The redesign of constituencies in the British Parliament has almost a ten-year history. The new parliamentary plan is part of a move to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. Hence, Scotland will lose two seats and Wales eight seats. The number of Welsh MPs at the next general election will be reduced from 40 to 29.
The main reasons for this plan
According to government officials, the reduction in the number of constituencies will be proportional to the total number of voters. This means that the programme determines the population of each constituency. But there are other important reasons for this plan, which are discussed below.
One of the main reasons for this plan is the cost debate, which has led conservatives to seek to reduce the number of MPs for ten years. In fact, with this plan, the constituencies of Wales and Scotland will be under severe tax pressure. Wales and Scotland pay the highest taxes (read subsidies) to the British government. This plan could lead to a further increase in taxes in these areas.
- Maintaining a Gap in the Labour Party
Other key factors in the plan include the control of the Labour Party and the maintenance of the Labour Party gap by the Conservative Party. The Conservative Government tried to minimise the number of people entering Westminster for fear of a particular set of votes in the British Parliament that would lead to the workers’ cohesion. In this way, the Conservative Party can institutionalise its dominance over the Labour Party and gradually reduce its influence and turn it into a minority party. Eventually, the Labour Party will not be able to strongly pursue the nationalist sentiments of Wales and Scotland in Parliament. The plan appears to have serious implications for democracy and the participation of people in Scotland and Wales. In fact, we are witnessing another political discrimination here to destroy political participation.
Elimination of political participation
Regardless of the new plan to reduce parliamentary seats, Welsh constituencies have on average fewer voters than English constituencies. Under the new plan, major constituencies in Scotland and Wales will be destroyed, harming the interests of rural areas. According to some experts, this plan is the latest example of Westminster’s efforts to reduce voices in Scotland and Wales, undermining democracy in these two regions. Polls show that only 18% of Welsh voters support the British plan to cut the number of Welsh MPs by more than a quarter. The plan underscores the historical sense of discrimination and injustice towards Scotland and Wales by England.
The Tryweryn reservoir: a symbol of political-economic discrimination
The village of Capel Celyn is the “sunken village” of Wales in the Trevor Valley. In 1965, a flood reservoir was created in the village, displacing 70 people and drowning the village. The reservoir transports water from the village in Wales to Liverpool, England, to supply water to the city. The destruction of this village caused deep wounds. The sunken village exposed the structural gaps and class discrimination by England towards Wales. Since then, Welsh nationalist demonstrators have seen the Tryweryn Reservoir as a symbol of discrimination and what England is doing to Wales, as well as a symbol of .
Look at the root of nationalism in Wales and Scotland
The UK is a union of four nations. England, the largest, most populous and most dominant, conquered Wales by force in the 13th century and annexed Scotland in the 17th century. This union has always been . The cause of these chronic unrests is the mentality of British domination over Scotland and Wales. In the last two decades, golden independence movements have emerged in Scotland and Wales.
The plan to institutionalise nationalism
The three main factors in the existing programmes to control nationalist sentiments plus the Brexit factor, along with a new plan to reduce parliamentary seats, will be the starting point for the collapse of democracy in the union. One of the plans by the British Government to curb separatist movements in the two countries was the transfer of power as one of the most important political projects by Tony Blair’s government. In fact, the scheme allowed each section of the union to maintain its unique identity as a whole. Now, Brexit is once again putting a lot of pressure on the idea of being British. Scotland is very concerned about its independence. Even now, the plan to reduce the number of seats in Parliament, along with the two factors of Brexit and the history of control programmes, continue to fuel the fire of Welsh and Scottish nationalism.
The impact of anti-English sentiments in Scotland and Wales on the ballot box is not limited. The seats of
The conditions required by the states to break away are very important to the number of parliamentary seats, because the Welsh and the Scots consider themselves to have independent national identities. For example, the Welsh language, which has been suppressed by the English for decades, is a strong symbol of national identity. Or that Scotland has its own legal system. It also has its own successful newspapers. Scotland was a country whose natural resources were exploited by the government in Westminster.
Dispersed Labour Party
Of course, the main difference between Scotland and Wales is political. Every successful independence movement needs strong leaders and a weak opposition. The Labour Party has neither strong leaders nor weak opposition. Today, the Welsh Labour Party still maintains a distance between itself and Labour in general, and has sought to find the right political space for its policies other than independence. Conservatives have been able to align the Welsh and Scottish Labour parties with their policies. In fact, the Labour Party has become part of the Conservative Party.
The story of Scotland and Wales tells us many important things about how political movements thrive and falter, often depending on factors beyond their control. But perhaps the most important lesson is this: National identity is neither fixed nor immutable. It can be strengthened by powerful separatist leaders, or be restrained by skilled competitors. The Labour Party has been seduced by its skilled rival, the Conservative Party, and has lost its ability to oppose plans, like the plan to reduce parliamentary seats. In fact, the Labour Party has become the playground of the Conservative Party.