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16.1.17

Cornwall reported or Cornwall distorted? @cornwallreports

On the face of it Cornwall Reports seems to be a very interesting idea but if I have a doubt it's due to the principle name attached to the project. My concerns about Graham Smith have been spelt out elsewhere (click here), they don't need to be repeated here.

What can be added however is a little detail that came to mind on reading his name. Once, in a pique with Mebyon Kernow, Smith, on his impartial BBC blog, quoted George Orwell on nationalism - the objective being undoubtedly to paint MK as evil nationalists. The irony! An employee of a state-controlled media mouthpiece quoting George 'Big Brother' Orwell in an attack on a small political movement that defends the rights of a dissenting minority. When this was pointed out on his blog no response was forthcoming. 

A thought for the day: Perhaps if Mr Smith, the Labour party and a long list of others had spent more of their time examining and taking apart the arguments of the Anglo-British nationalist and xenophobic UKIP rather than focusing their attention on the likes of MK, Plaid and the SNP (competitors with Labour) we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.

Anyway, what they have to say for themselves can be found below. Should they be awarded the benefit of the doubt? I suppose so.

Cornwall Reports is a project to reinvent journalism.  It is part of a mission to re-establish the primacy of rationalism and objective facts, using technology to finance the gathering and dissemination of news.  Like the pamphleteers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Cornwall Reports seeks to make a fundamental contribution to democracy.

The premise is that as technology lowers production costs, so the value of media reduces, finally, to that of its content alone.  The ambition of Cornwall Reports is to eventually produce content which is financed entirely by its consumers.  In short, you will pay for only what you read, without the hidden costs of adverts, pop-ups, surveys and clickbait. Cornwall Reports is just journalism, pure and simple.

In the 21st century, the Cornwall Reports project will have to challenge the might of global publishing giants such as Facebook and Google – which today effectively act as gatekeepers to almost every digital word read online.  Cornwall Reports must therefore fight an asymmetrical war in which size alone does not matter.

The business plan calls for Cornwall Reports to build a brand identity free of advertising (the growing prevalence of ad-blocking software already poses a severe threat to conventional online news media) and ultimately to make its content invisible to search engines.

Cornwall Reports becomes viable as an ad-free online newspaper once it has 1,000 subscribers.  The sooner that day comes, the better – we estimate about one year.  If you would be willing to be among the founding subscribers, and would like to take advantage of the rewards that includes, then please email theboss@cornwallreports.co.uk and we will get in touch.

11.1.17

Bauman's legacy

Bauman's legacy | openDemocracy: Zygmunt knew that we don’t die wishing we owned a bigger television, but longing for more time to be with the people we love, doing things we love doing. It is how he would have died.

10.1.17

A Charter for Cornwall

The Cornish countryside is disappearing at an alarming rate. Our landscapes are being degraded and urbanised and the character of our towns and villages is changing forever. Tranquility, the environment and our heritage are ruthlessly ignored. Our young people are finding it more and more difficult to find an affordable home yet, meanwhile, housing continues to be sold off as second 'homes'. Our hospitals and schools cannot cope and our roads are ever more congested. Unfortunately, Cornwall Council seems determined to ramp up housing and population growth even more.

There has to be a better way. But to change the actions of the Council, we have to change the actions of the Councillors.

We will be calling on candidates seeking election to Cornwall Council in May 2017 to sign up to the four pledges of a Charter for Cornwall.

* reduce Cornwall Council's excessive housing targets and put local needs first

* restore social rented housing and increase genuinely affordable housing

* reduce the number of second homes

* support the devolution of strategic planning to Cornwall

We will then see who best to vote for to obtain a council more committed to Cornwall, its countryside and its culture.

