Time to get real

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While I agree with Stefan Slater’s view of the BBC Election Leaders’ Special and Scotland’s Election Special (Letters, 2 May), the campaign highlights the overwhelming need for all aspiring MPs and ministers to have several years of prior “real-world” experience, not necessarily limited to, but preferably including, the private sector. A limited company would not get away with issuing a prospectus (manifesto) followed by further titbits, enticements and bribes in daily dribs and drabs to its actual and potential shareholders.

Nor by rewriting history – Ed Miliband was not forced to concede that public expenditure doubled in real terms from 1998-2008 without equivalent improvements to services; or that much of the “investment” he praised was via PPP/PFI contracts, saddling us with long-term expensive maintenance liabilities and – since he was denying Labour’s responsibility for the increased national debt – which are not even included in our recognised debt figure under our odd public accounting conventions (also unacceptable in company accounts).

John Birkett

Horseleys Park, St Andrews

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