Thursday, 14 February 2013

Flying the flag for regionalism

Quick off the mark for once, Berrocscir's Banner notices that Colin Bex is to stand as the Wessex Regionalist candidate at the Eastleigh by-election on the last day of this month. Yes, Eastleigh deep in South Hampshire - famous for it's Jutish heritage. No, I jest - Eastleigh is as much in Wessex as Dorchester, Bristol, Winchester or Salisbury!

I wish Mr Bex all the very best and if I lived in the constituency, he'd certainly get my vote. The trouble with by-elections, however, is the tendency for every Tom, Dick and Harry to come out to play. So if Colin reaches three figures, he'd have done very well. He last stood in the Prime Minister's patch - where a load of others wanted a pop at Dave too, so he must relish a fight.

It's none of my business what the electoral strategy of the Wessex Regionalists is. Maybe, as the small party they are, they just stand when and where opportunities arise given their resources, and get a bit of publicity out of it. This is understandable enough. If you and your comrades wanted to start getting decent votes though, you would pick an area - maybe with one of you there on the ground. Get your mates over two Satuardays a month for a stall in town and a bit of leafletting. Write letters to the local press, do a newsletter, do good works, get in the paper, talk to people (a lot of people) with a clipboard in hand. Then stand two or three years later...But there's no harm in standing when the situation arises if you've got £500 to spare. The WRs are flying the Regionalist flag by standing in Eastleigh and if they can get a leaflet drop done (detailing their radical alternative) it'll be worth it for Wessex and worth it for regionalism.