YOU will be aware —not least from the media coverage in papers and TV — that the election campaign has started in earnest, unfortunately. UK politicians at Westminster have become discredited by scandals like paedophilia, cover-ups, parliament on TV, and the main party members shooting themselves in the foot on seemingly every occasion. Mel Stride's blatant electioneering in your columns cannot go unchallenged. While he may be a well-intentioned MP and rising star in the Conservatives, his party has overseen 700 redundancies in Okehampton, allowed our road and rail infrastructure to deteriorate to a shambolic state, funded the South West with £42,000 aid for tourism while Yorkshire gets around £1,000,000 and sat on his hands while generous subsidies are being paid to companies building wind farms. The much vaunted £2.3billion investment in UK flood defences includes £196m spending in the Thames Estuary, £80m for the Humber, £42m for Oxfordshire, £73m in Lincolnshire — but only £15.5m for Somerset. Funny how the biggest media opportunity got the least money? The list goes on and it's nothing the Conservatives can be proud of. We have had 120 years of Lib/Lab/Con ping-pong Governments that have ignored the South West. It continues with David Cameron's 'worth looking at' alternative rail link headline which is absolutely meaningless. Watch out for our wonderful 'cottage hospital', it may be in danger — like others all around it in the South West.  Bob Rush Okehampton