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28.9.09

Nosemonkey's EUtopia

NATION STATES, REGIONALISM AND THE EU



Three articles from the Nosemonkey's EUtopia blog. All with some mention of and relevance to Cornwall and it's place in the UK and EU. They are all the more noteworthy for the general quality of debate that follows each article.

Labour fails to explain Equality Bill exclusions

This in from staunch Cornish rights supporter Peter Tatchell.

"The government is ignoring all requests to explain why its Equality Bill explicitly denies lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people protection against harassment. Protection is offered on the grounds of race, gender and disability, but not on the grounds of sexual orientation or transgender identity. Why are we excluded? It is time Labour gave us an explanation," said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

"I wrote to the Minister for Women & Equalities, Harriet Harman, nearly two months ago. Despite reminders, she has failed to offer any answers. Her stonewalling is disrespectful and disappointing. It is an insult to the whole lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to refuse to explain why we are excluded from this legislation.

"These exclusions are not accidental omissions. They are explicitly written into the Equality Bill," said Mr Tatchell.

A copy of the Peter Tatchell's letter to Harriet Harman, Minister for Women & Equalities, follows below:

Further information: Peter Tatchell 0207 403 1790

Minister for Women & Equalities
Cabinet Office
Whitehall, SW1

10 August 2009

Dear Harriet Harman,

Equality Bill

Below is a copy of a news release outlining OutRage's concerns regarding the explicit exclusion from the Equality Bill of protection from harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender reassignment - and other related matters.

1) I would be grateful to receive from you an explanation for these harassment clause exclusions. We do not believe that they are justified and urgently request a government amendment to remove them - for the reasons stated below.

2) We also request that the protections for gender reassignment be redefined to cover the broader category of gender identity - see the news release below.

3) Finally, we ask that the government remove the exemption of faith schools from the curriculum requirements regarding sex and relationship education, as explained below.

I would be grateful to hear from you as your earliest convenience.

Yours with appreciation and best wishes,

Peter Tatchell, OutRage!, 0207 403 1790
45 Arrol House, Rockingham Street, London SE1 6QL.

Equality Bill discriminates

LGBTs excluded from anti-harassment clauses

London - 10 August 2009

"The Equality Bill should be renamed the Inequality Bill. While other vulnerable groups are protected against harassment, protection is denied to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. We are explicitly excluded from the anti-harassment clauses of the bill," said Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!

"The government has failed to provide any rational, satisfactory explanation for this exclusion.

"This legislation is supposed to harmonise and standardise all equality laws, so that everyone has the same rights and protection. Sadly, it enshrines in law discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in clauses 28, 32, 33, 34 and 82.

"No LGBT group supports this discriminatory legislation, except Stonewall. It claims that homophobic and transphobic harassment are not significant problems and can be dealt with under existing legislation. If this argument is true, and harassment is already covered adequately under other existing legislation, why does the Equality Bill need to outlaw harassment on the grounds of age, disability, race and sex? Why does it specifically and uniquely exclude harassment on the grounds of gender reassignment and sexual orientation - and, in some instances, on the grounds of religion or belief? Why the differential treatment?

"Since this bill is intended to create a uniform legislative framework, all forms of harassment should be covered by its clauses. There should be no exemptions.

"As it stands, the Equality Bill denies protection against homophobic harassment by school authorities, by the owners and managers of properties and by the providers of services. Such harassment is outlawed on the grounds of age, disability, race, sex and in some instances on the grounds of gender reassignment. But in no case does it offer protection against harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.

"This omission gives a green light to homophobes. They won't face sanctions for homophobic harassment under this proposed law.

"LGBT organisations like Stonewall and School's Out are campaigning against homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools, some of which is perpetrated or tolerated by school staff according to a Stonewall survey of LGBT pupils.

"By excluding protection against harassment in schools on the grounds of gender reassignment and sexual orientation, this legislation is sending a signal to schools that the harassment of LGBT pupils need not be taken seriously.

"Exempting schools from the anti-harassment clauses is particularly shocking and unforgiveable, given the widespread bullying of LGBT pupils. We urge the government to amend the Equality Bill immediately.

