Whip hand

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I SUPPOSE control freaks exist everywhere that people wish to see them.

Unkind observers might note the dependence of UK governments on party discipline. Whips are essential features whether the governments are Conservative, Labour or coalition.

They are hardly there to encourage dissent. Indeed the stress on party discipline and remaining “on message” is hardly a new phenomenon confined to the SNP.

Incidentally, I recommend that David Gerrard (Letters, 30 March) has a look at the Irish Nationalists under Charles Stewart Parnell in the House of Commons at the time of Gladstone and Irish Home Rule.

The SNP will not “become the first party… whose mandate is based primarily on a geographical location”.

I suspect that all parties, if they are prudent, will be having a look at Parnell’s tactics in making their plans for the next parliament.

LV McEwan

Kirkhill Road

Edinburgh

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