The Parliament of the United Kingdom It’s one of the few in the world where MPs sit face to face, rather than the usual semi-circular design. It is a reflection of a complex electoral system Bipartisan and absolute majority prevail. During the pandemic, seats were empty and sovereign councils had to debate and vote from their homes via “the Internet”. Social restrictions are now slowly being lifted. However, the majority of citizens prefer that their political representatives continue to operate virtually, according to the survey by the John Smith Center.
Voters consider that confinement Pull the MPs out of the “Westminster bubble” And he finally got them in touch with the local issues. In short, the epidemic has dictated it Decentralization Very necessary to fix a very unbalanced country. And no longer talk about the differences between Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, But from the inequality that exists within England itself.
Celia Mazza. London
Most countries have large cities that are informally the capitals of various sectors. While Berlin is the political and cultural capital of Germany, Frankfurt is its financial center. In Italy, Milan is the financial and industrial capital compared to Rome, the heart of politics. Centers of influence in the United States are spread between New York, Los Angeles and Washington. In Spain, Madrid and Barcelona They are strategic points. But the coastal sites are also central to tourism, and they are a pillar of the economy.
But in the UK, culture, politics, tourism, economy and finance … absolutely everything stems from one place: London. With only 13% of the population, the city on the Thames is responsible for 23% of Britain’s GDP.
Center of gravity
Capital benefits from public spending per capita which is always higher than any other English region, particularly when it comes to transportation infrastructure. London’s public transport network is far from perfect, but more efficient and affordable (if a single € 5 Underground ticket can be considered affordable) than the less prosperous cities and towns of the Midlands and the North. Many argue that the best way to increase opportunities in these areas is by improving their connection to the capital. But this is a terribly wrong concept as the country ends up slipping further into its center of gravity.
It is also pointless, in theory, for all students to have the same opportunities to go to university, if the vast majority of those who find work want to move to the capital later. Talents must be varied.
in this meaning, Westminster It must emerge from its bubble and change the current “way of working”, as political decisions are made through this center. Everything is interpreted according to the consequences for it in the House of Commons, while it should be the exact opposite. The House of Commons will have to contemplate the consequences of its policies for different parts of the country.
The obvious example was the last “Sub-election” de Hartlepool. No one has spoken about the domestic politics at risk in this fishing zone in the post-Brexit era. The news was that the Conservatives had occupied the Labor Party seat for the first time since the establishment of this department.
The red wall, the forgotten wall
After crushing The absolute majority in the last electionsS – in part thanks to support for the Red Wall regions in northern England, where the Labor Party has traditionally voted – Boris Johnson promised that his major role in the term would be to raise the bar, that is, to decentralize the country in order to “ get out of the standard ”. Other areas that have felt neglected by the increasing success of London since the 1990s.
The BBC itself announced in March that it would relocate some of its key divisions and staff from London to make the public institution more reflective of the UK as a whole. The new chief executive, Tim Davy, says the plans “will bring us closer to the public, and create jobs and investment.” Already during the de-escalation period, for example, to talk about reopening theaters, journalists did not broadcast from the famous West End, but from other cities like Birmingham.
Celia Mazza. London
On the other hand, and for purely logistical reasons, while booking, some companies have already verified that they can continue to operate without having to pay rent for an office in London, which can be seven to nine times higher than in other parts of the UK. Already before the Covid era, Some companies have moved to other areas Like HSBC, which moved its retail banking headquarters to Birmingham in 2017 or Amazon, which decided to move the company’s UK headquarters to Manchester in 2018.
From a business perspective, the capital-centric economy promotes a “brain drain” and worsens the quality of life. After all, many Londoners have lower purchasing power, while the average salary is higher, and so does the cost of living.
Likewise, during the pandemic, local leaders such as Manchester Mayor, Labor Party member Andy Burnam, made clear that managing the health crisis had highlighted the limits of the central response, shining a spotlight on The need for greater delegation of competencies Not only in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but also in the English regions themselves, where the virus has not been affected in the same way as in London.
Arjimino Barrow. New York
It is true that the British electoral system is not based on lists and candidates must win their seats in each of the 650 constituencies into which the country is divided. Questions about domestic issues crept into the prime minister’s watchdog sessions on Wednesday. But this does not prevent parliamentarians from living their private lives Westminster Bubble. Even if it is a purely partisan issue, it is imperative that the leaders of the main formations try to convince voters in the most neglected areas of the country that they care about them.
The Conservatives need to keep those votes if they want to repeat the absolute majority once Brexit is actually implemented. The workers need to regain the confidence of northern England if they are to become a credible opposition again. And the Liberal Democrats They would no longer be the third political force if they continued to classify them as the party of middle-class Londoners. Likewise, the independence claim launched by the Scottish National Party in Scotland (and even Plaid Cymru in Wales) will not subside without a progressive agenda making a real effort to address problems not only in the capital, but in every corner of the world. country.
Ultimately, even through sheer populism and a vested interest in remaining in Downing Street, Johnson could not miss the opportunity to rise to the next level.