Personality votes

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Your editorial observations on the role of personality in politics (27 March) may seem unexceptionable to many of your readers, but I would caution against exaggerating its significance particularly when there are real political and ideological differences between the main contenders for office.

For instance, at the 1945 general election Britain’s most charismatic (and Tory) prime minister of the 20th century, Winston Churchill, famously dismissed Clement Attlee, his Labour opponent, as “a modest little man with plenty to be modest about”, but when the election results came out it was the “modest little man” who had triumphed with a thumping Commons majority.

He went on to lead – in the judgment of most modern historians – the century’s most genuinely radical British government, which established the National Health Service and the welfare state.

To fast forward to the 21st century I would take some umbrage at your claim that at the last general election in 2010 the public “preferred David Cameron to Gordon Brown” since here in Scotland the reverse was the case – and in this context I would remind you that you are supposed to be a Scottish, as distinct from a merely North British, paper.


Clarence Drive