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21.6.15

Atlantic.EFA

The European Free Alliance now has a Facebook page for its members in the Atlantic West of Europe: Atlantic.EFA For us to make the most of it.

The EFA members from the UK are Mebyon Kernow, Yorkshire First, Plaid Cymru and the SNP. From the other Celtic nations, Brittany's Union Démocratique Bretonne is equally a member. In the European Parliament the EFA form a parliamentary group together with the European Greens.

7.6.15

The seed of protest and fight back has been planted

A highly successful rally occurred in Truro during Saturday 6th June, 2015 bringing together people from all parts of the community who share a common concern, notably the horrific effects the Tory Government’s cutbacks are having on our community here in Cornwall.

Assembled in Hendra Park, speaker after speaker, many with employment in the health, education and other essential public services took to the stage and spoke out publicly about their concerns. Doctors, nurses, teachers, youth workers, college lecturers, Council employees and many Councillors themselves expressed real fears for the future.

Although not organised by the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League, it was heartening to see so many Branch members there and all playing a key role in the organisation of the event which was attended by several hundred people.

Cornwall is being hit extremely hard by the austerity measures being utilised by the Westminster Government in order to attempt to pay for the massive mismanagement of the world’s various economies by the bankers. Sharing the invidious title of the poorest part of Britain along with our brother and sisters in the Welsh valleys, Cornwall continues to be one of the most impoverished parts of Europe despite decades of false promises of wealth supposedly to be generated by the false hope tourism.

The words of the late and much missed David Penhaligon, possibly one of Cornwall’s greatest MPs come to mind: ‘You need more in an economy than just tourism, ice cream and deckchairs. Our mining industry is not a figment of the last decade or the last two decades. It has occupied Cornishmen and it has produced wealth for this century, the previous century and probably the last two thousand years; and what we’re asking the government to do is to recognise the great contribution we have made for the wealth of Britain, and in this time of great trial and tribulation to come to our assistance - that’s what we’re asking our government to do.’

Taxes and money paid and created in the Duchy is quite simply haemorrhaging across the Tamar and back towards London and the so called ‘Home counties’.

Cornwall receives back far less than it pays out. Now, we have the second highest rate of homelessness in Britain and the people of Cornwall, an area where basic pay and zero hour contracts flourish even amongst health professionals, receive considerably less in public service expenditure such as health and education than elsewhere.

Members of the Kernow Branch have been at the forefront of a campaign calling for the people of Cornwall to be treated less as second class citizens and more equally with people living elsewhere.

The Convener of the Branch has today written to Cornwall’s MPs and MEPs with the following message following the Truro rally:

‘During this time when MPs have seen fit to award themselves a 10% pay rise, that rise more than some people in Cornwall earn, when the Royal Household receives 15% of the profits of the £9.9 billion Crown Estate which is managed on behalf of the monarch resulting in the Sovereign Grant rising from £31 million in 2012-13 to £40 million in the current financial year -an increase of 29% in three years, we are heartily sickened with living on the crumbs cast from the Westminster table. We demand a seat at the table.Scrape away the wealthy and second holiday home owners whose votes skew those of the indigenous populations and witness the reality of food bank Cornwall. Your heads should hang in shame.’

Many were shocked to see Cornwall ‘turn blue’ during the recent Westminster General Election. That said, and as many speakers pointed out at the Hendra rally, over 70% of people did not vote for this current government.

And now, as has occurred many times in Cornwall’s often hidden history, the fight for what is rightfully ours has again started.

The Kernow Branch is encouraging as many people as possible to take this fight, albeit a peaceful and dignified one this time, to the heart of the Westminster Government and to support the potentially huge rally in London on Saturday 20th June, 2015.

We encourage those attending to carry our much loved, unsullied and peaceful National flag of St. Piran in a true demonstration of ‘one and all’ and that as many as possible meet outside the Bank of England in London at 12 noon that day.

This event is being supported by the People’s Assembly, several Trades Unions and other staff associations, NGOs, politicians, celebrities, campaign groups and many others.

Despite careful Westminster management of the news agenda, thus far, social media is citizen driven and it is there where further details can be found.

Details of transport arrangements from Cornwall to London may be found on the following Facebook sites:



or by telephoning Stuart Cullimore of the Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance on 01209 719525.