For more see: www.charterforcornwall.com

You can help:

a) share this message as widely as possible.

b) suggest any amendments to the principles or pledges. The final wording won't be decided until the next phase of the campaign in early February.

c) support the Charter for Cornwall by getting in touch with us and leaving your email address on our contact form.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

5.1.17

Our aim is to bring about unity in diversity

The Rojava Embassy: Freedom and Form | New Compass: Unity in diversity

There was much critique by speakers of the centralized nation-state. Especially the way in which the form the nation-state takes erodes and assimilates the colorful diversity of society through engineering the creation of a singular language, culture, and nation. In the same vein, speakers lauded the importance of democratic confederalism as a model, put into practice in Rojava, which nourishes and protects each ethnic and religious group within its system. In this context, there was also an emphasis on the ecological pillar of democratic confederalism, described as a way of encompassing each unique aspect of the various languages, cultures, religions, and peoples present in Rojava. As Sînam Mohammed, European Representative of the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava, simply stated: “Our aim is to bring about unity in diversity.”

20.12.16

Thanks again Irvine Welsh

There are many small indy/devolutionist/advocacy parties in England (MK in Cornwall, Yorkshire First, NEP, Wessex Regionalists etc) trying to gain traction for progressive, decentralist policies. Such groups should be supported by Scottish democrats just as much as PC in Wales. Yes, they might not be that significant in size, but neither was the SNP at one time. 

12.12.16

The Cornish alternative



From the myth of the methane princess to a reflection of Cornwall's rich history of radiocommunications, his home county permeates the music of Richard D James far more than as a cultural backwater, says Laura Snapes. 

21.11.16

Do we want to be part of a devonwall?

Do we want to be part of a devonwall run by the likes of South West Water? Or do we want a Cornwall run by people who live and work here in Cornwall, people who put its communities first? The answer seems obvious.

A very pertinent question to be found in blog 4 of a series about Devonwall being developed by Bernard Deacons on his website. Read the first here.

14.11.16

'My struggle is your struggle’: Creating a convergence of struggles across anti-discrimination movements


As the world gets smaller and smaller with globalisation and the spread of ever-increasing forms of communication, we have never been more connected. We have more information at our fingertips and more opportunities for collaboration and common action than ever before. Campaigns such as “Black Lives Matter” show how rights activists now have more tools and spaces at their disposal for creating awareness around issues of discrimination and bringing dozens of organisations and millions of people together around a common cause. This provides fertile ground for building a real convergence of struggles across anti-discrimination movements, but that also requires us to align our priorities and question and change our way of doing things.

7.11.16

Letters to lobby against Devonwall - AVAILABLE HERE

24.10.16

The Communist Manifesto now in Cornish

A Cornish language translation of the Communist Manifesto is to be launched in Truro on Saturday 29 October. Translated by a Cornish communist who uses the pen-name Penruth, the booklet will be launched at a public meeting in the Railway Tavern, next to Truro station, at 7pm. Mr Ray Chubb (Map Essa) of Agan Tavas (Our Language) has checked the translation and will be present at the launch.

The booklet is published by the Communist Party of Britain. Mr Ken Keable, the party’s District Secretary for South West England and Cornwall, says, “The decision to publish this translation is symbolic of our support for Cornish culture and the Cornish language and for the aspiration of Cornish people to have the special status and needs of Cornwall to be acknowledged. We also hope that Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer will be a useful addition to the body of literature in the Cornish language.”

“Published in 1848, the Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, contains the first and most complete summary of the theoretical principles of Marxism and of the strategy and tactics of Communism” said Mr Keable. “By any standards, it is a historic document. It is still remarkably relevant today, if only because of its analysis of the problems of the capitalist system that we see all around us, with gross inequality, mass unemployment, periodic crises and perpetual wars.”

Ms Liz Payne, Chair of the Communist Party and of its District Committee, will speak about Cornish labour history and the history of the struggle for Cornish culture.

Mr Owain Holland, General Secretary of the Young Communist League, who lives in Cornwall and is a Cornish language user, will chair the meeting. The 30-page booklet will be on sale at £2. Further details from Ken Keable at 01935 823121 or southwest@communist-party.org.uk.

15.10.16

Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland launch a Celtic union of renewable energy

Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland launch a celtic union of renewable energy | CommonSpace. Another project that an autonomous Cornwall would have been able to integrate and undoubtedly benefit from.

1.10.16

What you can do to say no to Devonwall!

