I was disappointed to read Bret Ellis’s column in last Fridays Observer where he suggests that we shouldn’t bother to vote in elections because nothing changes and so it’s “a waste of time”. This is factually incorrect. Take for example public services such as education and the NHS. Tony Blair considered them so important that he poured huge new resources into them. David Cameron and Boris Johnson on the other hand were more concerned about austerity and reducing the size of the State and so reduced funding in real terms. Holding our politicians to account and voting is the best way we have of influencing the way we live our lives and those of our fellow citizens. Indeed some countries such as Australia make it compulsory for all adults to vote for this very reason.

Mexico had a presidential election a few weeks ago and I felt humbled to see hundreds of people queuing round the block in the blazing sun waiting to vote. A near riot ensued when heavily armed police tried to close the polling station at 9pm when there was still hundreds still waiting to cats their vote. They didn’t think it a waste of their time!

Mr Ellis suggests that nobody ever changes their mind when discussing political issues . I suggest that this is exactly what he should do.

Philip Parry
SW Herts Labour Party

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