Details of the London demonstration may be found here:

Kernow bys vyken!


31.5.15

The Cornovia blog

There have been, perhaps, one too many ephemeral and/or badly constructed Cornish blogs but Cornovia https://cornovia.wordpress.com seems to have bucked the trend so far. Well written and attractive - it's a site worth visiting and inviting others to do so. 

I've been considering hanging up my Cornish blogging hat for a while now - lack of inspiration or desire, either which way the An Omsav and Breton Connection blogs have fallen almost silent - and seeing that our blogosphere is in such good hands I can feel a little less guilty perhaps. 

13.4.15

11.4.15

It really is time for a change!

Two more telling graphics that, I hope, will make at least a few think twice before voting for a London based party in Cornwall. It really is time for a change!




9.4.15

Mebyon Kernow on the Politics Show

30.3.15

Democracy locked by @votematch and @UnlockDemocracy

Sadly, it appears that 'Unlock Democracy' have decided to exclude Mebyon Kernow from their otherwise interesting Vote Match website that is designed to help people decide who to vote for. 

I used Vote Match for Truro and Falmouth and was informed that of all the parties standing in this constituency the Greens came closest to my politics. No real surprise there but where was MK? Simply not included is the answer. 

Who ever has developed Vote Match has decided to lock out Mebyon Kernow the party for Cornwall. So much for unlocking democracy. 

22.2.15

Where EU money goes in the UK


For every £1 Cornwall puts into the EU, it gets £4 back. Ukip wants us cut off from this aid whilst Mebyon Kernow wants this money to be controlled by the people of Cornwall through directly elected Cornish assembly.

17.2.15

The Foundation of Future Cornwall


Following on from confirmation that the Cornish people have been formally recognised as a National Minority and have now been included in the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the following statement has been issued by Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for Transport as well as being a founder of the Cornish Cross Party Constitutional Convention and campaigner for Cornish recognition:
 
‘The recognition of the Cornish as a national minority is a further element of the foundations of future Cornwall. By openly and officially recognising the language, as, previously, the Government recognised the Cornish language, it means that those people who declare themselves to be Cornish can assume their rightful place in the diversity of cultures and identities which makes up modern Britain, and will in future have an equality of opportunity to access resources and rights which have, until now, been left out of policies, systems and best practice.’
 
Westminster Government announcement: Cornish granted minority status within the UK – Press releases – GOV.UK The Framework Convention: Council of Europe – ETS no. 157 – Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (This item compiled for Celtic News by Michael Chappell – Kernow Branch)




Decentralisation and the Future of Yorkshire - University of Huddersfield

February - Decentralisation and the Future of Yorkshire - University of Huddersfield Cornwall gets a mention. It'd be good to see the Cornish Constitutional Convention organising similar events.

15.2.15

@MebyonKernow and Dick Cole for St Austell and Newquay


  
The BBC Trust has denied MK’s call for a Party Election Broadcast and and the mainstream parties are spending massively in the St Austell and Newquay seat. In 2010 – between January 1st 2010 and polling day on May 6th – the Conservative candidate spent £40,968, while the Liberal Democrat candidate spent £33,852. It is also the case that in the period leading up to 2010, they also spent many tens of thousands of pounds. Even minor UK parties such as the Greens and Ukip are benefiting from an increased media attention.  Help redress the balance by putting your hands in your pockets for Dick Cole's campaign in St Austell and Newquay. Click here to give Cornwall a voice: Dick Cole (Mebyon Kernow) for St Austell.

21.1.15

It's official! @Plaid_Cymru consider Cornwall to be a county of England

In Wales vote for @TheGreenParty. In the forthcoming elections why not be part of the Green surge too and vote for the English Greens in Wales. 

Sometimes, London based parties really do know better than the locals. Help the Greens surge into Wales and bring wisdom from
their party headquarters. 

When the party leadership of Plaid advises people to vote Green across England, across the Tamar and all across Cornwall; why not decide to be part of the surging Green force in Wales too?

BREAKING NEWS: SNP calls for citizens to vote Green in the rest of the UK outside Scotland. The SNP leadership has stated that:  "whilst waiting for serious, left-of-centre and ecologically aware autonomist  parties to be created in Wales, England and Cornwall, people should really consider voting Green in these places."