MK members are at the very forefront of the campaign against the proposed Devonwall seat. In the last 24 hours, we have been featured on local radio and so-called “regional” television, as well as UK-wide newspapers.  

Please join us in opposing the creation of such a cross-Tamar constituency, which would be an unprecedented disaster, breaching the very territorial integrity of the historic nation of Cornwall
See below for more information what you can do: 

The UK Government has commenced a review of parliamentary constituencies and the Boundary Commission (for England) has recommended a “Devonwall” seat, which would include land stretching from St Teath and St Breward, to Bude and Launceston. On the English side of the Tamar, the seat will extend to the town of Bideford.

Please join MK and other Cornish organisations in opposing the creation of such a cross-Tamar constituency, which would be an unprecedented disaster, breaching the very territorial integrity of the historic nation of Cornwall.

Please demand an amendment to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act

The Boundary Review process is being driven by the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, which became law in 2011.

This Act reduces the number of constituencies to 600 and states that, apart from four specific constituencies (Orkney & Shetland, the Western Isles, and two seats for the Isle of Wight), the electorates for individual seats must be within 5% of the averages for “England,” “Wales,” “Scotland” or “Northern Ireland.” Cornwall is sadly not treated as a national entity by the legislation.

The electorate of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly means we would be entitled to 5.27 MPs and it was therefore a statistical impossibility for the Boundary Commission to propose five seats for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

That is why we need to build a massive campaign to put pressure on central government and MPs to modify the existing legislation to ensure that Cornish constituencies remain whole and lie entirely within the boundaries of Cornwall (and the Isles of Scilly).

Please lobby the UK Government and Cornwall’s six MPs

Please also join us in writing to the UK Government to demand that the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act be amended.

Please send correspondence to:

Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, Cabinet Office, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AS and / or chris.skidmore.mp@parliament.uk

Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA and / or via https://email.number10.gov.uk

Your local Cornish MPs c/o House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA and / or via

steve.double.mp@parliament.uk

george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk

scott.mann.mp@parliament.uk

sheryll.murray.mp@parliament.uk

sarah.newton.mp@parliament.uk

derek.thomas.mp@parliament.uk

Please write to the Boundary Commission
Even though the Boundary Commission does not have the power to make recommendations to protect Cornwall’s historic border, we also need to swamp them with letters and other representations showing that a cross-Tamar seat is not appropriate.

Please send correspondence to:
Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ. The Boundary Commission has also set up a new website through which people can comment on the proposed new constituencies. This can be found at: www.bce2018.org.uk. But the key message must be that we request the Boundary Commission supports our calls for the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act to be amended to Keep Cornwall Whole.

Key arguments that you can use in your letters and emails

Cornwall is a Celtic nation with its own distinct identity, culture and language – just like Scotland and Wales. The border between Cornwall and England has been in place since the early tenth century and should have been respected by the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, just as the borders between England & Scotland and England & Wales were reinforced by the legislation. Cornwall also has a unique constitutional position which sets it apart from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Following the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill becoming an Act in 2011, central government bowed to years of pressure and recognised the Cornish as a national minority (April 2014) through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Central government stated that: “The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.” But the Act is in conflict with the Framework Convention which, as well as protecting the culture and identity of national minorities, seeks to protect the political integrity of territories associated with such groups.

In the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, the territories of other national minorities within the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) are not breached and it is therefore illogical that the same safeguards should not be applied to Cornwall.

It would also be relatively simple for central government to do amend the Act. Only a few months ago, the Government agreed “emergency” legislation to extend the deadline for people seeking to register to vote in the referendum on the European Union following the failure of the Government’s registration website.

The Government could likewise deliver a simple amendment to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, to respect the Framework Convention and Keep Cornwall Whole. 

The below is from the pressure group Kernow Matters to Us.

TWO DOZEN REASONS WHY WE STAND AGAINST THE UNLAWFUL IMPOSITION OF ‘DEVONWALL’

1. Areas with the lowest levels of registration are often those that already have the least voice in politics. Young people, some ethnic minority groups and those in the private rented sector are all less likely to register to vote than others. That makes many of them effectively cut out of the new political map when those areas get less representation than other areas. Everyone deserves representation, not just those on the register.

