It may be because he has family in Scotland and a Scottish name. Or it may be because he is still hoping against hope and against all predictions that somehow he can hold on to the one seat the Conservative Party has in Scotland in Dumfrieshire and be able to claim, if he does become Prime Minister, that he represents the whole of the UK. ‘Whatever is the reason, David Cameron’s latest bulletin about what he intends to do if he gets into 10 Downing Street reveals a staggering disregard for justice for England and an equally amazing intention to give Scotland very preferential treatment’.
That is the response of the CEP to Cameron’s disclosure to the Financial Times (Tuesday 13th January) that he intends to cuts the number of MPs by 10% ‘in the interests of efficiency. He specifies that to meet that target he will reduce the number of English seats from between 40 and 50 and Welsh seats by about 10. But at the same time he will let Scotland keep every seat it has, and that despite the fact that Scotland is already over-represented in the House of Commons in comparison to England. Scotland has 59 MPs in Westminster (in addition of course to another 129 MPs in the Scottish Parliament). That number of 59 would need to be reduced to 53 to bring the two countries into line in terms of MPs per constituents. Nor is that all. The Isle of Wight, Britain's biggest constituency, has an electorate of 108,253 while Na h-Eileanan an Iar, formerly known as the Western Isles, is the smallest constituency in Britain with an electorate of 21,884.
‘Such blatant favouritism in favour of Scotland should be not allowed’ the CEP has stated in response to Cameron’s announcement. ‘We hope that if he gets into No 10 and approaches the Electoral Commission with his proposal, they will throw it out. Whatever changes in electoral representation are needed, and doubtless some are, they should be made on the basis of equal treatment of each of the three nations of this island. Scotland should not continue to be favoured above England. Scotland enjoys the Barnett Formula which gives each Scot £1600 more health and education expenditure than anyone in England. It has the highest degree of devolution, while England has none at all. It has free university education, free prescriptions, a freeze on council tax, free personal care for the elderly, free hospital parking, and above all its own parliament with 129 MSPs elected just to focus on Scotland’s needs and development alone. None of any of that exists in England. And 80% of the cost of all of it is paid for by the English taxpayer. The injustice is grotesque. Cameron should think to represent England as earnestly as Scotland if and when he becomes PM’. .
Michael Knowles CEP Media Unit
Tel: 01260 271139 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org