600 seats

I’ve written a lot about AV over recent days, what about the boundary review. Now we know the new target number of seats upon which the quota will be set (600), the tolerance that will be allowed either side of that quota (5%), and the exceptions that will be allowed (the Western Isles, Orkney & Shetland and a cap by area), we can take some guesses at what the overall impact will be.

The North East is rather tricky to fit into the new quotas. Northumberland only qualifies for 3 seats (while Berwick-upon-Tweed is a large, underpopulated seat, it doesn’t come close to the geographical limit!), but they would be grossly overpopulated so would need to be paired with one or more Tyne and Wear Boroughs. Durham could be divided into 6 seats, but the Cleveland Boroughs need to be paired with it if not to produce oversized seats. We’d end up with 14 seats in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, down 2, and 12 seats in Cleveland and Durham, down 1.

In Yorkshire North Yorkshire would not lose anything, and would presumably have only minor changes. Humberside would lose 1 seat, as would both South and West Yorkshire.

The North West is also relatively straightforward on paper, Merseyside would lose 2 seats, Cheshire would lose 1, Lancashire would lose 1, Manchester would lose 1 and so would Cumbria. In practice there are probably some tricky problems to solve. The Wirral would currently get three seats, but they would be just above the 5% limit, so unless the quota has risen by December 2010 (or the population of the Wirral fallen), the spectre of a cross-Mersey seat would rise again. Cumbria is also probably also going to be tricky to divide into 5 neat seats.

In the East Midlands, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire would retain 10 and 7 seats, so would probably have only minor changes. Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire would both lose a seat. Northamptonshire would qualify for 7 seats, but they would be too small to be within 5% of the new quota, so it would need to be paired with a neighbouring county. The most obvious candidate would be Bedfordshire to the South, which also needs to be paired to avoid undersized seats. Between them they would have 12 quota sized seats, compared to 13 currently.

In the rest of the East of England Hertfordshire and Suffolk would have only minor changes. Cambridgeshire could also be treated alone, but Norfolk needs to be paired in order to produce seats within the quota limits, and a pairing with Cambridgeshire would produce seats closest to the quota – between them the two counties would retain 16 seats. Finally for the East, Essex would need to lose 1 seat.

The West Midlands are another tricky region. Worcestershire, the West Midlands (down 3) and Staffordshire (down 1) can all be divided into seats within 5% of quota (though dividing Birmingham’s huge wards into seats within the 5% tolerance will be fun!). Shropshire and Herefordshire would need to be paired, but putting them together doesn’t help, so they would need to be dealt with together with Worcestershire (between them losing one seat). But this leaves Warwickshire too large to result in 5 seats inside the 5% limit. It could be paired with some of the Metropolitan boroughs, but a neater solution may be pairing Warwickshire with Oxfordshire, which would otherwise be oversized – together the two seats would retain their existing number of seats.

The rest of the South East should have very little disruption from the review. Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Surrey could all retain the same number of seats and hit the new quota. Hampshire would lose a seat based on its own electorate, but unless an extra exception is made it will need to be paired with the Isle of Wight creating a cross-Solent seat. Between them the Isle of Wight and Hampshire will retain the same number of seats. Kent therefore becomes the only county in the South East to lose a seat.

In the South-West Cornwall will probably be upset about being paired with another county, but it is unavoidable. With an entitlement of almost exactly 5.5 seats it will need to be paired with Devon, between them having 17 seats, one down on currently. The former county of Avon will lose 1 seat, Gloucestershire will be largely unchanged. This leaves Dorset and Wiltshire where the average seat sizes will be too small, and Somerset where they will be too large. To me, the most sensible solution is pairing Wiltshire and Dorset, with Somerset paired with one or both of the parts of Avon originally drawn from Somerset. The result will be that Avon/Somerset lose one seat between them, and Dorset/Wiltshire lose one seat between them.

London as a whole will have 70 seats, down from 73. There are obviously a large number of possible pairings of Boroughs to get to this point.

Northern Ireland will lose 3 seats.

Wales will suffer the harshest reduction in seats, down from 40 to 30 as its quota comes into line with the quota elsewhere in the country. Once again, there will be some tricky decisions for the boundary commission. My guess is Gwynedd will need to be linked with Clwyd (losing 3 seats between them), Powys will need to be linked to some other county – perhaps Gwent. The ERS’s stab at what sort of result boundary changes might produce had a rather odd link between Powys and Dyfed, which looks unlikely, but does make the maths work nicely. Either way, most of the rest of Wales will need to be linked up and there are various ways it might pan out.