2. The review is being undertaken on the basis of a register that’s nearly a year out of date - excluding over two million people who signed up between December and June. That means some regions are two seats short of what they are owed. It would be much fairer – and would make more sense - to draw boundaries based on eligible population rather than an incomplete electoral register. In Cornwall alone, 52,500 homes are to be built in these coming years meaning a massive increase in population.

3. Addressing the carving up of communities themselves, the rigid 5% threshold – the maximum difference in size between constituencies – means that some communities will be split up, while others will be merged and dragged into others.

4. On top of that, the strict 5% difference limit poses the prospect of huge disruption every five years through sparking a boundary review for every election. Do we really want to spend infinite hours arguing about seat borders in the run up to every Westminster vote?

5. Of course, this is all happening alongside a reduction in the number of MPs – something that has a bizarre rationale when one thinks about it. Because the government argue shrinking the Commons will ‘cut the cost of politics’.

6. There a growing unelected House of Lords - and a shrinking elected one. The House of Lords is a super-sized second chamber – second only to China – and shockingly poor value for money. Surely it would be more democratic to address the crisis in the House of Lords than to cut the number of elected MPs? The last Prime Minister appointed 205 Peers over the past six years, at a cost of £13m already. If one wants to reduce the cost of politics, one could do worse than starting there and cutting down our bloated upper house.

7. Cutting the number of elected Parliamentarians does have one effect though – and sadly it’s not a good one. If one reduces the number of MPs in Parliament without reducing the number of ministers, one increases the power of the executive and make it more difficult to challenge the government. And that in turn will reduce the ability for Parliament to do its job of holding the Government to account.

8. The Government talks about the need to 'make every vote count' through these changes. Yet the best way to do that is to give one and all a proportional and fair voting system.

9. We see that with the deeply unpopular ‘Devonwall’ seat that spans Cornwall and Devon – distinct areas with very distinctive identities and needs. Fair political boundaries are crucial to ensuring people are properly represented in Parliament: Westminster and its unelected quangos shouldn’t tear apart close-knit areas in a rush to ‘equalise’ numbers.

10. The Cornish language was recognised officially in 2003 under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and was initially supported by the UK government. This minimal funding was withdrawn during 2016 and has caused many to feel extremely bitter towards the Westminster Government. How many more insults and lies are we expected to endure?

11. In April 2014, the Coalition Government finally recognised the people who spoke that language, the Cornish people, through inclusion in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The official governmental press release stated that “the decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

This landmark recognition came after many years of campaigning and, as a consequence, was greeted with publicly expressed joy across all of Cornwall’s communities as well as by Cornish people the world over.

Sadly, two years on, there is a growing frustration that central government is failing to act on the various articles within the Framework Convention. The Cornish are being again treated as second class citizens.

12. The UK Government passed the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, which stated that the number of seats in the UK parliament should be reduced to 600 and – unless specified in the legislation – the electorates for seats should be within 5% of the various averages for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

That Act does not recognise the territorial integrity of Cornwall and it's 1,000 year old boundary, and, as the legislation stands, the outcome of Boundary Review (based on the provisions within the Act and the present electorate of Cornwall) would inevitably include the creation of a cross-Tamar ‘Devonwall’ constituency taking in Bude and Launceston in Cornwall and Bideford in Devon.

13.It is since the Act was agreed, that the UK Government agreed the Cornish are covered by the auspices of the Framework Convention and our organisation contends that developing a cross Tamar parliamentary constituency would contravene the following constituent articles of the Framework Convention:

ARTICLE 3 – PARAGRAPH 2: “Persons belonging to National Minorities may exercise the rights and enjoy the freedoms flowing from the principles enshrined in the present Framework Convention individually as well as in community with others.”

ARTICLE 5 – PARAGRAPH 2: “Parties shall refrain from policies or practices aimed at assimilation of persons belonging to National Minorities against their will and shall protect these persons from any action aimed at such assimilation.”

