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12.12.12

2011 Census results for Cornish

Nationalia: 57.5% state that Wales is their only nation, with highest proportions in the south east and lowest in the north east · Almost 14% of people in Cornwall declare a Cornish national identity · Englishness more than doubles Britishness in England · London emerges as the stronghold of the British national identity.

With no clear tick-box option for Cornish, and despite limited publicity that claiming such a national identity was even possible, the numbers have still doubled. Not enough some might be tempted to say but hasty comparisons with Scotland and Wales should be guarded against when considering these statistics.

For centuries now Cornwall has suffered Anglo-British propaganda. From all official government sources, establishment bodies, schools and mainstream media outlets we have heard only that we are English and that Cornwall is a simple shire county of England. Unlike Wales and Scotland our national identity has been given no official recognition as a 'home nation' via sports teams, arts bodies or other institutions. Quite the contrary in fact. The Duchy, our true constitutional status, has been swept under the UK's dusty moth-holed carpet. With this in mind is it not really quite miraculous that our Celtic identity has survived and a testimony to its strength. That over the decades dedicated individuals have given up so much to keep the flame alive should never be forgotten. Now for the 80,000 who claimed a Cornish identity to continue the struggle.

There can be no doubt now that for the 2021 UK census, alongside ones for English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish and British, a tick-box option for Cornish national identity must be included. When we note that in 2011 41% of Cornish school children (28,584 pupils out of 69,811) claimed a Cornish identity rather than English, British or other the contradiction with these latest results is evident. So that reliable statistics can at last be collected only one option remains for any responsible future government.

Equally clear is the existence of a sizeable minority population within Cornwall that has no recognition and therefore no provision for the promotion of its culture. The non-inclusion of the Cornish under the terms of the Council of Europe’s framework convention for the protection of national minorities (FCNM) has become an ever more glaring fault of the UK government.

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