6.1.15

How small do you go? The Kernow Question

I quite often get slightly tetchy emails from Cornish activists accusing me of ‘ignoring’ Cornwall’s claims to self-government. Quite honestly it’s up to the Cornish to determine what they want, e.g. a Cornish Assembly or be part of a wider South-West region, which is anathema to quite a few of the Cornish devolutionaries. But is it anathema to Cornish people as a whole? I don’t know. Cornwall already has a single local government unit, which personally I think is absolutely crazy. What happened to local government? Penzance is a long way from Liskeard, however, delightful the train journey. I’d say it was self-evident that ‘Cornwall’ should have an identity, but – like other parts of Britain – we’ve gone much too far in centralising local government to the extent it has become meaningless. The Bodmins, Falmouths, Truros and Penzances are sizeable towns which should have some political voice. That could be strengthened ‘town councils’ or something else. 

Having one single unit of governance for all Cornwall doesn’t strike me as very democratic and would horrify any German, Norwegian, French or Italian. So, coming back to the original proposition: how small can you go for ‘regional’ government (accepting Kernow’s claim to nationality, you know what I mean – were not talking independence). The population is just over half a million (and growing quite rapidly). That puts it on a par with the smallest German land – Bremen, with 661,000. So yes it’s small and you could – within a very un-British co-ordinated approach to regional devolution – include a devolved Cornwall within a larger ‘South-West’ but it gets a bit messy, doesn’t it? So if the Cornish want their own assembly, let them have it. It might not have quite the same powers as a bigger multi-million region but it shouldn’t be about one size fitting all.

The above in an extract from Paul Salveson's Illustrated Weekly Salvo 171

Former Labour councillor, Paul Salveson is one of the driving forces behind the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and Yorkshire First's candidate for the Colne Vally.

5.1.15

An open letter from Owen Jones to Ukip voters

I'm not going to waste your time or patronise you by preaching the benefits of immigration. Instead, I want to ask you this. Who has caused our country most problems: the bankers who plunged us into economic disaster, the expenses-milking politicians who have the cheek to lecture us on benefit fraud, the wealthy tax-dodgers keeping £25 billion a year from the Exchequer; the poverty wage-paying bosses and rip-off rent-charging landlords; or Indian nurses and Polish fruit pickers?


13.12.14

The Cornish are the only UK national minority denied a say over their own affairs. Assembly now! #RecogniseCornwall


Support, join and vote for Mebyon Kernow, a real alternative to Westminster politics.

29.11.14

Cornwall, so far and yet so close / Kernev-Veur, ken pell ha ken tost…

This months edition of the Breton magazine Bremañ (Now) has three articles about Cornwall and the Cornish. Here you will find the opening editorial from Bremañ and its English translation. You can find Bremañ on Facebook here

It is with Skol an Emsav, who produce Bremañ, that I started to study the Breton language in any seriousness. Many thanks to them and their team.

Kernev-Veur… Un tamm douar en tu all da Vor Breizh. E Stad Breizh-Veur. Ha ni, e Stad Frañs. Gwallzarvoudoù an Istor… Petra ’reoc’h? 

Mat eo lavaret hag adlavaret ez eo Kernev-Veur ar vroad tostañ dimp e pep keñver. N’eus ket da glask pemp troad d’ar maout. Aze emañ hor breudeur hag hor c’hoarezed nesañ. Gwir eo e sellomp aesoc’h hag aliesoc’h ouzh Kembre. Bev ar yezh du-hont. Aes a-walc’h tapout tammoù kembraeg en ur gevredigezh ma c’haller c’hoazh kembraegañ e-mesk an dud. Met Kernev-Veur eo ar vro dostañ dimp e pep keñver. N’eo ket ar c’herneveureg pempvet rannyezh ar brezhoneg. Diskouezet eo bet splann gant Ken George. Ar yezh predenek tostañ dimp ez eo avat ha diarvar eo kement-se. 

