From time to time we are advised, usually by non-members, that we ought to drop the word ‘Wessex’ from our name. Or drop ‘Regionalist’. Sometimes to drop the status of ‘Party’. Needless to say, we do not welcome advice from anyone who hasn’t paid a subscription. Saving Wessex is not a spectator sport. We are the Wessex Regionalist Party, always have been and in all likelihood always will be. Our founder got the name right – by thinking it through.
The last suggestion of the three is the easiest dealt with. We are a registered political party because there is still no better way to alter things than to seek to unseat those who are getting things so badly wrong. For us to abandon that ambition would be to consign Wessex to continuing rule by the London parties, each of which offers simply a slightly different version of the same anti-Wessex agenda.
We are proud to be The Party for Wessex. We are NOT “regionalists” in the sense of subscribing to some all-England or wider creed with which Wessex has to comply. We have no reason to be patient with those who believe in building regionalism but not in building regions. Yet. (If not now, then when? Or do we go forever round in circles while the metropolitan chattering classes either fail to make their minds up or back the wrong horse, as they did so spectacularly in the case of the Prescott zones?) We are not interested in settling for less autonomy than we need, out of sentimental respect for a “national unity” that in practice means we get outvoted and suffer the imposition of irrelevant policies. But we ARE regionalists in the sense that we are not separatists who would deny the interconnectedness of the world, or despise voluntary co-operation to address the pressing issues that confront humanity. Those are debates to which we hope to contribute the distinctive Wessex perspective, informed by a cultural heritage that we safeguard for all. That is why we are WESSEX Regionalists.
We have a vision for Wessex and it is not a nationalist one: it is a regionalist one and our name makes that clear. For us, the region is but one link in a chain of subsidiarity stretching from the parish to the planet. It is, however, of pivotal importance and its total absence from the political structure of England is a hole we strive first and foremost to fill. We emphasise the region because it is what allows the other components of the structure to function properly, neither struggling with matters beyond their capacity nor bloated with detail, remote from the citizen. The region is big enough to cope, small enough to care. That is why we are Wessex REGIONALISTS.