"The legislation has an anti-transgender bias. Protection against harassment is restricted to those people who are proposing, or have undergone, gender reassignment, and transgender pupils in schools are excluded from the Bill's anti-harassment protections.

"The definition of transgender is too narrow. Trans people who are not yet planning, or have not yet undertaken, gender reassignment are left unprotected by the Equality Bill. The legislation should be amended to give protection on the wider grounds of gender identity, not the narrow grounds of gender reassignment.

"The Equality Bill has the overall good intention of harmonising and equalising all equality laws, to create a level legislative playing field. But this positive goal is undermined by the government's simultaneous announcement that it plans to exempt faith schools from its action plan to tackle homophobic prejudice and bullying. They will be allowed to teach sex and relationship education in accordance with their own religious values, which often include the idea that gay people are sinners, unnatural, immoral and inferior human beings.

"Such values reinforce homophobia, which can lead to homophobic harassment, discrimination and violence," said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

The discriminatory clauses of the Equality Bill:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmbills/131/09131.i-vii.html#top

Clause 28 - Provision of services - Ban on discrimination, harassment and victimisation

Clauses 32, 33 and 34 - Disposal and management of premises by landlords and freeholders etc. - Ban on harassment

Clause 82 - Schools - Ban on harassment (excludes harassment on the grounds of both sexual orientation and gender reassignment).

Further information:

Peter Tatchell
OutRage! - The LGBT Human Rights Campaign

0207 403 1790

45 Arrol House
Rockingham Street
London SE1 6QL
--
NOTE: Please do not reply via this automated email system.

www.petertatchell.net

27.9.09

Equality watchdog prevaricates on Cornish ethnicity issue.

From the Celtic League: EQUALITY WATCHDOG PREVARICATES ON CORNISH ETHNICITY ISSUE.

Cornwall in Europe

The below comes from the Federal Union and is organised by the Federal Trust. Contact details for the conference are provided below.

Wednesday 28 October 2009 - London

Cornwall in Europe

This conference will be an opportunity to learn more about one of the historic regions of the United Kingdom and Europe from representatives of Cornish cultural and intellectual life. Organised jointly by the Federal Trust and Cornish cultural group CERES, it will also be an opportunity to understand better the European links and networks in which Cornish representatives participate. 4.30pm-7pm, at London Metropolitan University, 31 Jewry Street, London EC3N 2EY.

For more information, please send an e-mail to info@fedtrust.co.uk or call 020 7320 3045.

26.9.09

Forgotten Cornwall

Yet again the fourth nation of Great Britain has been forgotten! No great surprise as it's been happening for quite some time now.

This time however the two-faced nature of the 'oversight' really needs to be highlighted.

The Liberal Democrat MP's in Kernow, notably Dan Rogerson and Andrew George, go to some lengths to promote Cornish issues. Questions of Duchy constitution, Cornish tick box on the UK census and the Government of Cornwall Bill have all been recent Lib Dem developments.

What is surprising then is the almost total lack of awareness of the Cornish question in Lib Dem circles outside Kernow. If you mention Rogerson's Bill to one of his fellow party members from another part of the UK, more often than not, you'll simply receive a puzzled look.

"Cornwall wants devolution!?"

One would have thought that the recent Lib Dem party conference would have been the perfect opportunity to put Cornwall's case to the rest of the party. Sadly however, as has been pointed out on this Cornwall 24 thread, just about every aspect of devolution was mentioned, along with copious reference to Scotland, Wales, England and the Six Counties, except that is Cornish devolution.

It seems all the work our Cornish MPs have done, culminating in the Government of Cornwall Bill, didn't even merit one word. Did our MPs even propose that Cornwall's aspirations feature?

Surely our Cornish Lib Dems are not so cynical as to simply throw up a bit of nationalist window dressing in order to save their seats at the next election? Perhaps the Tories are already following their lead. At least we can say that Labour are consistent in ignoring all Cornish specificity. Honesty in their disregard for the Cornish question.

Perhaps it'd be wise to write to your MP and ask why Cornwall was forgotten once again.

