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15.7.16

Remembering Michael Foster - Labour PPC for Camborne and Redruth constituency



Michael Foster, a former Labour parliamentary political candidate (PPC) whose family have donated £400,000 to the party, said that he would be challenging Corbyn’s right to automatically appear on the ballot in the leadership race.

Foster is not without a history of public confrontations himself. In 2015, he was accused of bombarding a fellow PPC with a tirade of abuse at a hustings in Cornwall. He was reported to have launched at Mebyon Kernow candidate Loveday Jenkin, saying “You c***. If you pick on me again I will destroy you”, after she questioned him about his potential bias towards the proposed “mansion tax”, owing to the fact he owned two homes, both worth over £1m.

10.7.16

Why Civil Resistance Works | Erica Chenoweth

Why Civil Resistance Works | Erica Chenoweth: Though it defies consensus, between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts. Attracting impressive support from citizens that helps separate regimes from their main sources of power, these campaigns have produced remarkable results, even in the contexts of Iran, the Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, and Burma.

Wise words from what appears to be an American of Cornish ancestry. With Cornwall entering a period of great uncertainty and danger, and the UK in flux perhaps now is the time for action.

Paul Salvesion asks: Is London the problem? | Chartist Magazine

Paul Salvesion asks: Is London the problem? | Chartist Magazine: But we need to look beyond short-term political expediency, even if it is a principled expediency. The UK is falling apart and it will never be the same again. The choice is between a narrow, intolerant ‘Little England’ (dragging along an increasingly reluctant Wales and hostile to Scotland and Ireland) or a progressive Federal Britain with a resurgent Scotland and Wales, Ireland (north and south) working as equals with London, Cornwall and the English regions. We must agree a new settlement which re-balances these isles in a way that ensures each flourishes in a mutually-supportive federation, which isn’t afraid of playing an active part in the world beyond our shores – which must include Europe, but go further. Progressive politics in Britain has much to learn from neighbourhood-based community politics in the USA, but also in Africa, south America and Kurdistan (amongst many other places).

And the dust starts to settle

The dust is finally settling on the events of 23rd June, and time for reflection is here. I would state now that these are my views alone.

I voted to Remain in the EU. I am proud that I did that. I believed then and still believe now that the UK was better off in the inefficient but reformable bloc than isolated outside. The experts that the Brexiters demonised got the first bit right - £120 Billion wiped off shares, shares that your pension companies invest in and need to see doing well to make money for your retirement - The £ Stirling dropping 9% meaning that those of you going on holiday outside the UK will find you will get less currency for your money - the exchange rate will mean, as we buy oil in $ Dollars, that fuel prices will rise in the coming days - just today a lady was verbally assaulted in Callington by two racist men shouting all sorts of profanities, at a woman who was born here and pays taxes here - and many more examples. However this was not shared by 52% of the 70% who voted and we are on our way to, what do they call it...., oh yes "Getting our Country Back".

Now Mr Farage, who interestingly opposed a parliament that was elected on proportional representation which enabled his party to get 27 MEPs in favour of an un-democratic Westminster where his 3.9 Million votes at the 2015 general election got him just one seat, and the second chamber is neither elected or accountable, says that this has been a revolution - without one bullet being fired. This has been challenged by many following the dreadful murder in Yorkshire although it is important to state that this cannot really be answered until the court case has completed. Whilst it is not right to fling accusations about until the investigations have been complete, neither is it right to make claims that he made without this case being brought to a conclusion.

What is clear though, is that the 'project fear' that elements in the Leave camp used, fear of foreigners, fear of the EU, Fear of experts, gained traction with a large section of the population. What is worrying is that across Europe, fascists and neo-nazi groups are celebrating the vote - the Fascist Front National in France's leader Marine Le Pen is using the Union flag on her Twitter feed.

In Cornwall the vote was effectively 56/44 in favour of Leave - which is quite a surprise given the support that the EU has given Cornwall, certainly compared to the almost total lack of support from Westminster. This money, up to some £1 Billion so far, includes some €500 Million that we were granted in 2014 due to the London Government's inability to properly support the people of The Duchy - including the farmers and the fishermen incidentally.

Already, in the first 24 hours we have seen the leader of UKIP rowing back from the "promise" of £350 Million to fund the NHS - he said he didn't agree with using it but how strange that he did not say that during the campaign?? Some of his supporters have made it clear that they support the dismantling of the NHS and replacing it with private health insurance.

When Mr Johnson visited Truro during the campaign he made numerous pledges to the people of Cornwall over replacement funding for the economic development of the Duchy, support for the Farmers and support for the Fishermen. Now some 'experts' suggested he was promising the same money for this as he was going to spend on the NHS.

Sadly this vote was taken in haste but for all of us, we may well live to regret our decision at leisure....

It is vitally important now for all those who did not believe or trust what these people said to join together to hold to account those who will take over running the UK government in these trying times, and those politicians locally who supported them, both at Cornwall Council and Town and Parish Council level, and ensure they are challenged as and when, and I fear it will be when, the promises made by these individuals and organisations are found wanting.

