Get candidates back on stump

In the last few weeks, the TUC at its conference and the Labour Party in speeches by Ed Miliband are suggesting limiting supporters’ cash to parties and giving the parties taxpayers’ money instead.

This, to my mind, is very wrong and we should make a positive effort to say no.

In the 18th century, after an election in Yorkshire in the Hull constituency, such an excess of money had been spent giving the result to William Wilberforce that Britain brought in a law limiting the amount candidates could spend on an election.

As a result, the elections have never reached the level of cost and stupidity that occurs in the United States when only the rich man can run for the Presidency.

Since the early 1970s, thanks to Saatchi and Margaret Thatcher, the amount spent by parties has grown because of the cost of the publicity put out on television during Parliamentary elections and even during times of a parliament, like the Budget days.

I think at the same time over the years the candidates have disengaged from the electorate and no longer talk to us in the street and from the soap box.

The only people they meet are the party faithful and this leads to their total ignorance of what the population thinks and wants.

I feel very strongly that parties should be financed by their supporters and that would make sure that any group wishing to try would have to have enough to cover their costs.

At the same time all these ridiculous commercial programmes during the election which we all turn off or leave to go to make a cup of tea should no longer be allowed and the candidates would have to get out on the doorstep.

If we want some discussion on television then we could continue programmes like Any Questions during the election period, all leading politicians being given equal appearance time by our top performers.

At least that might make us interested enough to actually watch.

It is also necessary for candidates to learn that the electorate do not give them a mandate to carry out all on their manifesto which the parties think now.

No elector agrees with every ridiculous idea that parties put into these bits of paper.

Anything that turns into a Bill after the election should have to be checked and they should stop throwing that idealistic argument at us.

Anne Wrangham,

By email