It is interesting to observe the outrage of Gloucestershire MPs — no doubt with a keen eye on their future election prospects — at the Boundary Commission proposals for the county.
As far as Gloucester is concerned it seems that the solution for the farce that Longlevens is currently in the Tewkesbury and not in the Gloucester constituency is to replace this with the equally big farce of separating Quedgeley from Gloucester and giving it to Stroud !
What complete nonsense.
The fact of the matter is that reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 was simply an attempt by David Cameron and the Tories to paper over the cracks in the woeful inadequacies of our constitutional system — much greater surgery is needed than this sticking plaster solution.
By contrast the United States, a country with fully five times the population of the United Kingdom, has just 435 members in its House of Representatives, like our House of Commons the Lower Chamber in the US Congress (Parliament).
The United States Senate, the Upper Chamber, has just 100 Senators, two for each state in the Union. By contrast, the House of Lords, our Upper Chamber, has a whopping 808 members, not a single one of whom has even been elected ! More worrying still this unbelievable number is set to increase still further as the Tories try to flood the House of Lords with new peers in an attempt to overturn the Lords’ current Labour/Lib Dem majority.
The real solution should be to reduce the number of MPs by half and thereby increase constituency sizes so that the Gloucester constituency can include all those areas which fall naturally into the Gloucester travel to work area. This would of course mean that not just both Longlevens and Quedgeley would be represented by a Gloucester MP, but also that many other areas such as Hardwicke, Upton St Leonards, Brockworth, Highnam, Churchdown, Innsworth etc which have currently been hived off into neighbouring constituencies would be so represented as well.
I don’t expect this to happen any time soon as of course far too many vested interests are involved, but if they are indeed sincere in wanting electoral reform in our country Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party could make a good first step by joining UKIP, the Greens, the Lib Dems ,the SNP and Plaid Cymru in declaring their clear and unequivocal support for proportional representation, and to have no further truck in co-operating with the Tories in the constitutional gerrymandering which has enabled this awful Labour/Tory duopoly to pass the parcel of power between themselves for far too many decades.
I am not holding my breath.