Under these circumstances it would therefore appear that the legislation which guides the Boundary Review is in conflict with the Framework Convention which, as well as protecting the culture and identity of national minorities, also seeks to protect the political integrity of territories associated with such groups.

14. In the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, the territories of other national minorities within the United Kingdom (namely the Scots, the Welsh and Northern Irish) are safeguarded and no seats can be proposed which would cross the land borders between England and Scotland or Wales.

Once again, a campaign is growing in Cornwall in defence of the border which was set over a thousand years ago in 936AD when King Athelstan set the boundary between English and Cornish at the high water mark of the eastern bank of the River Tamar.

15. It is difficult for people living elsewhere to understand the mind-set of the Cornish people and indeed, of many of the people of Cornwall, but as with Scotland and Wales, there is a strong and emotional attachment to the land and Cornwall’s time honoured boundary.

16. Dr. Merv Davey, The Grand Bard of the widely respected Cornish Gorseth, our College of Bards recently remarked: “Any recommendation that parts of Cornwall are placed within Devon constituencies would be a disaster for Cornish democracy, heritage, culture and our national identity.”

17. Cornwall Council unanimously opposes the imposition of a Cross Border Constituency and it's Leader, Cllr. (Ind) John Pollard has even called the 'Devonwall' proposal unlawful. (Cornwall Council Media Release 28/09/2016) Other too believe this Cross Border Constituency breaks the law.

18. Cornwall has a unique legal place within the constitution as recognised by such scholars as Dr John Kirkhope. Cornwall is different legally from Devon and indeed, most other places

19. An open public opinion poll run in Cornwall by commercial broadcaster Pirate FM returned results on 15th September, 2016 which indicated 94% of people in Cornwall are opposed to 'Devonwall'. A similar poll run by the Daily Mirror indicates 89% are opposed to the changes.

20. Cornwall should be given an exemption similar to the ones given to the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Wight, both of which were allowed to deviate from the '5% of average' size rule.

An analysis of the Boundary Commissions statement and calculations has been made by Professor (of Electronic Engineering and Applied Physics) Gareth Parry, who says:

“If considered alone, the electorate of the County of Cornwall (including the electorate of the Isles of Scilly), at nearly 394,000, would result in an allocation of 5.27 constituencies to the county. While we are sensitive to the strength of feeling about the Cornish border, with its single land border, it is simply not possible to develop a proposal under which five whole constituencies, each with electorates within 5% of the electoral quota, are contained within the county boundary.”

Whilst mathematically correct, the analysis below demonstrates that this is far from the clear cut case suggested. In fact the Commission case is based on the tiniest of margins. It would be scandalous if Cornwall was broken up on the basis such small margins.

The 5% rule implies that the electorate in the constituencies should be between 71,031 and 78, 507.

The electorate of Cornwall is 392,223 and that of the Isle of Scilly is 1,651. A total of 393,874.

The Commission’s figure of 5.27 is based on the assumption that there are 74,739 electors in each constituency. However, we are permitted under the rules specified to have up to 78,507 electors in each constituency. If that were the case the allocation would be 5.02, which is very close to the target of 5.0 constituencies.

So suppose we do have 5 constituencies of 78,507 electors.

The total number of electors permitted would be 392,535. The actual number of electors is 393,874 which is only 1,339 more or 269 more per constituency or 0.3% above the target number.

If this extremely small additional number were permitted, Cornwall would remain whole with 5 constituencies. Or, to put it another way, the boundary commission are imposing Devonwall on the basis of just 269 electors in a constituency of 78,507!

We can look at this another way. Consider Cornwall on its own (without the Isles of Scilly). The electorate is 392,223. This is less than the 392,535 which the Commission state is within acceptable limits. And 5 constituencies would have 78,445 electors, 62 less than the maximum allowed under the Commission rules. Cornwall alone with 5 constituencies satisfies the Commission’s rules.

The fact that the tiny population of the Isles of Scilly is sufficient for the Commission to argue that the historic Cornwall-Devon boundary be moved highlights the weakness of the Commission’s case. It would be perfectly reasonable to make the case that one Cornish constituency should be permitted to exceed the maximum to include the Isle of Scilly. All 4 other constituencies would be less than the maximum permitted.”

