Reading Sandra Gidley’s non-political piece last week ('Making the World a better place for others') I am prompted to remark that here in Romsey we have been well served by our Members of Parliament, both past and present. 

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Edmund Burke’s ’Speech to the Electors of Bristol’ which I take to express the epitome of representative democracy. 

Burke said of his constituents: "Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion high respect; their business unremitted attention … but, his unbiased opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any sett of men living."

These days party political manifestos tend to prejudge parliamentary debate. Let us rather continue to elect members to represent our interests in parliament, whom we find to be honest, good-natured and hard-working, but above all whom we consider wise. As Burke concluded: "Your Representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

Michael Arnison-Newgass,
Gambledown Farm,
Sherfield English

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