23.9.09

English Regionalists

From the Wessex Regionalists: Cornwall points the way. More on English regionalism can be found here at regionalist.net and here at Devolve.

18.9.09

Britain warns of rise in far-right violence

A British government minister said a recent rise in right-wing anti-Islamist militancy bore echoes of 1930s attempts by fascists to spread fear in Jewish areas of east London. Communities Secretary John Denham said far right groups were deliberately trying to provoke ethnic minority groups into conflict in a bid to cause divisions within communities. His comments came after members of the Stop Islamisation of Europe group were confronted by about 1,000 opponents outside a mosque in north London last week. Support for the far-right British National Party has been growing, fuelled by anger at the main parties and suspicion that immigration was impacting on jobs and services. Groups such as the anti-Islamist English Defence League have become more prominent since a small number of Muslim protesters heckled and jeered a homecoming parade by British soldiers earlier this year. Read more

Cornwall Forward!

Perhaps it's time to take stock of the situation in our Cornish Duchy while demands for real change in the UK are still fresh.

Across the Political Spectrum

With three councilors on the Cornwall Council and having beaten Labour in Cornwall's Euro-elections Mebyon Kernow is looking the healthiest it has for years. Can MK build on these successes by harvesting support from a public disillusioned with the London based parties? They are certainly steadfast supporters of radical democratic renewal.

The Cornish Greens in their manifesto -A Fresh Start for Cornwall- have reiterated their call for the "devolution of power to Cornwall including a full Cornish Assembly with regional powers", and support from the prominent Green Party candidate, Peter Tatchell, seems to be unending [1][2].

Even the Tories seem to be speaking Cornish these days. No small affairs considering their power sharing arrangement with a group of independents in the Council that contains many a supporter of Cornish recognition and devolution.

The Liberal Democrats in Cornwall

Ousted from the Council as they may be the Liberal Democrats have still produced some interesting material in Kernow. MP Andrew George has combined his constitutional investigations with a larger vision of Cornwall's potential to suggest a new beginning (pdf). George's interest in the Cornish question is a long standing affair but recent movement was sparked by Notary Public John Kirkhope's research into the Duchy following the work of our other constitutionalists [1] [2] [3]. The general conclusion is that if recognised Cornwall's de jure constitution as a Duchy would afford it a very large degree of self-government.

Then earlier this summer MP Dan Rogerson produced his Government of Cornwall Bill. Even though the bill is unlikely to achieve much in the immediate future it has still been described as adding much needed fuel to the Cornish devolution debate. Although regrettably unheard of by Rogerson's fellow party members out side the Duchy all the Cornish MPs have backed the bill in addition to supporting the campaign for a 'Cornish Census' for 2011.

The Lib Dems have claimed on numerous occasions that Cornwall's new Unitary Council could be the starting point for a journey to a Cornish Assembly (pdf), but can local be transformed into national government?

The European Region of Culture Campaign

Although steering well clear of Cornish nationalism and party politics the aspirations of Cornwall Culture and its leadership of the European Region of Culture Campaign are clearly regionalist. The campaigns objective to make Cornwall one of Europe’s fist 'regions of culture' marries well with EU regional recognition and perhaps therefore true regional government. The campaign has been severely criticised for ignoring authentic Cornish culture and heritage as well as snubbing established players in the field but this essentially good idea still looks set for success.

Grass Roots

A healthy Transition Town culture seems to be taking root in Cornwall with the aim of producing self-reliant robust communities across the Duchy. Not so far from some of Transition Cornwall's aims the Trelawney Alliance are saying -NO- to unsustainable mass housing development. Perhaps some pointers could be taken from London Citizens on mobilising our communities.

Tying it all up

So swift trade with plenty of action but what seems to be missing is a joined-up approach. Isn't the Cornish Constitutional Convention supposed to be acting as the focal point for change? If it can't then where should we turn to find the cohesion that is clearly needed? Now perhaps more than ever Cornish aspirations should be formulated, clearly stated and fed into the larger and much needed debate on democratic reform in the UK.

