On Regionalism

On Regionalism

Westminster politicians are never asked how they are capable of representing a country of 66,000,000 people. This is because they are not. No one is. A Cornish seafarer lives a different existence compared to that of an office administrator in Sunderland. A centralised government in Westminster can speak for neither. As Aristotle said, “to the size of a state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals, and implements, for none of these retain their natural facility when they are too large”. 

In our old villages, we may have suffered a murder every once in a decade, living in unruffled peace. In a large community, however, violent crimes are committed every hour in some distant corner. In 2019, the ONS revealed, “the rate of violence against a person was lowest in mainly rural areas, where there were 17.7 recorded acts of violent crime per 1,000 population, and highest in urban areas with major conurbation, at 29.6 recorded acts of violent crime per 1,000 population.” The determining factor here is population density. The metropolitan police force was established after the mass exodus from rural to city dwelling in the search for prosperity, in order to combat the crime that came with the brave new and global world, which is only a display of the work required in order to maintain the status quo in these higher-density places.

Every local issue turns into a national calamity; not once in a decade, but all the time. We must suffer this because unifiers forced us to participate in millions of destinies that are not our own, as if a community can exist on a national scale, which it obviously cannot. What once were our ponds, now merge together as one expansive ocean. At a certain size, everything becomes a question of when. We can now predict anything from robberies, deaths, attacks, and murders, based on the size and population density of a community. Big systems create big problems, whereas small systems are inherently more manageable, precisely because the problems caused are smaller.

A return to smaller systems would allow for decisions to be made on the community level, never overreaching or surpassing its boundaries, because people who know the area best are the people who live in that area. How can we expect the population of an ex-mining town to vote accurately on subsidies which would benefit farmers hundreds of miles away? Our representatives cannot possibly carry out their job effectively: relying on a single person to represent tens of thousands accurately is unfeasible. 

Much support can be seen for parties that support a disunion ideology, as there is a clear desire in Wales and Scotland to take Westminster out of the equation, to take responsibility for their problems, to have made their own decisions unaffected by that outside of it. Plaid Cymru and the SNP are now household names throughout the United Kingdom. In the same vein, there has been growing interest in regionalism in England, a belief that is exhibited by the Yorkshire Party and the Wessex Regionalists, as well as Mebyon Kernow the party for Cornish devolution, the North East Party, and Llais Gwynedd – a party for the region of Gwynedd.

30 years ago the idea of leaving the European Union was only a crackpot dream to many, skip forward to 2016, and even today, this conversation dominates political discussion.  The Scottish independence referendum meant, in effect, the beginnings of autonomous regionalism that was discussed at every dinner table in the country. I am confident that a bright future is laid in-store, spearheaded by Regional Devolution.

Published by Local Matters: thelocalists.org

On Regionalism
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