In May 2017 there will be elections to Cornwall Council and Parish and Town Councils. Now more than ever we need to elect people who are going to fight for justice for the people of Cornwall, ALL the people of Cornwall and not be swayed by what their political masters in Westminster say. Mebyon Kernow are looking at candidates across the Duchy. If you think it is time to Walk the Walk rather than just Talk the Talk then contact me and we will have a chat.
 
Andrew Long, Mebyon Kernow Councillor for Callington & Deputy Leader of the group on Konsel Kernow

@andykernow

2.7.16

Cornwall 4 EU


1.7.16

It's a crazy plan but....

Could England (plus its two lap dogs Wales and Cornwall) leave the EU but the rest of the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland, stay? 

How's this for a plan? Loath as I am to say it, perhaps our only option is the creation of an English parliament (England and Cornwall). This would be created as a part of a settlement for the UK as a whole with fully federal parliaments in Wales, Scotland and NI. Each parliament would have a large degree of autonomy including over things such as EU membership. 

There is already an almost precedent with the UK's protectorates and dependencies such as the Isle of Mann, Jersey and Guernsey. Currently, under the dominion of the British Crown / UK government, these territories are NOT part of the European Union. Could an England (and Wales) within a federal UK be given a similar status - a state in the UK federation but outside the EU? 

At a later time such a system would allow member states of the federation to either leave or join the EU with greater ease. Aspiring territories such as Cornwall would also be free to hold a referendum on becoming a fully fledged state within the UK federation - in or out of the EU. 

Come on then - feel free to shoot my plan full of holes now.

29.6.16

Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit - Political Economy Research Centre

Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit - Political Economy Research Centre: By the same token, it seems unlikely that those in these regions (or Cornwall or other economically peripheral spaces) would feel ‘grateful’ to the EU for subsidies. Knowing that your business, farm, family or region is dependent on the beneficence of wealthy liberals is unlikely to be a recipe for satisfaction (see James Meek’s recent essay in the London Review of Books on Europhobic farmers who receive vast subsidies from the EU). More bizarrely, it has since emerged that regions with the closest economic ties to the EU in general (and not just of the subsidised variety) were most likely to vote Leave.

25.6.16

English and proud?


16.6.16

#VoteRemain for Cornwall


27.5.16

Promoting our languages - Tosta and Serlet

Tosta is a collaboration project between cultural agents in several minority language communities of Europe’s Atlantic coast, which will also serve as one of the travelling embassies of Donostia / San Sebastian 2016 European Capital of Culture. The project combines the promotion of artistic creation, the celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity and the balanced management of local languages in an international project. The sending out of a ‘cultural cargo’ in the shape of sea containers will be the excuse for mapping out an itinerary that will stop at the participating communities, where a 2-3 day festival will be held to highlight linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe and spread the values of San Sebastian 2016. The word ‘tosta’ means the bench in a boat, and is a word that is present, with small variations, in many minority languages along the European Atlantic coast.
 
The SERLET project aims to: a) support and promote 7 Regional Languages from 4 Member states (FR, EL, ES, IT) as facilitators for cultural fusioning and mutual intercultural understanding, b) enlarge the cultural attractiveness of 7 European regions through an easy and friendly access to the apprenticeship of their languages, c) Europeanize regional languages and culture, d) contribute at enhancing the recognition of the cultural diversities in Europe, e) provide links among educational institutions and world of labor (specifically tourism section), f) provide innovative material -through modern technology- for smartphones, tablets and interactive website.

22.5.16

Do Ukip stand up for Cornish fishermen?

Do Ukip stand up for Cornish fishermen? 


No!

21.5.16

The ABC of socialism

The ABCs of Socialism | Jacobin. There's a great question and answer section. 

And the Government lies to Cornwall again.


27.4.16

Condemnio toriadau San Steffan i’r iaith Gernyweg | Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

22.4.16

Funding for Cornish language axed

'Kernow Matters To Us' (KMTU) utterly condemns the United Kingdom Government for failing to return £150,000 of Cornwall raised taxation in order to support the Cornish language.

It is possible that this move may be in contravention of the spirit of the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in 2003 and the recognition of the Cornish people as a national minority in April 2014 and their incorporation into the Framework Convention for National Minorities.

This small amount which represents very little in terms of expenditure of taxation should be compared against the cost of each six hour RAF Tornado mission at around £210,000, adding to that cost is the use of four Paveway bombs at £22,000 each and two Brimstone missiles at £105,000 each. If all weapons are fired on an average mission the cost of each RAF mission is therefore £508,000*
Monitoring social media, our members have already noted that the move has outraged many in Cornwall with some threatening to withhold tax and other payments in protest.

Within minutes of the announcement, Dr Jon Mills had established a petition calling for the Westminster Government to reverse their decision. This petition may be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128474

It is well known that the Conservatives have little time for Cornwall other than to view it as a holiday resort and second homes venue with an extractive economy. This latest news is just confirmation of that and the widespread condemnation of the decision from all sectors of the community in Cornwall is evidence enough that a huge mistake has been made and that Cornwall continues to lose out under direct Westminster rule.