I doubt it will provide definitive answers but perhaps the conference -Cornwall in Europe: a perspective from minorities- organised for the 28th of October by the Federal Trust will provide some bearings for the way ahead.

17.9.09

Kernow Action Now!

The Cornish have a long history with direct action not the least of which being the 1497 rebellion against an unfair taxation coupled with an English establishment encroaching on Cornish rights. Community groups and movements are to be found across Kernow perhaps the most high profile ones recently being the Trelawny Alliance and STIG.

Equally in other Celtic nations anarchism has been married with demands for cultural and political rights. Take for example the Breton group Coordination Bretagne Indépendate et Libertaire (CBIL) and its many affiliated groups (1)(2)(3)(4). Rooting themselves in their culture groups such as CBIL campaign for inclusive and autonomous communities coupled with virulent anti-fascism.

It should be noted that the above are not to be confused with the perverse neo-nazi national anarchists who mix anarchism with theories of racial seperatism and purity.

Perhaps with the blog -Kernow Action Now!- it is the first time we have seen non-violent direct action married with the politics of anarchy in the Duchy. I really know nothing about them but from what I can see their focus is on environmental and social issues rather than political autonomy or cultural rights. They also look to have some connection with the Transition movement. To my eyes they seem to want to fight the good fight and Cornwall's problems can certainly be analysed from social, environmental and feminist perspectives.

Nevertheless it should be pointed out to KAN that activists who target the the myriad of undemocratic quangos that govern Kernow and the feudal Duchy with its insidious influence over our democracy would be applauded by the Cornish movement.

A thread exists on the Cornwall 24 forum -Calling Cornish Anarchists- so perhaps KAN could be invited to tell us a little bit more about themselves. If anyone fancies jumping into the lions den then there is a thread on the Libcom forum called -Cornish Anarchists / Cornish Autonomists. Be warned though! The word 'nationalist' causes a violent reaction.

16.9.09

POWER2010







The campaign, POWER2010, which replaces the previous Real Change initiative, has been launched and is looking for ideas from the UKs public on how  to renew British democracy.

They write:

MPs' expenses, rock bottom turnouts, attacks on our freedoms – our democracy is in crisis. But in the next few months we can change politics. For good.

POWER2010 gives you the chance to have a say in how our democracy works for us all. Do you want cleaner funding? Fairer voting? More accountability? You decide. Tell us your ideas for changing the way we run our country. Those with most support will become the POWER2010 Pledge - and help change Britain for the better.

This is your campaign - and we need your ideas. Submit your ideas here. Vote for a new politics. POWER2010.


Contributing ideas is very simple and perhaps this is yet one more chance to express Cornish aspirations and Cornish rights. An interview with Helena Kennedy OC, Chair of POWER2010, can be found here on the OurKingdom blog.

14.9.09

Boycott the Daily Mail's publications in Cornwall!


Time to take a quick look at the Cornish press following the article -Cornwall IS in England and the Cornish can't be allowed control- from 'Piran Pascoe'.

Whether you think Cornwall a nation or not does it deserve, even need, a free and balanced press? I hope others join me in answering this question with a resounding YES. A healthy civic society needs and should be mirrored by a free and egalitarian press.

Is this what the Duchy has? The Western Morning News, The West Briton, The Cornishman, The Cornish Guardian and Cornwall Today are all part of the Northcliffe Media Group which itself is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. Readers will probably be aware of the hard-right verging on far-right editorial line of the Daily Mail but just to provide some historical perspective to this political position:

In 1922 Lord Rothermere acquired control of the Daily Mail newspaper and to this date, Rothermere's descendants continue to control the Daily Mail and General Trust. Rothermere and the Mail were editorially sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the Fascists and he wrote an article, "Hurrah for the Blackshirts", in January 1934, praising Mosley for his "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine". Rothermere visited and corresponded with Hitler. On 1 October 1938, Rothermere sent Hitler a telegram in support of Germany's invasion of the Sudetenland, and expressing the hope that 'Adolf the Great' would become a popular figure in Britain. Secret British government papers released in 2005 show that Rothermere wrote to Adolf Hitler congratulating him for the annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and encouraged him to march into Romania.

