SWIPE – “South West Independence Party England”

Following on from our post about how much the South-West loses out to other areas of Britain, particularly the South-East, we have been considering the suggestion that we should create in this region a party similar to (but definitely not the same as) the Scottish National Party – a party representing an area which finds itself time and again the poor relation to other areas.

One should recall that the South-West has had a long tradition of non-conformity. Indeed, search on the words “south west england” and “nonconformity” and a whole host of links will turn up. Devon County Council even has web pages for it:

http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/councildemocracy/record_office/north_record_office/leaflets/sources_for_history_of_nonconformity-2.htm

Admittedly, this refers specifically to religious non-conformity. But the South-West showed its independent thinking by being a hotbed of liberalism when liberalism was something more than Nick Clegg getting into bed with the Tories. From Yeovil to Cornwall, this area steadfastly refused to be buttonholed into conformity to the pendulum swings between Labour and Conservative.

So, given that the area is now so definitely politically blue, are we getting a better deal? The post from earlier this week shows very definitely that we are not:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2015/07/31/is-it-time-the-west-country-had-its-own-party/

So, Owl thinks it is time we started thinking about alternatives.

Firstly, what is the South-West? Officially (for political and statistical purposes) it consists of nine official regions of England: Gloucestershire, Bristol, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Owl thinks that we can discount Gloucestershire (hunting, shooting, fishing, the residences of Prince Charles and the Princes Royal and MI5 keep them firmly blue!) and Wiltshire seems just a little too close to the Home Counties and includes Swindon – definitely out. Dorset we dismiss too – they are totally conformist (see Letwin, Oliver and Grand Designs!

That leaves Bristol, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Bristol has gone extremely green over recent years and are likely to remain so (hopefully) and the Isles of Scilly have always done their own thing and have never considered themselves part of mainland life, but they can have the option of joining us within Cornwall (as at present). This leaves Devon, Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly if they so wish) and Somerset. These three counties have so much in common. Long sea coasts, poor infrastructure and transport links, large retirement communities, large number of second homes, tourism forming an important part of economic life, a history of being overlooked when the honey pot is being shared out.

Imagine a specific party for Devon, Somerset and Cornwall! Imagine what a group of people from this area who held the balance of power in Parliament could achieve. Imagine just how powerful that could be.

And the acronym: South West Independence Party England – SWIPE!

Take a SWIPE at London-centric politics – devolution for the Cornwall, Devon and Somerset region!

Alas, just a pipe dream – for now …..

4 thoughts on “SWIPE – “South West Independence Party England”

  1. You are quite right to state that the old Liberal party was independent minded and radical enough to support the individual as well as having concern for the poor and under privileged. Those of us that are left in the reformed Liberal Democrats still hold to our old values. Although the coalition with the Tories was somewhat of an experiment and we had to agree to some of the right wing policies that were not acceptable to the grass roots, we believe that we managed to soften the blow of some of their
    nastier proposals. Our claim is that things could have been a lot worse, if they had had complete power. We are now beginning to see the ugly results of unfettered Conservative thinking. You therefore already have a party that would stand up for the Southwest and every other region that feels hard done by, but because of a few broken promises and the taint of association with the “nasty Party” we are dammed in the public eye. (when it comes to broken promises, you ‘aint seen nothing yet)
    Is there any need to invent a new party that seems to believe in the same principles? We have a new more radical leader and are free from the perfidious embrace of that horrible lot. We have a lot to make up for, but although depleted in numbers, feel strangely refreshed to take up the challenges.

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  2. seems a go idea to me it’s about time we had a better share of things all you need to do is look at education less founding for us why is the system so out of balance.

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