25 APRIL 1992, Page 25

Encumbered ground

Sir: A delightful consequence of the elec- tion is to see the opinion polls, and the media, proved wrong with all their non- sense about a 'hung' parliament. They were hung instead.

An historian observes that the Labour Party was as adept as ever at snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Fancy let- ting the people know that they intended to put up taxes! People don't want more taxes. It was as simple as that.

Clever intellectuals like Roy Jenkins and David Owen should have stayed in the party to strengthen the moderates. There really is no point in a middle party encum- bering the ground. There never has been any point in a Liberal Party, since 1931.

Why go on, wasting people's time, energy and money? Both Tories and Labour peo- ple are liberals intellectually today. Sensible people in the middle should shut up shop, and recruit themselves either to one side or the other, where their service may be useful to the country, not absurdly wasted. It always was absurd all along just to encum- ber the ground.

A. L. Rowse

St Austell, Cornwall