"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Monday 24 June 2013

How balanced is Parliament?

After showing the imbalance of the UK population in this post I wanted to look at how MPs are balanced. I have looked at this before using pie charts but my new toy is pixel (px) art.

The UK has 650 MPs representing the four constituent countries of Wales, England, Scotland and N Ireland. I will use a 255 x 255 px square. This gives us 65,025 px which works out as a scale of 1 MP = 100 px. For consistancy I'll try and make the shapes as similar to how  I did them for the population square so that they can be easily compared.
Parliament (1 MP = 100 px)

We'll add England first, or rather the MPs that represent English constituencies. All 533 of them, this works out as a 230 x 232 px square (53,130 px)
English MPs v the rest (1 MP = 100 px)
The domination of UK politics by English politicians can clearly be see already. Which is why the West Anglia Question is always answered in favour of England. But that isn't such a surprise since their population is almost six times greater than the rest of us combined. Adding Scotland's 59 MPs (255 x 23 = 5,865 px) gives us much the graphic as before.
English / Scottish MPs the rest (1 MP = 100 px)

Next I'll add in the 40 MPs that purport to represent Cymru (25 x 160 = 4000 px) and since that only leaves N Ireland I'll add their 18 MPs (25 x 72 = 1800 px) too.
The MPs of the four UK countries (1 MP = 100 px)
So that's the UK. Once again completely imbalanced towards England. But let's subdivide England further. We can add in our Celtic brothers of Kernow (black) and their 6 MPs (25 x 24 = 600 px). London (light grey) and it's 73 MPs (169 x 170 = 7310 px) and since the south east of England is so influencial in deciding who gets to destroy run the UK we'll add their 83 MPs, interestingly the Tories have 74 of these MPs. This dark grey L shape brings the total number of MPs in London and the south east up to 156 (122 x 128 = 15,616 px).
London and the south east dwarfing the Celtic nations
As we know all to well the MPs that are meant to represent Wales don't, well at least the majority of them don't. Plaid Cymru has three MPs. I'll add these three in to the graphic below in order to show what they're up against. (15 x 40 = 600 px). I've added the three in different shades from their poppy so you can see who they are.
As above but with the three Plaid MPs
I've often wondered why Plaid Cymru still has MPs, or at least has three of it's best politicians in Westminster. A free Wales will not be won in England, it will be won in Wales. For me it's like a football team putting it's star players in the cup games and neglecting the league.

I thought of one more graphic. What better way could we show the imbalance than with a new flag for the UK. Except this flag has the flags of the UK nations sized according to how many MPs that nation has. And before anyone says anything, the occupied area of Ireland is represented by the St Patricks Cross and I've also included Kernow on there too because they get left out of everything. So here it is, quite possibly even worse than the current union rag.
It's hideously imbalanced. Share via twitter | facebook
Share the imbalance via twitter | facebook

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