21. Cornwall has devolved Local Government through the Devolution Deal, recently agreed with HM Government and our democracy will be seriously inhibited if this does not coincide with Parliamentary Constituency boundaries.

22. Parliament is less respected now than it ever has been and the imposition of 'Devonwall' would compound that growing mistrust. Our Westminster politicians scratch their heads and wonder why so few now bother to vote. The answer is obvious!

23. Whoever elected the Boundary Commission? How many more undemocratic quangos are there dabbling with Cornwall and whoever in Cornwall asked them to?

24. Some people from England like to draw lines on maps. We recall the actions of English diplomat, Mark Sykes and the Frenchman François Georges-Picot who drew lines on a map of the Middle East in 1916. The world is still suffering the consequences of that boundary review a hundred years on.

We thank the following for this list:

Members of ‘Kernow Matters To Us’

Cornwall Councillor Dick Cole and his team from Mebyon Kernow

The Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Dr Merv Davey

Professor Gareth Parry

Cornwall Councillor (Ind) John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council

26.9.16

A radical Northern regionalism

Northern Weekly Salvo 219 | Paul Salveson: A radical Northern regionalism should work with like-minded progressives in Scotland, Wales and the English regions. It should build contacts with radical regionalists elsewhere across Europe and maintain the flame of a ‘Europe of the Regions’. There is the political space in the North to do it, given Labour’s total lack of interest in democratic regionalism, the low profile of the Lib Dems and the Greens apparent shift away from espousing real devolution. Is a new political formation the way to achieve it? I’m not so sure…there is support for democratic regionalism within Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, the small regionalist parties and lots of non-aligned people who are pro-democracy, pro-Europe, socially progressive and anti-statist. The Hannah Mitchell Foundation, as a non-aligned radical regionalist force, is well placed to bring that progressive regionalist alliance together. So watch this space.

22.9.16

Cornwall or Devonwall?

15.9.16

KENAVO MARTIAL- Tributes Paid To Breton Language Campaigner

11.9.16

Europe? Yes, but a democratic one - Comments from Brittany

The regionalist candidate for the French presidential elections, Christian Troadec, had the following to say on the European Union:

In reality, the European Union is a wilfully unfinished construction because the member-states have struggled hold on to all their powers. And today the principal decisions are not taken by the Commission but by the member-states via the "European Council" (the heads of state or heads of government deciding by consensus) or via the Council of Ministers.

Even if, after numerous reforms, a power of co-decision making has been given to the European Parliament in a certain number of areas, the system has stayed "intergovernmental" in that it is still the member-states that decide. One must add that MEP's, elected in a national framework, are supposed to support the view point of their state, above all political divisions. This is the system of a Europe of member-states i.e that of national self-interest. 

The complexity of the system is often denigrated by those that put it in place. They often denounce, often hypocritically, the "Brussels Technocracy" that is only interested in creating absurd norms and interferes in everything. 

It is this complexity that serves a good number of politicians so that they may blame the EU for their own failures. The slogans are well known: "It's the EU's fault!" or "Brussels insists that...".

The debate around Brexit has been an eye-opener in this regard. The critics of the EU have said everything and its opposite, but in response, the arguments to defend Europe were weakened by the impossibility to show what was the place of EU-citizens in decision making, and what exactly was their influence. The opacity, the complexity of the system serves as a pretext to blame the EU for the failure of certain member-states' policies and their leaders. 

The whole article can be found here: L’Europe oui, mais une Europe démocratique ! The French section from which the above was translated is here below. Please feel free to comment on my translation.

En réalité l’Union Européenne est une construction volontairement inachevée parce que les États se sont efforcés de ne rien lâcher de leurs pouvoirs. Et aujourd’hui les décisions principales ne sont pas prises par la Commission mais par les États dans le cadre du « Conseil Européen » (les Chefs d’États ou de gouvernement se prononçant en principe par consensus) ou dans le cadre du « Conseil » des ministres.