Trawalc’h e vefe kement-se evit ma vefe gwir genlabour etre Breizhiz ha Kerneveuriz evit lakaat tostaat an div yezh predenek. Ha pelloc’h c’hoazh, perak chom hep hunvreal? Lakaat an teir yezh predenek da dostaat en-dro, war dachenn an ezhommoù nevez? En hon dalc’h emañ kement-se, penn-da-benn. Ober a reomp bremañ, ken aes ha tra, gant ar ger “kleweled”. Piv a oar ez eo ar ger kembraek clyweled? N’eus forzh, graet en deus e dreuz. Peogwir e oa da vezañ evel-se. Adkavout a reer ar memes ger e kerneveureg evit an anv-gwan klywwelyek. Ur skouer hag a vefe brav heuliañ en dazont, pa gaver ar memes gwriziennoù en teir yezh. Pep hini eus an teir yezh predenek he deus traoù da reiñ d’an div all. 

 Embannet e Bremañ Du 2014, niv.397. 

"Dyski kernewek nyns yw pur gales!" da lavaret eo: “deskiñ kernewek nend eo peur galet” pe “deskiñ kerneveureg n’eo ket diaes-tre.”

In the English translation that follows I have tried my best to stay as close as possible to the Breton so that it will be easier for Cornish speakers to compare the two languages. This results in English that may seem a little unusual or clumsy at times, but it provides a better idea of how things are expressed in Breton. Please do feel free to suggest changes or corrections. I would be most grateful of the help. 

Cornwall a stretch of land on the other side of the British Sea [the Channel]. Inside Great Britain. And us [Breton's] inside the French state. The mishaps of history. What to do? 

It is good to say and say again that Cornwall is the nation closest to us in all ways. No need looking for five legs on a ram (in looking for complications). Over there are our closest brothers and sisters. It is true that we look to Wales with greater facility, and more often. The language is alive there. It's easy enough to pick up bits of Welsh in a society where one can still speak the language amongst the people. However, Cornwall is the country closest to us in all ways. Cornish is not the fifth dialect of Breton. This has been clearly demonstrated by Ken George. The closest brythonic language to ours, it is however, without risk (without doubt).

That should be enough for there to be a true collaboration between the Bretons and the Cornish to draw together these two brythonic languages. And why not dream of going further? Why not draw the three brythonic languages together again with regards to modern needs? All this is completely in our hands. We use the word kleweled [audiovisual] with no great difficulty. Who knows that there is a Welsh word clyweled? Anyway, this word has gone the distance (been accepted). Because it was to be that way. We find the same word in Cornish klywwelyek as the adjective. An example that would be great to follow in the future when we  find the same root-words in all three languages. Each of the three brythonic languages has something to offer to the two others.

Publish in Bremañ November 2014, No 397

"Dyski kernewek nyns yw pur gales!" that is to say: “deskiñ kernewek nend eo peur galet [learning Cornish is not too hard]” or “deskiñ kerneveureg n’eo ket diaes-tre [learning Cornish is not very difficult].”


23.11.14

The Dream Team - SNP, Plaid, MK, Greens and English Regionalists

SNP Should Team Up With Plaid Cymru And Greens To End Coalition's 'Austerity Economics': The SNP could team up with parties such as Plaid Cymru and the Greens at Westminster to build a new alliance in a bid to bring an end to the "austerity economics" pursued by the major parties there, Scotland's new First Minister said.

Yes, they most certainly should, and what's more, they should invite Mebyon Kernow, the various English regionlist parties and any other democratic reformers, federalists and socialists out there - those who have seen through the LibLabCon scam - to join them. After the Scottish referendum that would make politics interesting again. Whilst I know the above article refers to a parliamentary pact for which a party would need MP's I think I can still dream of a large based anti-austerity coalition fighting the next general election.

Perhaps it's naive on my part - I have very little experience of electioneering or being a politician; and I know there is some bad-blood between different parties - but I can't help imagining taking a cocktail shaker pouring in the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the various Green parties from the UK, Mebyon Kernow, Yorkshire First, North East Party, Wessex Regionalists and any other democrats, reformers, socialists and federalists disillusioned with the what's been on offer to present, and then serving up a most palatable drink to the UK electorate.

On the English regionalist front the latest developments include:

The launch of a cross party Campaign for the North, who made some very positive comments about Cornish devolution when questioned via social media.

Talks between the North East Party and Yorkshire First concerning an electoral alliance. It should also be noted that Paul Salveson of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation has joined Yorkshire First and will be their candidate for the Colne Vally.

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