I would say that the Piran Pascoe article inscribes well in the populist Anglo-British nationalist tradition of the Mail and all its underlings in Cornwall. A contributor to the Cornwall 24 forum summarised the article as follows:

In terms of a free press I do not object to the article. What I – and many do object to – is a similar right of reply. Even the WB's letter page has been cut down and sanitised to deter lengthy correspondence. The article itself was poorly written, anti Cornish (carefully bordering on racism), full of mistakes (i.e. talk of 'independence' rather than devolution), failed to discuss real issues such as the need to devolve in the face of funding constraints and was pathetically populist with the photo of Katie Price cuddling Colin Gregory who (incidentally) is a fantastic journalist compromised by working for this outfit.

Another contributor wrote:

An anonymous "Journalist" who uses the age old tactic of mockery and ridicule to make his point, (I am aware that this is written in a similar way) belittle your opponent, pitch your piece at those people who already agree with you, whilst casting doubts on the mental faculties of your opponents "I am sure, like me, many of you normal readers will laugh out loud at this very concept", "Initially I just found this concept – and the deluded band of merry men behind it – laughable" (are the printers of the WB running out of comma's?), "and these kind of proposals are the finest fiction from Cloud Cuckoo land". He uses the words "Them" and "They" to distinguish that there is a definite difference between those "normal" people like him, and the abnormal people who hold such "Cloud Cuckoo land" opinions.

Indeed the article seems to do little more than attack and caricaturise political opponents using hackneyed stereotypes. At no point is there a substantive and rational criticism of any one issue or the suggestion of constructive alternatives. Populist name calling but that is all the West Briton thinks the residents of Cornwall deserve apparently.

Personally I think the Cornish could handle properly researched articles with well argued points of view but tell that to them. Will we see similarly childish articles for a dumbed down duchy that lampoon UKIP, the BNP or the Tories? Don't hold your breath.

It is interesting to note that even when attacking the Cornish and their aspiration for greater democracy it is still felt necessary to adopt symbols of Cornish ethnic or social identity to lend some form of credibility to their out-pourings. Hence 'the Skipper', hence 'Piran Pascoe'. It appears in fact that Piran Pascoe is from Essex.

What's the answer? Hopefully rags as described above are gasping their last breaths in the modern world of the internet so let’s help them on their way to the back pages of history.

Boycott the Daily Mail Groups papers in Cornwall!

Sometimes it is sadly necessary to destroy so that fresh new shoots can grow. We have a number of other truly local community media projects that deserve all our support. -Cornish World MyCornwallTV Penwith Radio Cornwall 24Lets help them grow into the media that our region so badly needs.

13.9.09

Study Session on “old” and “new” minorities a success

Taken from the website for the Youth of European Nationalities.

In cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Working Group on Politics of the Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) organised a study session on the subject of “old” and “new” minorities. The aim was to explore the differences and similarities between autochthonous, national minorities and the new minorities and to elaborate a recommendation on the basis of which YEN can continue its decision building process.

Roberta Medda-Windischer from the European Academy Bozen/Bolzano, who is author of the book “Old and New Minorities: Reconciling Diversity and Cohesion: a Human Rights Model for Minority Integration”, was invited as an experts and gave an introduction to the subject. Additionally the participants listened to Nicola Markesgoerlach from the Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, who gave an overview about the legal situation in regard to the protection of “old” minorities.

22 Young participants discussed in the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe about the problems and challenges minorities have to face and explored which of those apply both to “old” as well as to “new” minorities. The second step was to elaborate possible solutions for the challenges that had been found.

The question how YEN could integrate “new” minorities in its work was ardently discussed and the results were included in the recommendation. It is now up to the Working Group (WG) on Politics, the board and the member organisations to take the next steps and to implement the recommendations.

For planning and organising the following team has been responsible: Frank de Boer (project officer), Igor Guizzardi (commissioner for politics), Nadine Lyamouri-Bajja (Council of Europe), Diana Koreng (WG), Daniel Hegedüs (WG), Sebastian Seehauser (WG) – Thank you very much!