Finally, Scotland would have a quota of 51 seats, down from 59. However, we know there are exceptions to the rules for the Highlands and Islands. These mean that the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland retain their current undersized seats. The Highlands are entitled to 2 seats based on the quota (though they would be more than 5% from the quota, so it would need to be paired.) In practice, I think it would be impossible to come up with a solution that didn’t involve a seat larger than the current Ross, Skye and Lochaber, which is to be the statutory geographical limit on size, so the Highlands will probably retain three seats (one possible solution that kept all the seats within 5% of the quota and under the geographical size of RS&L would be to put the south of the current RS&L with the undersized Argyll and Bute, then splitting the remainder of RS&L between the other two highland seats – I think one would still end up being too large geographically though. With the Highlands and Islands taken care of, the rest of Scotland would be entitled to 48 seats, producing a total of 52 or 53, down 6 or 7.


263 Responses to “600 seats”

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  1. @ John Fletcher

    IMO Lab will have a job to spin a system that makes all MPs represent roughly the same number of votes as unfair.
    ———————————————————
    ‘Twil be easy for Labour to do this:

    1. Refer to the number of constituents as opposed to the number of registered voters; &

    2. By the colour of the MPs who are to lose their seats. If they are mainly red, then little else need be said by Labour to support the accusation of gerrymander.

    We will all know this is not the whole of the thing but politicians get to tell the part of the story they want to tell. 8-)

  2. Sue
    ‘I wish everyone would stop asking me to speak for the opposition.’

    Well, I’m not. I don’t understand why blues and reds can only discuss this issue in terms of how many seats they will win.

    Well, I do, but it’s not a feature to be proud of is it?

  3. @Amber – Not sure the second point holds – most people are either partisan to some degree or not interested in the nuts and bolts. I’m sure you can sell that as the system having been gerrymandered in favour of Labour. Certainly the Tories and Liberals have been trialling this line.

    For that matter the first point is a little too wonky to come across well. Imagine trying to sell that on the Today programme with John Humphreys shouting “what’s wrong with equal sized constituencies?” You’d get crucified.

    If Labour’s going to avoid falling victim to this, it’ll just have to get in to voter registration in a big way. Anything else will be spun into the ground.

  4. @ Sue M

    Creating equal sized constituencies looks like it will create a Tory bias in the system
    ********************************************************

    The logic of your arguement is that you are advocating unequally sized constituencies.

    Is this the case?

    @ Amber Star

    ‘Twil be easy for Labour to do this:
    *********************************************************

    IMO the majority of the electorate are not in the least bit interested in the niceties of the electoral system. To them equally sized constituencies will seem obviously fair. I do hope Lab go on about it because IMO it will make them look as if they want to maintain their unfair advantage.

  5. Ray: “Notts needs to lose a seat, the main disparity is in the City, with 186,000 electorate currently having three seats. Reducing the city to 2 seats means 34,000+ city voters being moved out into the surronding seats.”

    More logical is to extend the existing seats to take in the suburban areas like Arnold and West Bridgford. The latter is walkable from the city centre yet is in Rushcliffe, whereas areas like Bulwell are AFAIK about 7/8 miles from the centre yet are in Nottingham North. Would make a lot more sense than a “bits of Nottingham plus suburb X plus rural area” type seat.

  6. Kyle Downing. After 1953 Churchill was quite unfit to be an MP, let alone Prime Minister until 1955. There was a huge cover up, but it did the UK considerable damage at a critical time in the post-war recovery period. Whatever you think of his leadership in the Second World War.

    Dennis Skinner’s anti-establishment stance in the Commons is getting distinctly stale as well, although he is very far from senile.

    I make the above points even though I actually think there ought to be more older MPs, providing that they are physically and mentally capable.

    I don’t see Diane Abbot retiring anytime soon. Even if she is unlikely to win the Labour leadership contest, she may well get a big boost as part of a Labour (attempt to) change direction.

    While we are at it, Roger Mexico, I get the impression that there are some pretty happy Highlanders flying down to Westminster every week already, getting a good salary even though most of their constituency responsibilities have been devolved to Edinburgh. Although I would not exactly describe John Thurso, for example, as a crofter.

