Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nothing Left Out

Colin Bex has defied the sceptics by conducting his campaign almost wholly by public transport. Today he did need a lift, to fit in three towns in as many hours after an emergency change of plan.

Colin arrived by bus in Banbury this afternoon to be interviewed by Banbury Sound, the local radio station covering north Oxfordshire, including the northern part of the Witney constituency. The presenter was pleased with the recording, and disappointed that few other candidates had taken up the offer to air their views. The interview is planned to be broadcast on Tuesday, 4 May.

From Banbury it was on to Witney, to collect more election leaflets from the printers, then to Woodstock for a public meeting at the Town Hall. Organised by Woodstock Churches Together, this was an opportunity for voters to meet the candidates and ask questions of them. Candidates for the Greens and the Liberal Democrats were there in person, as was one of the Independents standing; the Conservative and Labour candidates were represented by local party spokesmen. Two Independents and the Loony and UKIP candidates did not attend.

Issues raised ranged from early-years education to the West Lothian question. Colin skillfully steered his answers to the case for parish power and regional self-government. A gasp of realisation ran through the audience when he proposed punitive taxation of the 5-10% of people who own 90% of the wealth, the money to be allocated to parish councils in proportion to their population to spend as they see fit. It had clearly dawned on many that here was a serious political party with truly radical plans for revitalising our local communities. In a week when the annual Sunday Times Rich List showed the richest 1,000 getting richer by £77 billion over a year that has been made so difficult for ordinary saps now facing service cuts of a similar magnitude, it was a message well-received.

Given the circumstances of the constituency, it was perhaps to be expected that the debate would line up as Tories versus the rest. David Cameron’s party came under sustained attack for its attitude to a hung parliament. Listening to the Tories, one would think such an outcome must lead at once to general economic collapse, perpetual barrenness of cattle, crops and women and the imminent arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. If an anti-Tory coalition succeeded, not merely in dashing Wisteria Man’s hopes for five years of elective dictatorship but in finally banishing our mediaeval electoral system (last fit for purpose circa 1832), one can see why they might very well think that. ‘Hung parliament’ is a loaded term; Alex Salmond is right to prefer the term ‘balanced parliament’, though that does not go nearly far enough. What is actually needed is a ‘rainbow parliament’ representing the true diversity of public opinion in these islands. Just make sure that any coalition isn’t a government of ALL the talents or there’ll be no-one left to speak the truth.

At the end of the evening various candidates and spokesmen shook hands amidst the usual bonhomie. The Tory spokesman offered his hand to Colin, who pointedly refused it. A lack of due civility? Not at all. The major parties, dealing death and devastation in the name of money, are no better than criminal conspiracies. We live in hope that their leaders will one day – soon – be brought to justice.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Interesting Times

After a busy day today touring the constituency, taking in Witney, Minster Lovell and Carterton, our candidate Colin Bex was snapped (left) at Woodstock, with Nick Xylas as standard-bearer.

Some 50,000 of our leaflets – headed ‘The Truth in Black & White’ – have gone off to the Royal Mail for delivery to constituents and should be hitting their doormats early next week.

Here are some extracts:

"Illegal wars; white-collar theft; ermine-flecked crime; ministerial bribery for personal gain, and now a national debt of thousands of millions of £s. This is but the tip of an iceberg pointing to further punishment and social unrest and it is why now as never before we all must ensure government changes from 'top-down' diktat to representative or 'bottom-up' democracy. We - as voters - are some of the only people who can ensure it happens.

Should you decide to vote, your vote for Wessex will count as a vote for the necessary changes - it will be neither a 'wasted vote' nor a 'suicide vote' as it would be were you to vote for any of the London party candidates - the more plausible they sound the less credible they are..."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Into Battle

The following press release was issued today by Colin Bex, Wessex Regionalist Party candidate for Witney:

"Colin Bex (pictured left) has been nominated to stand in the General Election in the parliamentary constituency of Witney as candidate for the Wessex Regionalists, the party for Wessex. This is the sixth time he has contested a seat within the Wessex region since 1979.

Colin is co-founder and President of the Wessex Regionalist Party which, formally constituted in 1980, was formed to provide an opportunity for Wessex constituents to be able to vote for the advantages of a system of grass-roots democratic regional-local government as an alternative to centralised diktat handed down by the minority Westminster governments which, since the Second World War majority coalition, have been run serially in turns by one or other of the two larger now virtually indistinguishable London parties.

An architect planner with experience in the public and private sectors during 50 years both in Britain and abroad, Colin became directly aware of the unequal contest between the presumption in favour of development and the need to protect both the built and natural environment from mindless and unnecessary damage and destruction in the service of Mammon.

