Review of 2011

Every year when we submit our accounts to the Electoral Commission we are also required to provide a ‘Review of Political Activities’ covering the year just gone.

The 2011 Review has recently been forwarded to the Commission and here is what it says:

“With no General Election in 2011, activity was less intense than last year but momentum was maintained in a variety of ways.

More frequent meetings allowed policy development to be put in hand once again. Outcomes included specific responses to Coalition plans for education and health and agreement on more general ideas constituting an alternative vision for society, such as ‘economic change, not economic growth’ and opposition to uninvited intervention in the affairs of other countries. We continue to seek the indictment of UK political leaders for war crimes.

Many of these themes were further articulated on the Party’s blog, with record numbers of posts made and comments received. We responded to the consultation on future Parliamentary constituency boundaries, condemning the numbers-driven approach that will see shire communities dismembered. Representations were made on draft planning policy documents in Somerset (the Mendip Core Strategy) and Wiltshire (the South Wiltshire Core Strategy). However, it is clear from such involvement that local councils are being bullied into accepting suicidally high levels of development and their freedom to choose otherwise is continuing to be restricted. Our response to consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework, instead of trying to improve on it as others did, challenged the need for it. Genuine localism, not the ‘guided localism’ actually being implemented, demands a genuine hands-off approach.

The Party was present at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in July, with a stall in the main marquee selling our publications, the Wessex Wyvern flag draped across the front of the table. We were pleased to learn that the Wessex Region of the RMT union also has a wyvern on its banner.

Our President, Colin Bex, who also manages our London bureau, was active in the Occupy LSX campaign and featured in a YouTube clip wearing the WR party badge. Colin took every opportunity to make the case for local sovereignty and regional co-operation as part of a sane reaction to current crises. In May he secured a meeting with the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman at her offices and passed copies of our publications to her. He also responded critically to a Ministry of Justice consultation on squatting, which proposed to further enhance the rights of property owners while doing nothing to address why it is that property stands empty as human needs go unmet.

Scottish independence, and possible alternatives to it, have continued to rise up the political agenda, posing ever more urgent questions about what form of governance best serves the interests of those who live in Wessex. Such questions remain central to our rationale as a party, though they stand alongside those problems engaging concerned citizens worldwide, including state-initiated violence, the legalised fraud that underpins the financial system, the lack of economic democracy and the degradation of our environment. For us, the solution is clear, to think globally, and act locally, yes, but also to plan regionally so that thought and action come together.”