LETTER: Don’t undermine democratic process

Ballot box
Ballot box

The editor of the Chad – an unelected leader of a powerful local media organisation – is actually undermining vital local democratic processes by asking that local government should stand above party politics.

At least our local politicians stand for re-election, unlike editors of newspapers.

There is no transparent democratic process involved in their appointment.

Our local councillors are our elected representatives. They are the representatives of the people.

Democratic processes are inevitably flawed, they are run by people who are not perfect, but they at least give people choice.

Political parties are essential to the democratic process.

They develop policies and programmes, are the sounding boards for issues, they elect people for important offices of state and they run our local and national governments.

Newspapers and the media – the fourth estate – have an important job to do in investigating and commenting upon the political process.

That is the job of the editor of the Chad.

I would think all editors are contacted by whistleblowers, or people with axes to grind. It is your job to investigate and report fairly.

Many of us are aware that the newspaper industry has gone through takeovers and consolidation and that large numbers of skilled and experienced journalists have been made redundant.

It may be, editor of the Chad, that you are understaffed and struggling to perform your role effectively.

Then I would suggest that you stand your ground with your employers and fight for more resources, rather than complaining how difficult the political process makes your job.

In recent years, more and more people who call themselves independents, have put themselves forward for election in Mansfield.

Oddly, on all issues these independent minded people always seem to vote and act together, like a political party.

For instance, in this year’s local council elections, no Independent Forum candidate stood for election in wards where UKIP stood.

However, they don’t at election time develop a political programme, and debate it at election time with those who do have the courage to stand up for their principles.

Are the people of Mansfield well served by such people? I don’t think so.

When you state clearly what you stand for, you can be held accountable for it, when you don’t you can’t.

So, Mr Editor, do your own job better.

We need better investigative journalism, not journalists who blame others because they are finding their job difficult.

So, stand up for democracy, and for the democratic process and the political parties that are at its core, and are its beating heart.

Ann Donlan

A member of the Labour Party and proud of it