Wales’ voice at Westminster will be further eroded as Johnson’s juggernaut eliminates all that stands in its way. This week’s Boundary Commission proposals tell Wales its voice counts for little in London, and will be further weakened.

To be fair, responsibility for this mustn’t be dumped solely on the commission. Its remit is to carve Wales into 32 constituencies, roughly equal in population. The reduction from 40 seats was imposed on Wales by MPs at Westminster, with the majority wishes of Wales’ MPs simply ignored.

The changes are presented as ones of principle – that every vote should be of equal value in parliament. That pretence falls at the first hurdle. If such a principle were sacrosanct, then the Commons composition should reflect the votes for each party at general elections.

The prevailing first-past-the-post system systematically avoids such an outcome. In the last election, the average number of votes to elect a Tory MP was 36,264.

For every Labour MP it was 50,836 and for every Liberal Democrat MP, a whopping 336,038. It’s utter rubbish to pretend that the proposed boundary changes have anything whatsoever to do with each vote representing an equivalence of electoral support.

READ MORE: Boundary Commission sets out plan for 32 Welsh constituencies

In the proposed changes, Arfon, where I live, disappears into a new seat, which includes most of the Meirionnydd and Caernarfon constituencies for which Dafydd Elis Thomas and I were elected in 1974. It amalgamates the constituency represented by Liz Saville Roberts, with most of Hywel Williams’ Arfon.

In 2010, the Boundary Commission replaced the Caernarfon constituency with Arfon; it now proposes relocating Arfon into Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

Having failed, over 50 years, to remove Plaid Cymru MPs by the ballot, the establishment will just abolish their constituencies!

Likewise, a huge seat is proposed for Ceredigion-Preseli, stretching from the Dyfi to Ramsey Island, and abolishing the Ceredigion seat held by Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake.

In such a massive area, it will be challenging to maintain community-related services of the sort established by Ben, whose value was reflected in his 2019 vote.

READ MORE: Boundary reform offers Wales chance to go its own way

This statistical approach to political representation ignores the diversity of rural Wales. The Caernarfon seat which I represented contained industrial slate-mining communities, Snowdonia hill-farmers, sea fishing around the Llyn peninsula, and seasonal pressures of tourism.

The constituency included 92 towns, villages and hamlets and contained 28 community councils. I would hold a hundred surgeries each year in the three largest towns and, during recess, in three dozen smaller towns and villages.

I would visit all 28 community councils on a regular rota. This helped me keep in touch with every community.

All of this would be physically impossible in the huge rural constituencies now being proposed.

Boris Johnson’s agenda is to force Wales into a political straitjacket which suits England and fails utterly to respect or support the fragile communities of rural Wales.

I ask those who are lukewarm towards independence to consider how Westminster treats Wales.

If Wales and all its diverse communities are to have any meaningful future, they will have to cut loose from Westminster’s umbilical cord which currently, systematically, throttles our nation.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.