positive coverage.

Anyway, I sent this letter:
Dear Friend,

I see my letter of last week on the lack of election coverage in your pages had some effect - you cut coverage from two pages to one column.

At least no coverage could be said to be fair coverage, if it wasn't for the fact that the usual election pages were replaced with a two page photo spread of one of the candidates acting in her role as a charity patron.

Unaccountable journalists should really sit down and examine their due role in helping the community decide its future. Without coverage, minor parties, parties without bundles of money or who are not already incumbant cannot hope to compete or put across to the electorate the alternatives they may well want to hear.

Bill Martin
(Election Agent for Danny Lambert, The Socialist Party, Vauxhall).

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