As a result, he has spent as much of his time campaigning against such aberrations including some to which as a young architect he found he had been contributing.

For full details of the policies and manifesto of the party, visit

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nonsense. Nonsense. Nonsense.

So there we have it. Three practically identical guided tours of Fantasy Island, courtesy of the main London parties.

Now that the manifestos are out we can see that the all-pervading theme of this election is that the sins of the bankers are to be visited upon the users of public services, even unto the tenth generation. The current budget deficit is £167 billion; the cost of bailing-out failed banks and building societies comes to exactly £167.5 billion. Neat.

To do something about the deficit, the London parties agree, it is necessary to cut everything that matters to us (definitely not what matters to them). We will have “deeper cuts than Thatcher” (Darling), “painful and extensive cuts” (Osborne) or “savage” cuts (Clegg). It’s refreshing to know all three are in favour of more choice in politics. And while we’re busy making our minds up, we'll not notice the stench of corruption rising from the waters of the Thames.

Things that won’t be cut include the £5 billion annual cost of fighting a war of choice in Afghanistan on behalf of the oil companies. The £9 billion annual budget for building schools, hospitals, etc. in ever-richer competitor economies – such as India and China – will actually be increased by all three parties, while schools and hospitals here are being closed. Not only is this money we borrow to give away but the countries that save most and therefore have the most to lend include China. We borrow their money and then we give it back. And then, we give it back again, with interest.

Labour suggest that the way to improve public services is through yet more centralisation, with successful schools, hospitals and even police forces taking over failing ones. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that merging a small weak organisation with a small strong one is as likely to produce a big weak one as a big strong one. The Lloyds/HBOS merger is not so long ago that policy-makers can have forgotten that.

The police proposals are particularly worrying, a revival of Charles Clarke’s plans for forced mergers, creating regional constabularies to match the meaningless ‘South West’ and ‘South East’ zones. These in turn would be merely one step on the road to a single national police force under the political direction of a Labour Home Secretary.

We’re told the public sector hasn’t enough management talent to go round and so mergers are the only way forward. How about creating more talent by empowering all those junior managers crushed by a top-down bureaucracy? And making schools, hospitals and police properly accountable to local people through their locally elected representatives?

That’s a thought that ought to appeal to the Tories, who talk up the idea of empowering local communities. Yet nothing that is said by the Tories on this issue is to be believed, especially when it seems believable. The strings are as obvious as Pinocchio’s. To take one example, planning. Local communities are to get back the planning powers stolen from them by Labour. Hurrah! But in the same breath all their current planning powers over the siting of new schools are to be taken away, lest they be used to thwart Tory education policy. The Tory manifesto talks about developers having “to pay a tariff to the local authority to compensate the community for loss of amenity”. Wouldn’t we rather not lose the amenity in the first place?

The Liberal Democrats are no more believable. Didn’t Lib Dems collude with Labour and the Tories in blatantly trying to increase the disparity between the London parties and the rest by televised leaders’ personality contests? If we followed their advice to never vote for what we believe in but always ‘tactically’ then there’d never be choice, ‘real’ or otherwise. The Liberals would never have recovered from those days in the 1960’s when all six of their MPs could fit into a Mini. The Labour Party wouldn’t even have got started.

Nil out of three. And mention UKIP at your peril. That party of twisted paranoiacs have such an acute grasp of financial detail that they’re calling for a 25% cut in public spending while at the same time proposing to spend an extra £12.5 billion a year, double what they reckon they’d save by pulling out of the EU. Their plans include a 40% increase in defence spending with 25,000 extra troops, presumably to shoot those demonstrating against the loss of up to 2 million public sector jobs which have "no useful purpose whatsoever". Since a quarter of UKIP’s MEPs in the last Euro-Parliament either left or were convicted of benefit fraud, expenses fraud or false accounting it seems they are pretty indistinguishable from the rest that London has to offer.

In fact what we are seeing is the unedifying spectacle of a political class who, for all their sound and fury, signify nothing, having long ago stopped communicating with their voters. Not one of these manifestos has anything to offer Wessex. Not one will end Westminster diktat, returning power where it belongs – rooted deep in Wessex and its local communities. Only the Wessex Regionalists are now left to fight for that.

A vote for the Wessex Regionalists sends a signal to the London parties that alternatives do exist. Support for ‘others’ in the polls is running at a consistent 12%. This is 4% higher than it was at the equivalent stage in 2005, when in the event ‘others’ did better then than the polls predicted.

In seats without a WR candidate this time, our advice is clear-cut. Take a thick felt pen to the polling station. Spoil your ballot paper by writing ‘WESSEX REGIONALIST’ right across it, then underline this thrice. When the boxes are emptied, such papers are shown to all the candidates. Give them a message they won’t forget!