Même si au fil des réformes, un pouvoir de co-décision a été reconnu au Parlement Européen dans un certain nombre de domaines, le système est resté « intergouvernemental » en ce sens que ce sont toujours les États qui décident. Il faut ajouter à cela que les députés européens, élus dans un cadre national sont sommés de soutenir le point de vue de leur État, au besoin par delà les clivages politiques. C’est le système de l’Europe des États, c’est à dire celle des égoïsmes nationaux !

La complexité du système est souvent dénigrée par ceux qui l’ont mis en place. Ils dénoncent souvent de façon souvent hypocrite la « technocratie de Bruxelles » qui n’aurait que le souci de créer des normes absurdes et qui se mêlerait de tout.

C’est cette complexité qui sert d’argument à bon nombre de responsables politiques pour faire porter à l’Union la responsabilité de leurs propres échecs. Les formules sont bien connues : « c’est la faute de l’Europe ! » ou encore « Bruxelles exige que …».

Les débats autour du Brexit ont été révélateurs à cet égard. Les détracteurs de l’Union Européenne ont tout dit et son contraire, mais en face les arguments pour défendre l’Europe étaient affaiblis par l’impossibilité de montrer quelle était la place des citoyens européens dans les décisions et quelle était leur influence. L’opacité, la complexité du système servent de prétexte pour faire porter à l’Europe l’échec de la politique de certains États et de leurs dirigeants.

12.8.16

The Cornish are stupid conclude the @guardian, @Independent and other sources of wisdom at the centre of the Universe

An interesting read here from Daniel Evans researcher at the Wales Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), Cardiff University: Wales and the Brexit vote: a case of turkeys voting for Christmas? : Democratic Audit UK

Some thoughts after Brexit. We desperately need similar insightful articles about Cornwall and the Cornish leave vote, if anything to counter the Cornish-are-as-thick-as-pig-shit narratives circulating in Cornwall and wider UK. Pointing out that we've had lots of juicy EU funding and now it's going to stop is not enough. I had the opportunity to raise the EU funding point with a few leave voters when I was back in the Duchy. The general consensus opinion is as follows:

- It's part of our (the UK's) money that we've paid to the EU that they've decided to give back to us. The UK pays more into the EU than it gets back so Westminster, once out of the EU, will be able to fund Cornwall with the same, if not increased, levels of cash, and this will be decided by an elected government not unelected commissioners in Brussels -

So you see, simply stating the fact that Cornwall gets lots of funding from the EU isn't going to convince anyone. Arguments need to be developed and refined.

An intellectual battle is being waged, and at the moment the Cornish identity is a collateral victim. The Anglo-British nationalist / conservative right is overjoyed that Cornwall voted like England, displaying, for them, yet another sign of its undeniable Englishness. No surprises there then. Perhaps more worrying, and insidious, are the attack from the metropolitan intellectual left. So many shaming articles in the Guardian, Independent etc, all basically running with: The Cornish are stupid! They voted leave and now they're worried about their EU funding. 

Our youth, future of our nation, who are largely remain voters, are perhaps the target. A generation ashamed to be Cornish is a generation lost. We desperately need to counter these narratives and explain why Cornwall voted to leave with a detailed examination of the referendum results. The work has started, and ideas are circulating, but we need to step up the efforts all round.

7.8.16

Corbyn county

 Thousands cheer as Corbyn says Cornwall is a ['county' again and again, over and over]. 

Oh dear Mr Corbyn! Back to school to learn about our constitution, or was it a more wilful desire to continue the brainwashing of the Cornish natives? Considering the masses who turned out, it appears saviours from England still have a credulous market amongst the Cornish. Perhaps, at least, what we can say is that Mr Corbyn isn't your average spive, carpetbagger or conman from London with the latest solution to all Cornwall's problems. He does seem to have a certain integrity.

And when will the Cornish be ready to take responsibility and pull themselves into the 21st century?

Breton Team Take Part In GAA World Games 2016

5.8.16

Alsace: The Last Chance?



OK, it's about Alsace but much of it applies to Brittany as well. Well worth a watch to understnd the problems facing minority languages within the French state.