    More seriously, the constituency section of this site is very quiet at the moment. Shouldn’t we be cionsidering how the reduction in seats would affect representation in the areas of current contituencies? For a starter, I posted for Dover about this, amongst other things, earlier today.

  7. @ Valenciano

    The point you make is IMO where the the BC has some decissions to make.

    I am not sure of the exact situation in Notts itself but generally speaking

    If you use your first solution of attaching some Inner City voters with a Labour tendancy to the Suburban constituencies often solid blue, then you will dilute the Lab vote and they come off worse having now only 2 inner city seats.

    If However to attach some of the Blue suburbs to 3 solid Red inner City seats then then Lab do not suffer a disadvantge.

    What critera will be used by the BC to make such decisions I wonder.

  8. “But you can’t get the numbers exact and people are moving all the time.”

    Indeed. The idea of having more regular revisions is, at first sight, a laudable one Apparently when the boundary commission was first set up, they were under an obligation to draw up boundaries much more regularly (5 to 8 years I think.) As a result some seats created for the 1950 election were quickly abolished soon after and with all the disruption created, the decision was taken to have less regular revisions.

    Of course there is an easier solution – STV. With multi-member seats they’d have the option of increasing or decreasing the representation of an area without changing the boundaries. If an are like Leeds went from 5 seats down to 4 they’d simply replace a 5 member Leeds City constituency with a 4 member Leeds City constituency.

  9. @ Edward Carlsson Browne

    For that matter the first point is a little too wonky to come across well. Imagine trying to sell that on the Today programme with John Humphreys shouting “what’s wrong with equal sized constituencies?” You’d get crucified.
    ——————————————-
    Ed Balls will be shouting back: “They are not equal sized constituencies. No way, no how. Population of constituency X compared to constituency Y – How is that equal size?”

    JH: “But they cannot all have registered to vote; so surely that is their own fault.”

    EB: “I don’t agree, an MP represents ALL their constituents, whether they are registered to vote or not.”

    JH: “Then why didn’t Labour change the rules to be based on constituents when they had 13 years to do so?”

    EB: “We were more concerned with health, education etc. than fixing boundaries.”

    I could go on… but in short: ‘Twil be an easy sell to anybody who is not a doughty Conservative. 8-)

  10. @John Fletcher: It’s not a new issue as the commission has always had that problem. It’s really a variant of the “doughnut” versus “sandwich” method of drawing seats i.e. if a city has an entitlement of 1.3 seats, they can give it one seat and put a few fringe areas in other seats (the “doughnut”) or give it two seats topped up with rural areas (the “sandwich.”) The former favours Labour while the latter favours the Conservatives. They never seem to have settled on a consistent policy on that as the historic boundaries in places like Colchester, Ipswich, Cambridge and York show. It usually seems to come down to which party fights its case best at the local reviews.

  11. I am sure there was a period in the 80’s, possibly after Thatcher’s third election victory, when the pundits were saying the distribution of seats and the workings of the Boundary Commission meant Labour could never again attain an overall majority.

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me…

  12. @ Valencino

    Thank you. Given that my beloved City of London is threatened with being hived off to Tower Hamlets or Hackney, I had better get my boxing gloves out. :D

  13. @ Edward Carlsson Browne

    If Labour’s going to avoid falling victim to this, it’ll just have to get in to voter registration in a big way. Anything else will be spun into the ground.
    ———————————————
    Yes, that was a point I made on a much earlier thread. There are hundreds of thousands of “sleeping reds” (thanks to Billy B for that terminology). Labour will need to wake them up. 8-)

  14. @Amber
    I could go on… but in short: ‘Twil be an easy sell to anybody who is not a doughty Conservative.

    You obviously move in different circles from me. I don’t think I know anybody who would be the slightest bit intested in the size of constituencies.

  15. @ Valerie

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me…
    —————————————————-
    It’s not :-)

    Per my earlier post, the ruling elite have been trying to kill off Labour for 100 years. This is just the latest salvo. 8-)

  16. Halle-flippin-lujah.

    For all those Blues so keen to jump to the defence of this nonsense, I’ll let the Telegraph say it for me….

    (Not the Guardian or Inde, you note)

    h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/simonheffer/7875929/Coalition-electoral-reform-is-fantasy-and-Conservatives-should-fight-it.html

  17. John Fletcher – That is an excellent point. The BC are independent, and any bias toward Labour to date has not been intentional, but as mentioned, often a result of those from inner city areas moving to the suburbs.

