MR INGRAM is quite correct in his assessment of how the Tories swallowed UKIP to prevent the vote on the right in politics from being split, but neglects to mention what has happened to them as a result.

Is the present Tory Party what the Conservative Party traditionally was?

Isn't it the case that, having sold their souls to the extremists, they've morphed into an English Nationalist party?

Traditional Tories would never have contemplated leaving the EU, the world's strongest economic bloc.

The problem for the left is that it's divided between progressive left and socialist left.

As a Liberal, I could find common ground with progressive Labour, but never with socialist Labour.

The difference between liberals and socialists is philosophical.

We just don't see the world in the same way.

Talk of any kind of merger always boils down, in Labour's eyes, to the Lib Dems allowing themselves to be swallowed up by them, and that's a non-starter.

It was amply demonstrated in the last election when the Labour candidate for Eastleigh, a borough which hasn't had a Labour councillor for ten years and where the Lib Dems control the council by 34 seats to five (three Independents and two Tories), calling on us to stand aside. Really?

In my most recent book, 'A 20-20 Vision', I set out in just 50 pages a workable plan whereby the left - Lib Dems, Labour and Greens - could remove the Tories from office at the next election and set a course for progressive government in future.

It requires statesmanship of the highest order from the party leaders.

At £4.95 it won't break the bank, and will provoke some serious thinking (with a few laughs thrown in for good measure!).

Serious thinking is what I've been doing in 60 years in politics. You can now read the results.

Martin Kyrle

Chandler's Ford