Your Scottish correspondent (news, pages 8-9, 12 April) reports that some unidentified 'insiders' fear that local authority representatives on the new boards might express political views. Why should these NHS staff be unaccountable to locally elected representatives, unlike managers of housing, education and environmental services? Politics is a public good. It is a means by which people can take control over aspects of their lives. And the greater the number of people who participate actively in politics, the greater that good will be. However, there are always 'insiders' who prefer despotism to democracy. . . as long as it is they who are the despots.

Martyn Smith Birmingham