    I trust that in redrawing these boundaries, the BC will indeed draw them as fairly as possible and would be surprised to see, in the end, much penalty to either party.

  18. @Sue
    I always knew that deep down you were a Tory.
    Seriously though it is Simon Heffer. Full of contempt for the whole political class -probably doesn’t think there has been a decent political leader since Maggie. He speaks for that section of the Conservative Party that Cameron has been trying to marginalise!

  19. I know JohnT, but I thought it was a hilarious and well written summary :)

  20. @ Frederic Stansfield

    You lay off Lord Thurso! He’s called John Thurso; he lives in Thurso Castle; in Thurso; and he represents Thurso in parliament. In a country where Leeds Castle is in Kent and Dumfries House is in Ayrshire, we need more people like him. (And for what it’s worth I thought he was a good, if overly polite business spokesman in the campaign).

    @ Amber

    Any argument shouted out by Ed Balls at 7:15 in the morning is not going to convince anyone I’m afraid. Especially one that weak. How do you know the population is there if you haven’t got any record of them?

  21. The foregoing discussion has at least convinced me that multi member large constituency STV is the only fair way forward which is why its chances are very slim.

    Does anyone think a member might put forward this as an amendment?

  22. Ed Balls on democract is never likely to be convincing because you are talking about a man who put through most of his policies before he became an elected member and then only elected because they gave him a safe seat.

  23. sue

    can you remind me, is the telegraph a tory paper or a labour rag. sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference, especially on things like civil liberties, democracy and of course illegal wars

  24. Having spent many years in Oztralia I firmly believe AV is brilliant.

    Every vote counts.Why? It’s not merely an election but a referendum at the same time–votes for UKIP / BNP / Green/ Give me a new hospital groups are not wasted but show real community concerns which need to be addressed.

    People need then to just understand it’s the final order (normally where you place the big three) which matters. The impact is simple–with AV the party which more people prefer wins (they get more 2nd / 3rd votes etc) so more people support the govt. which is obviously better.

    So, with AV all votes matter and the govt reflects the popular support.

    FPTP means that a party which most people don’t want in power gets in.

    AV may have meant Blair and Labour may not have got in…

  25. @Howard
    You are spot on re STV. Turn the clock back to February when GB proposed an AV referendum. Cameron opposed it and said all that was necessary was an equalization of constituencies. At that point the Ekectoral Reform Society issued a statement pointing out that unequal constituency sizes were not the cause of the apparent bias in the system to Labour, but that Labour’s vote is more efficiently spread. The simple solution it pointed out then was STV. Frankly I have long given up on this country being able to conduct rational politics. Fog over the channel continent isolated I am afraid.

  26. Telegraph is a tory paper–it’s the only paper with a poll showing its readers are Tory voters. No other party shows such a bias.

  27. Johnny
    Frankly I have long given up on this country being able to conduct rational politics’

    Name one country where politics is rational?

    Ummm………

    It’s all about votes and appealing to an irrational electorate.

  28. @ Roger Mexico

    I am surprised that you think an argument has to credible. It needs to be convincing – that’s all.

    Do you think the UK’s economic woes were caused by Eastern European migrant workers? 8-)

  29. Valerie – the boundary changes at the 1983 election were massive. They had to bring constituencies into line with the new local authority boundaries that come into force in 1974, and replaced boundaries based on 1965 electorates, since when there had been large population movements. The result was they really did transform the layout of seats. Michael Foot unsuccessfully attempted to block them being brought into force at the 1983 election by taking legal action.

    In fact, while the boundary commission itself is politically neutral, there is a long history of there being a lot of politicisation around when they are called and introduced, with the Conservatives always keen to bring them forward and Labour always keen to delay or block them.

    The most extreme was the second review in 1970. It was expected that the new boundaries would help the Conservatives by about 30 seats, so when the Boundary Commission reported Labour refused to implement it, based on the argument that local government boundaries were about to change so the boundary commission should wait for that to happen and start again.

    The Labour government attempted to pass a compromise law cancelling most of the review apart from London and 9 seats with extremely large electorates, but the Lords threw it out, so instead the government tabled the report as required to by law, and then voted against it. The 1970 election ended up being fought on the old boundaries, and the Conservatives naturally implemented the recommendations as soon as they won.

