If the hon. Gentleman does not mind, I need to make some progress so that others can get in.
The Deputy Prime Minister labours under the delusion that arithmetic equals fairness and that-the north of Scotland excepted, of course-human and natural factors should be cast aside. The strength of that delusion was recently spelt out by the Electoral Reform Society, which said:
"Conservative proposals"- we now, of course, have to add Liberal Democrat ones-
"mean that most constituencies will pay less regard to what most voters think of as community and natural boundaries, and change more frequently, destabilising the link between MPs and constituents. The United States has rigorous requirements for arithmetical equality of population in congressional districts, but the worst gerrymandering in the developed world."