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Why are there so many badly-named parliamentary constituencies?

I have been musing on why there are so many dreadfully uninspired names for parliamentary constituencies, and why there seems to be so little consistency in nomenclature - the fun never stops here at Croydonian Towers. While there are horrors scattered all over the map, I am going to focus on London for now.

The boroughs of Harrow and Croydon get an especially raw deal, with those wits at the Boundary Commission unable to come up with anything less pedestrian than East and West and North, Central and South respectively. I would not reckon myself much of an expert on Harrow, but given that Omnia Croydonia In Tres Partes Divisa Est, why not try Thornton Heath, Croydon Town & Shirley and Coulsdon & Purley?

Looking to the west, the borough of Sutton does not have to suffer the indignities of Suttons east and west, but has Sutton & Cheam and Carshalton & Wallington, and to the east Bromley has Beckenham, Orpington and Bromley & Chiselhurst.

Other boroughs manage a half-way house between the Croydon and Sutton approaches, with Islington having Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury. Why not, say, Islington North & Highbury? The people of the east of Brent will be electing an MP for Hampstead & Kilburn next time round, a signal improvement on Brent East.

Further afield, Birmingham has constituency names that show some soul - Selly Oak, Perry Barr and so forth, not Birmingham North East etc, while No Mean City has gone backwards and dumped the likes of Kelvin and Maryhill for dull references to points on the compass. Admittedly there is the issue of MSPs seating for seats with the older names, but even so..

Looking at the other conurbations, Manchester gets decent names, as do Liverpool and Sheffield while Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle and Edinburgh labour along with the more prosaic.

The rest of the Anglosphere paints a mixed picture, with the Americans managing to outdo us for flatfootedness - numbered congressional districts, while Australia goes for snappy one word names in the main, Canada perhaps overdoes it with a blizzard of hyphenation and New Zealand goes in for the North, South business. Dullola. Our Hibernian neighbours have a list system with giant constituencies based on the historic counties and sundry divisions of Dublin. Since no day is complete without a mention of what the French get up to, they appear to use the same vanilla system as the Americans. Fie 0n them.

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Blogger Obnoxio The Clown said... 10:44 pm

Purley, eh? SAY! NO! MORE!  



Blogger Croydonian said... 11:29 pm

Indeed...  



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