    The first periodic review is also quite fun – unlike later reviews, which were voted on by the Commons en bloc, the first review was voted on clause by clause, with MPs debating many of the individual seat changes (in every case the report’s recommendations were passed).

  30. Richard in Norway – Lol. I know! During the election, I took to reading them for Tory critiques.

  31. @Jack
    Name me another country which has an institution with the ridiculous name like “House of Lords” and which hasn’t been able to reform it in over a century

  32. Howard

    I am in support of you regarding STV.

    I cannot support AV in the referendum, as I am an all or nothing guy. AV is clearly not proportionate, and I cannot support a pointless change, if it is no better than FPTP.

    So I intend to pester my MP to push an amendment for STV. Larger seats can have the number of MPs altered as the population changes, so none of this to and fro about constituency sizes being equal.

    Problem solved, what next? How can England win a World Cup again?………..

  33. I am deeply comforted that John Prescott and Simon Heffer are closely aligned in the no to AV camp !

    I love Simon Heffer’s column its fab .In my reading I have never seen an enthusiastic piece about any subject.

  34. Anthony – Fascinating. Do you know the result in 1983? Did it change the landscape politically at all? ( I am a mere spring chicken:) )

  35. JOHNTY

    ” I don’t think I know anybody who would be the slightest bit intested in the size of constituencies.”

    I’m inclined to agree in principle

    .Away from the hot house of political anoraks-which may seem like the real world to some, but isn’t, -if the subject gets any traction at all I can see the reaction being-well I assumed they were all the same size-they should be shouldn’t they?

    And as for AV-I look forward to the massed ranks of MPs enthusiastically trying to fire up an apathetic public about a topic they didn’t know existed.

    Reaction?-why don’t you just get on & do what your paid to do-sort the countries problems out.

    This whole thing is so badly mistimed. Don’t MPs realise that the public is tired of their obsession with themselves?

  36. Boundary reform and electoral reform are in principle measures towards equalisation.

    A point of interest to many would be the share of the conservative vote in the 1945 election… it was very close to reds, even though red scored a ‘landslide victory’.

    The will of the people in 2010, was for a reduction in seats. Thus, it must be so.

    AV the people rejected since reds only got 30% but the people are to have another say. If they say yes, then it must be so.

    Regardless of who benefits this is democracy.

    ________

    As it happens I have always thought, and still do, that an AV referendum will fail miserably. I will, however, vote yes.

  37. Gerrymandering?
    It is very obvious to almost all Labour voters that anything that favours the tories is unfair and a conspiracy and therefore gerrymandering. If its introduced by a liberal who proceeds to make all kind of contradictory variations to what is presented as a rule all of which variations favour the Liberals then that will be taken as proof positive.
    The local reviews will be endless fun where Labour will be able to point to every totally sad Lib anorak as evidence of a determination to carry on the work of Mr Gerry while at the same time Lib Mps fall like flies because they are perceived as corrupt for this unhealthy preoccupation with unfair districting. Every sleeping dog which Labour (and more sensible historic tories) were content to let lie will become contentious and get laid at the Clegg door
    Remember Machiavelli’s comment on change.
    Once more the new government think they undeerstand something which they don’t

  38. an amendment for stv could actually do a lot of damage. it could be voted down but what if it wasn’t. what if the “antis” are not in the house when the amendment is voted on (maybe accidentally on purpose) the antis could then vote down the whole bill later, no one apart from the libdems are obligated to vote for PR but most of the house are obligated to vote in favour of a AV ref

    could this happen i am a bit hazy on the working of the HOC

  39. Colin
    Two minds with but on thought

  40. one thought!

  41. AW – your carefully researched history only proves the point that we cannot expect constitutional change from politicians.

    Garry K – I do urge you to consider the likelihood that another opportunity to achieve even minimal reform will come along.

    There are good signs that the electorate has done what it can with FPTP to prevent an overall majority for one party, as our colleague Roland points out, and I concede that it is possible that if the AV vote is lost, many will by then be so fired up that tactical voting will take place on a more impressive scale next time. I think the more reactionary the response from opponents, as we are reading here tonight, the more likely this will occur.

  42. @Colin
    In my view political reform should have been dealt with years ago – ironic that we gave the German Federal Republic a better constitution than our own after the second world war.

  43. Jack

    “Surely this would be the sensible way to integrate the Western Isles and Orkney seats?”

