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LETTER: Politicians create this mis-trust
The old sayings and proverbs contain a wealth of good advice and wisdom that we ignore at our peril. 
Francis Maude MP might have benefited from the old saying “they who live in glass houses should not throw stones”, before lambasting the public service unions over their balloting procedures. 
He pointed out that the public service strikes were based on a small minority of votes and called for new legislation to ensure that strike votes must be based on at least 50 per cent of trade union members.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of the trade union Unite, responded gleefully by pointing out that not one MP or local government councillor had ever been elected by anything like 50per cent of the vote.
Understandably he accused the government of hypocrisy in that they would apply different standards to trade unions. He does make a good point but the argument hides more important issues.
The turnout for local government elections is normally well below 50 per cent.
Even national elections average only 76 per cent.
In all elections the majority of voters finish up not being represented. 
The low turnout is often put down to apathy by politicians, who prefer that to the unpalatable truth. Voters do not trust politicians. Voters do not believe they are properly represented by politicians. People do not vote because they feel it is a waste of time.
 The trade unions fare no better, strike ballots regularly result in a small percentage of members committing the rest to strike action. 
At least they are no longer committed through the infamous show of hands approach of the past when you had to be a brave person to publicly vote against the union officials.
In the case of the government, it is the politicians themselves who have created this mistrust. 
When have you ever heard a politician answer a contentious question? How often have you watched a politician talk about anything rather than give a direct answer? 
How many manifesto promises have disappeared once a political party has gained power?
Francis Maude needs to learn that government and trade unions have one thing in common, neither have a true mandate for their actions and decisions.
 
 

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