THE local Conservatives suddenly seem to have become very active on the SNJ’s august letters page, writes Mervyn Hyde.

Is a general election on the horizon, I wonder?

One of your many regular correspondents, Richard House, is the latest target of this new offensive (Ian Hood, letters, February 20).

In my modest estimation, Mr House is one of the more cogent, persuasive writers to your letters page, and Mr Hood’s accusation that his letters contain little more than “grandstanding and superficial spin” bears no resemblance whatsoever to my own perception – with Mr Hood’s accusation itself being a prime example of what he’s criticising.

Perhaps part of the Tories’ new, carefully calculated strategy is to hone in on effective left-wing letter writers, and play the man rather than the ball and shoot the messenger, rather than challenging the message itself.

For to do the latter effectively, they’d need intelligent arguments to counter what writers like Mr House are saying.

But the reality is that they just don’t – hence they’re reduced to such scurrilous ex cathedra attacks.

Finally, Mr Hood points out that the people of Stroud have returned a Conservative MP for 49 of the last 64 years.

To change the time-frame to a more realistic one, let me remind him that the good people of Stroud constituency have returned Labour’s David Drew for about 15 years of the last 22.

So it’s Mr Hood’s preferred party that is playing catch-up locally, not Labour.

Perhaps that explains all the glossy, no-expense-spared Tory brochures gushing through local letter-boxes at the present time.

Mervyn Hyde