    No, that won’t do.

    There are real cultural and economic differences. As to air travel, I heard Alex Salmond speak about the cost of it many years ago, at an election meeting in Stornoway. He had to take the ticket out of his pocket twice to check the amount, but the alternative is likely to cost an overnight stay and half a day’s lost working time.

  44. I can think of a way to integrate Orkney…

    If you have managed to integrate us wild Irish you can manage a few oil speculators

    It is the one sticking point of the seat reduction

    some constituencies will be equal but some constituencies will be more equal that others..

    The two Isle seats by rights should be integrated….

    I am beginning to think the deer in the highlands are counting as memebrs of the electorate…

  45. Evening all.
    Laszlo – thank you.

    Roger Mexico – thanks for your reply. i am in total agreement with you on PFIs etc. My over riding concern is teaching pupils in run down schools, and i hope this issue is resolved.

    Yes i fully understand your point that the cuts will be brutal, i cetainly dont under estimate their affect across all communities, my main principle is i (and as you righly point out) and many millions out there support the government attempts to cut the deficit, create jobs and reform the public sector.
    Will they make mistakes yes, and will it be tough, you bet…. I should clarify that i genuinely dont know if it will work ecomonically or in regards to continued public support – and despite what some others post i have never claimed any different.

    John Fletcher and others

    In total agreement with you on equal size seats. I suspect the electorate will be surprised that this is not already the case – let alone not agree they should be. And any poll that asked the question do you support reducing the number of mps would i think be overwhelming.

  46. Pocket boroughs….

    They sued to give Universities seats in westminster…

    trinity had one and Queen’s my onw uni had one in stormont…

    It gets worse.. Rutland I think had less than 1,000 voters (there are other such examples)

    It is said that the Duke of Newcastle c.1830 controlled 20 seats…

    The Marquis of Downshire and our own Lord Kilmorey (NI) enjoyed similar patronage…

    Suffice to say we have moved a long way from those days :) (thanks to the yellows it must be said who introduced the first proper parlaimentary reform- bravo :) )

  47. Roger Mexico

    “you’ll find the government’s reliance on cuts rather than tax rises will have a lot of consequences worse than this.”

    Many of the cuts will have unintended consequenses including costs that will diminish, sometimes even exceed the target savings.

    You can lose weight by going on a diet. It takes time, but it can be done. If you have to lose a lot weight this afternoon, the only way is to cut off an arm or a leg.

  48. @ Eoin

    Any connection between Nick Clegg and the Reforms of 1832 is tenuous. Over the past 130 years the Liberals have repeated split, with one part of them ending up in the arms of the welcoming Tory/Conservative Parties. The Tories are the natural successors to the Peelites and 19C reformers, the Liberals having mostly ceased to be such in anything other than name since at least the 1950s (a very few exceptions allowed).

    @ Amber, Sue et al … on the “gerrymander”.

    It is frankly bizarre to resist reapportionment dictated by demographic change on partisan grounds. The last people to contend seriously for that view were the pre-Reform Act tories – not, I think, historical figures you’d naturally regard as like-minded.

    By way of comparison, there are parts of Australia where re-apportionment occurs after EVERY election; and at our federal level, reapportionment occurs roughly every 7 years; while in the end in an AV system there can be some advantage to one side or the other, there is no ex ante bias on the part of an independent boundary commission – the advantage effectively flows to the large party with the most evenly distributed voting support (the system penalises parties with strong regional support).

  49. Equal constituencies?
    In any complicated system if you make one variable the total priority then everything else becomes very difficult or impossible. This is going to be the practical political problem. It may be a way of getting rid of the ageing and the awkward but they might get very difficult. All over the uk MPs of everry party will be looking at how this affects them… and a lot of them won’t like it. They won’t hesitate to point out that th government has already made exceptions and why aren’t they occupying just as exceptional situations?
    Equality always sounds good but remember
    “The Duke and his butler paying the same what could be fairer than that?” Ridley said something like that
    “France is a country of complete equality. Baron Rothschilde and the tramp are equally forbidden to sleep under the bridges on the Seine” Anatole France said something like that.

  50. Sheps in Pyrmont

    Someone posts that very post every other day

    yellows are yellows in outlook, geography and class…

    It is like saying the conservatives are not tories

    I know the various deviations they have taken but they;ll always be viewed as yellows from the c.1830 to this very day

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