KMTU which is growing in terms of members at an enormous rate since its stand over Tintagel Castle and the actions and proposed actions of English Heritage there, is further considering a course of action over Westminster's dubious and anti Cornish shortsighted decision.
The full Cornwall Council media release follows:

Cornwall Council condemns Government decision to cut funding for Cornish language
21 April 2016

Cornwall Council has condemned the Government’s decision to cut all its funding for the Cornish language with immediate effect.

The Government has provided up to £150,000 a year to support the Cornish language since it was recognised under the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in 2003. This grant has been used to support the development of the language, including funding a range of educational activities. At the end of last year the Council was asked by the Government to submit a bid for funding for the current financial year. This bid was supported by MPs, George Eustice and Sarah Newton, as well as Cornish Members of the House of Lords, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP.

The Council has now received a formal letter from the Department of Communities and Local Government stating that it was not providing any further funding to support the development of the Cornish language – despite the recognition of the Cornish people as a national minority in April 2014.

Criticising the decision of the Government Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said “The Cornish language is a great source of pride for Cornwall and is part of what makes Cornwall and the Cornish unique. Over the last five years use of the language has increased and this is reflected in street names, signage and on mainstream and social media. Just as importantly, it supports our local and visitor economy as the increase in the use of the language in marketing and tourism has proved.“

“The Government’s decision not to support Cornish with any funding whatsoever goes against the international agreements they have signed up to and that makes no sense at all. Cornwall has received funding from Government for a number of years and all we asked for was to continue at this level of funding.”

“The Prime Minister makes a point of telling us how much he loves Cornwall and the Devolution Deal highlights the Government’s recognition of our unique culture and heritage. However, when it comes to backing those statements up, the Government just doesn’t deliver for Cornwall.”
The decision has also angered Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, who said “The Cornish language is an essential part of the Cornwall brand”.

Cornwall Council will be working with the Cornish language, community and representative organisations such as the Gorseth to discuss how to protect and develop the Cornish language in the future.

Julian German, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall and Toby Parkin, President of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, are happy to do interviews on this.

· Julian German can be contacted on 07737 183690
· Malcolm Bell can be contacted on 07800 649178
· Toby Parkin can be contacted at 07977 933664

The petition raised by Dr Mills is here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128474

(*) TruePublica.org.uk 8th December 2015 Cost of Britain bombing of Syria

Oll an gwella / All the best

John, Teresa, Craig, Tony, Matt, Mike, Clive, Samuel and Ronan
Elected Members of the KMTU Steering Group

19.4.16

Bella Caledonia it's time to get above ourselves


Within Britain, the Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Cornish know a love of land which the English, so often, do not experience. Why so? In part, because the first acts of empire were internal, making Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall into colonies. But in the long run, it is the English who have become ‘internal refugees’ in terms of culture and home-land-love.

11.4.16

What has the EU ever done for Cornwall?

We might well criticise what the money has been spent on and who decided how it should be spent (a national assembly for Cornwall democratically elected by the people should have had control in my view),  but there is no denying that EU funding has helped Cornwall face the massive underfunding we suffer at the hands of Westminster. 

Some might also be tempted to add the recognition of the Cornish as a national minority (FCNM) and the funding our language receives (ECRML) to the list above, however, in reality, these issues fall within the remit of the Council of Europe and have very little connection with the European Union.

20.3.16

The Cornish, state housing policy and the FCPNM

To read and then share as widely as possible!

29.2.16

A Shoppers Guide to Tax Dodgers in Truro


This is a great initiative! Well done to those involved. Now, how about an interactive map for the whole of Cornwall, not forgetting the Duchy of course - probably one of the biggest tax-dodgers of them all. 

26.2.16

Beware the spurious comparison

Recently I was disappointed when a handful of Labour activists in the Duchy took it upon themselves to criticise the very meagre funding given to promote the Cornish language; suggesting that it would be money better spent on BSL. 

This kind of populist rhetoric has everything to get the heads nodding at the bar in the local pub, but does it stand up to closer scrutiny?

How very disheartening to see Labour members putting up one language community against another; trying to create unnecessary competition between two minority groups. So much for promoting community cohesion and solidarity! Instead of dividing the Cornish community wouldn't it be much better to celebrate the funding Cornish gets (that Cornwall gets) from central government - funding that we wouldn't otherwise obtain - and then go on to create as large a consensus as possible to demand support for BSL? I think I can safely say the vast majority of MK members would support the teaching of BSL.

In reality Cornwall has been desperately under funded by Westminster for decades. No doubt our overlords in London, irrespective of political alignment, are only too happy to see Cornish people at each others throats in this way - fighting for scraps from the masters table - instead of standing together to demand a better deal. 

So lets finish with: Not Cornish or BSL, but rather Cornish and BSL!

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