9.9.09

Open Kernow

This is written in response to the OurKingdom article on the new IPPR booklet entitled -The Power of Belonging- by Ben Rogers and Rick Muir.

A happy and empowered individual who is respected in his own home makes a much better host.

In his speech at the Cornwall Lecture of November last, Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, called for a new collectivism in Cornwall. A renewed capacity to work together towards a shared idea of progress. Taylor argues for a citizen-centric, self sustaining and empowered Cornwall where decision making is brought as close to our communities as possible. He suggests that such an inclusive and participatory Cornish society would be able to meet the demands of the 21st century - one such demand being the necessity of immigration.

Wound up with the issue of national or racial diversity is the continuing scale of economic inequality. Behind the picturesque exterior Cornwall is a place of huge divides. Could Cornwall develop its own strategy, engaging not just policy makers but the wider population in asking what might the County do to become the most inclusive part of the United Kingdom?

I agree - and why not use the well defined Cornish identity around which to create such a new collectivism? Secure, empowered and celebrated old minorities - ethno regional or national identities - would be much better at welcoming and integrating new minority groups than some hotchpotch and post-imperialist concept of Britishness. If we wish to integrate new minorities, what better way than by first ensuring a self confident, healthy and robust community identity into which they are to be welcomed.

If valued and celebrated, the Cornish, Welsh, Scottish, English and English regional identities, would be very productive starting points from which to pursue intercultural dialogue with new minority groups. After all, these pre-existent community identities will be the day-to-day reality and cultural environment for the new arrivals. If we leave them neglected then we are asking for intolerance and xenophobia to take root. Currently we see awkward and uneasy attempts to layer a ‘British’ identity over what is essentially a multinational island. Rejected as it is by many Celts and English people, how can we expect new minorities to take it seriously? Who wants to be British, if not even the Brits do?

For many years now Mebyon Kernow has been arguing for an empowered and inclusive Cornwall set in the context of a UK with a comprehensive Equalities Act. In the same spirit the pressure group, the Cornish Stannary Parliament, has been calling for a guarantee of legal equality to be included in UK law which would be to the benefit of all minority groups old and new. As part of a wider Cornish autonomy movement both groups have been campaigning hard for greater decision making powers to be given to our communities and ALL the people who live in them.

Instead, however, we have seen Cornwall denuded of power and its identity ignored. Decision making ability over such issues as culture and heritage has been given to unelected English quangos.

The philosopher and writer, George Santayana, wrote “A man’s feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.” A confident nation is an open and welcoming one, but we are a country of countries and policy makers need to take this into consideration.

So lets take the initiative! I for one would love to see a Cornish forum where Cornish and Celtic cultural groups could come together with other minority community groups to promote intercultural understanding and exchange.

Kernow In the press

Just to round up and bookmark some articles of interest on the net.
Featured in Liberty Central on the Guardian website.

On the Independents website.

Featured in the Fourth World Journal from the Center of World Indigenous Studies (USA).

Featured on the Slugger O'Toole politics blog from Northern Ireland.

Featured on the blog for Republic- the campaign for an elected head of state.

6.9.09

The Unfortunate face of English nationalism

Do the English have a right to a nationalist movement? Of course they do and if the people of England want an English Parliament then they should have one.

I doubt if such a parliament centralised in London would do much more for Cornwall than the UK parliament does now but that's democracy.

No matter how rich the current bellyaching from English nationalist is about the 'raw deal' England gets in the current post devolution set-up (think about the centuries of pre-devolution Anglo-dominated rule from London which of course they were more than happy with) their arguments are still valid. A nation has a right to self-determination.

A little bit more humility from them when dealing with their Celtic neighbours and an understanding of the Cornish question might be expected but sadly this is not the case. There are of course some honourable exceptions. Paul Kingsnorth is a very respectable English nationalist, but sadly they are few and far between.

The problem seems to lie in the well spring of English nationalist support. Right-wing, reactionary and xenophobic: English nationalists appear to be former British nationalists/unionists (BNP, UKIP etc) who, slightly more savvy than their ex-colleagues, realise devolution is a process and that Anglo-dominated Britain is finished.

