GIVEN the situation in Iraq and news of a NHS budget shortfall of £1.7 billion, it is time to respond to the patronising pre-election letter from MP Dave Watts (Star May 8).

In May only 31 per cent of St Helens electors voted. Only 53 per cent of those voted Labour, yet Labour gained 14 out of the 16 seats so the council can make decisions such as the closure of Seddon Court knowing it will always gain a comfortable majority.

Under a proportional system Labour would have gained eight seats, UKIP three, Lib Dem two, Tories two and Greens one.

Dave points out that major social advances in our society were achieved by compromise, and claims without it we would not have had the minimum wage.

The CBI and the bosses decided how much they could afford and we taxpayers fork out with tax credits to supplement the miserable hourly wage of £6.31.

Some compromise!

Building new schools and hospitals using the Private Finance Initiative was a great example of compromise, Dave, costing us twice as much as if the projects had been financed by normal borrowing.

There is a shortfall of £1.7 billion in the NHS budget next year, but the NHS has to find £2 billion for PFI repayments. Another brilliant compromise.

Then we have the illegal war in Iraq.

Where was the compromise there, Dave?

The invasion was based on lies and even last week a senior Labour politician admitted it was about regime change. Bending to the will of the Americans lit a fire in the Middle East for which the West will pay a terrible price.

In 2004 Britain opened its labour market to the rest of Europe, only one of two countries to do so.

The Labour government did it without putting into place the infrastructure to cope with the influx of migrants. A compromise would have been to delay freedom of movement of labour until we were ready to accommodate it, but Labour failed to do so.

Little wonder many are reluctant to vote.

Mike Perry

Prescot Road