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People Places and Spaces

A letter sent to the Culture South West quango by the Cornish Stannary Parliament.

Consultation draft – People, Places and Spaces. Objection to the inclusion of Cornwall as part of Culture South West

Thank you for a copy of ‘People, Places and Spaces’ sent on 7th August 2007 giving advice to submit a response by Friday 10th August 2007.

We understand that the constitutional position is that nothing is done by any government sponsored or official body without statutory authority.

The draft support for the fossilised World Heritage Jurassic Coast coupled with the exclusion from the draft of an achievement by humanity as represented by the Cornish Mining World Heritage, raises the question:-

Has Parliament authorised the suppression of Cornish Culture? Please provide references to the relevant statutory authority.

You will no doubt have noted that there are compliance rules for the establishment and management of all World Heritage sites, including Jurassic Coast, as stipulated by UNESCO in its NARA Authenticity Document.

Article 4 of the NARA Authenticity Document includes an appropriate warning:-

“In a world that is increasingly subject to the forces of globalisation and homogenisation, and in a world in which the search for cultural identity is sometimes pursued through aggressive nationalism and the suppression of the cultures of minorities, the essential contribution made by the consideration of authenticity in conservation practice is to clarify and illuminate the collective memory of humanity.”

Are the UNESCO principles of ‘authenticity’ practiced by Culture South West?

Is Cornwall and the Cornish, of pre-England Celtic ethnic origins, considered by Culture South West to be part of “the collective memory of humanity”?
Until serious and fundamental amendments are made, any independent observer would conclude that the draft document for Culture South West, in its stated ‘priorities’, is nothing short of “aggressive” English “nationalism” to achieve “the suppression of the cultures of minorities”, in this case, Cornish culture. It would also be noted that there is indifference to the law as reflected in the provisions of the EU Race Directive 2000/43/EC, transposed as Statutory Instrument No.1626 of 2003, and the Human Rights Act 1998, apparently encouraged by the exclusion of a statutory guarantee of equality before the law from English law.

Our objection is even further substantiated by the reluctance shown in the draft to implement the principles set out in Article 5, of the NARA document:-

“The diversity of Cultures and heritage in our world is an irreplaceable source of spiritual and intellectual richness for all humankind”.

The UNESCO reference to ‘diversity’ sends a clear message of support for the culture of the Cornish national minority and their right to exist and be recognised as a national minority. Has Culture South West any objection to co-existing with British culture as represented by the Cornish and its language listed by the European Community as one of the lesser used languages of Europe?

It is contended that UNESCO expects the English national majority to demonstrate an element of common human civility towards the Cornish or surrender any legitimate claim to have an authentic World Heritage site anywhere in England.

Historically, England excludes the Duchy of Cornwall which, under its three unrepealed charters of 1337/8, grants the incumbent Duke the right to exercise, in Cornwall only: “The Kings writ and summons of exchequer and attachments”. The Crown Estate is involved, that is, except in Cornwall, but, why is the Duchy of Cornwall given no place in Culture South West?

It is contended that the current structural differences between the public Crown Estate provisions for English people and the privileges of the private Duchy of Cornwall estate in Cornwall expose a cultural legacy of collective punishment and bias against the Cornish national minority on the part of the representatives of the English national majority. This situation is incompatible with modern concepts of cultural and political integrity and should, therefore, be rectified.

To avoid repetition, please accept our wholehearted support for the detailed submission made to Culture South West by The Cornish Gorsedd.

Finally, if Parliament intends the suppression of Cornish culture, please quote the statutory reference, or, you are respectfully requested to prepare a revised draft “to clarify and illuminate the collective memory of humanity” in Britain.

Seneth an Stenegow Kernow
The Cornish Stannary Parliament
9 Coombe park
Bal lake
Camborne, TR14 OJG
Kernow , G.B.
phone - 01209-710938

The Stannaries are part of the territorial possessions of the Duchy of Cornwall by Charters of 1337/8

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