Whether the English Defence League or the English Democrats, a supposed moderate civic nationalist party, the majority face of English nationalism is ugly and ultimately damaging for the campaign for English home-rule. It seems that the Scots and the minority SNP government are doing more for the English cause than the entire English nationalist movement united.

Perhaps Newquay's very own Keith Riley would consider adding a link on his website to the extremist white nationalist England First Party with whom his party, the very civic English Democrats, have an alliance. Personally I'd rather eat a pasty full of glass than be a member of a party that composses with fascists but there you go, Keith has never felt the need to give his opinion on this issue.

On Keiths website we see "committed to government of the people, by the people, for the people". Very good but is that just 'white people' as his allies in the north would have it? And from a Cornish perspective: does not the demand for a Cornish assembly backed by the petition of 50,000 signatures qualify for consideration as being 'of' and 'by' the people?

The current situation in the UK is unfair for England (and Cornwall) and the English should be allowed the right to self-determination. This right to self-determination however also includes having the choice of powerful devolved regional governments across England instead of a centralised English Parliament. Democrats should be pushing for the residents of England to be given the choice of what form of government they want.

5.9.09

2.9.09

OfSTED and the missing Cornish option

OFSTED has buckled under pressure from English nationalists to provide an English option on their ethnic monitoring forms. Any chance the Cornish could see some fair play from this English institution?

Dear Sir / Madam

It has been brought to my attention that some forms provided by OFSTED give the options for users to record their ethnicity. The ethnic options include White British, White Scottish, White Welsh and White Irish. I believe also now a White English option has been made available following complaints from the Campaign for an English Parliament. See link: OFSTED replacing ethnic monitoring forms following CEP complaint.

I would like to ask why your forms have no option for a Cornish group, white or other, to register their ethnicity?

The ethnic data from the 2009 Cornish schools survey showed that 34% of children consider themselves to be Cornish rather than British or English. The results from the 2001 UK population census show over 37,000 people hold a Cornish identity instead of English or British. On this census, to claim to be Cornish, you had to deny being British, by crossing out the British option and then write 'Cornish' in the "other" box. For the 2001 census the Cornish were allocated the 06 code by the Office of National Statistics.

Can you please explain why a Cornish option is missing from your forms when Scottish, Welsh and now English options are available? This seems to be rather discriminatory towards a small indigenous ethnic group.

1.9.09

On Cornish Census Day 27th March 2011 vote Cornish

A couple of quotes on the Cornish census issue worth sharing. Join the Facebook group if your care about this as well as write to your MP and Councillors.


“The mistaken past attempts to answer the question of ‘Cornishness’ in terms of implausibly pure blood lineage or length of residence in Cornwall are generally accepted to be stale and self-defeating. Self-definition is the only sensible way forward in Cornwall, just as it is in Scotland, England and Wales, etc.

“I do hope that the ONS will give Cornwall and Cornish people a decent chance to both record and to celebrate their identity as they plan for the next Census in two years time.”

MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives,
Andrew George

—————————————————————————————————–

The UK State Government refuses to acknowledge the Cornish right to be protected under the Council of Europe’s “Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities! (FCNM), and their failure to make transparent the Cornish right to self-identify as “Cornish” in the 2001 Census, and likewise the 2011 Census, is a covert part of this official denial.

It is also clear from a recent case in the High Court that the consequence, of this contrived lack of (Census) clarity, is being used as a tool against Cornish Rights. It was used to superficially dismiss legally presented evidence (and argument), challenging the Government’s arbitrary, and criminally negative, treatment of the Cornish people, and clearly intended to deny ‘the Cornish’ the above international protection.

It should be the duty, and obligation, of everyone – especially elected representatives (existing and aspiring) and especially the new Cornwall Council to make this right made known to all, by every means at its disposal.
Tyr Gwyr Gweryn.


One Cornwall One Love

Just to advertise the Respect Festival on 29th August in Truro. Click on the picture for all details.

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