Review of 2012

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 2012 Review has recently been forwarded to the Commission and here is what it says:

“Between elections, our principal means of communication with the public are now predominantly online. Our blog continues to play an ever larger role, with the number of posts during 2012 being ten times the number in 2007. Our presence on Facebook continues to be developed and so, from February 2012, does our Twitter presence – @WessexRegion. All of these initiatives are vital to spreading our message in an increasingly digital world. The Internet has also made it easier for us to respond to initiatives by others in the form of online petitions.

We again took the opportunity in 2012 to respond to various official consultations, to the Department for Transport (on rail decentralisation), the Law Commission (on taxis and private hire vehicles) and the Commission on a Bill of Rights (on a UK Bill of Rights). Our response in each case focused on the need for fresh thinking on where decision-making is located in our society, with a preference for the local and the regional.

Our President, Colin Bex, who also manages our London bureau, remained active in the Occupy LSX campaign, providing us with reports from the front lines of the fight against financial tyranny, at St Paul’s Cathedral, at Finsbury Square, and elsewhere in London. He participated in a series of investigative hearings staged by the occupiers, including into the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the plan to criminalise all residential squatting. Colin testified for WR in both these cases.

We celebrated a key achievement this year when planning rules were relaxed to allow the Wessex Wyvern flag to be flown without the need to apply for advertisement consent. It was an intolerable injustice that any foreign flag, from Afghanistan’s to Zimbabwe’s, could be flown freely in Wessex while our own flag could not. The post entitled ‘When Will Wessex Flag Ban Cease?’ has long been the most popular item on our blog. We are pleased that the London regime has seen sense but we wonder why it took so long. It is good to now see our region’s name in print in legislation and we look forward to this being the first step towards a much more extensive recognition of its existence.”

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