yes, good point, you're right: Agreed. And the PM and major ministers of course would normally stand in a constituency where they can't possibly lose, so their case doesn't really matter anyway (except that it highlights the really big problem of a constituency system: that if you live in a safe seat but personally don't subscribe to the party that keeps getting elected, you may as well draw Donald Duck on your ballot paper for all the influence it will have. I'm not sure that there's a perfect way to do democracy. It'd still be nice to have something with a bit of flavour of proportional representation about it?)
On tin-pot country, no, I don't subscribe to that view at all. The UK has a hugely influential history. On the bad side, we are by far the most effective pirates the world has ever seen, building an empire on the destruction of Dutch trading efforts, on plundering the Spanish, and on colonizing anyone who looked useful, and we became world leaders in the field of abusive employment by replacing slaves with indentured workers. The Vikings have nothing on us, and even the Romans would be impressed. But on the good side, we spread administrative systems, transport and technology across the world, systems that built the modern world; we were the cradle of the industrial revolution, leaders in improved agricultural efficiency, and we have a history of being a creative nation and a melting-pot of culture. I worry that the right-wing traditionalists are too busy looking in the mirror, a selective, distorted, and backward view of a glorious past, when in fact we should be reinventing ourselves for a new future - and thinking what it could be. Seizing the Spanish galleon is no longer a way to deal with the national debt. Beating up the Dutch won't improve our finances. The Americas don't trade on the same basis any more. Can you run a whole country on the financial services industry? How much real income does real-estate inflation generate? We've still got an amazing high-tech workforce and great creativity - it'd be lovely to see more people looking forward to how we can deploy that to make the UK a better place both for ourselves and for our neighbours. Too much thinking at the moment is too small-minded (can we negotiate a better deal on buying plastic widgets from China inside the EU or out?) rather than truly creative (is there anything unique and amazing that we can do or make, that the Chinese and others might want?). We have to accept that the world has changed, and we're a small country with limited resources; the empire is over. Our credit rating is stretched and our economics are dodgy. It's easy to run around looking for scapegoats to blame (and perhaps some of them deserve it). But ultimately our future is in our hands; in the end, it isn't going to be Brexit that decides whether the UK is any good or not. It's what we do, regardless of whether we Remain or Leave.