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The European Union decides on a motto for every year. 2007 was the year of Equal Opportunities for All and 2008 has been declared the year of Intercultural Dialogue.
A national minority that feels threatened in its existence but which must integrate freshly arrived “new” minorities is a subject worthy of study. I believe wholeheartedly in multicultural exchange and dialogue between national minorities on the one hand and new minority groups on the other. It’s the way of the world; immigration is a fact and can be a source of innovation and strength if properly handled. A constructive discourse between the new minorities and the grass roots national and regional identities of these isles could be a much more effective form of integration.
I would like to see a Cornwall where people are proud to say ‘I’m a Cornish Muslim’ ‘Black Cornish’ etc. A Cornwall where people are proud of their Celtic Cornish home but also free to maintain their own identities can only be a good thing for all residents of the Duchy.
What do the Celtic league, Celtic Congress and other groups do to reach out to new minorities and look for common ground and inter-cultural exchange? With 2008 just around the corner I call on Mebyon Kernow, the Cornish Celtic League, the Stannary and all other Cornish organisations to reach out to new minorities living within the Duchy. Make the case for Cornish culture and self determination to one and all and set the standard for intercultural dialogue in Kernow.
On another note the following letter has been received from the Office of National Statistics:
Thank you for your email of 1st November regarding the inclusion of a Cornish tick box in the 2011 Census. Apologies for the delay in replying.
As you know, as part of our review of the questions on ethnicity, national identity, language and religion (EILR) for the 2011 Census, ONS conducted a public consultation between December 2006 and March 2007. Over 600 organisations and individuals responded providing detailed requirements for information on EILR for the 2011 Census. You can read a summary of responses to this consultation at: Ethnic group, national identity, religion and language
The responses to this consultation, along with correspondence received from other users and stakeholders and a number of open and special meetings with the public and community organisations (such as the one we held in Truro) confirmed that there are many more requests for ethnic group tick-boxes than could possibly be accommodated on the Census form. In response, ONS is developing a set of criteria for fairly and transparently prioritising specific tick-box categories for ethnic groups for inclusion in the 2011 Census. The report will be published on the ONS website ( http://www.statistics.gov.uk/ ) in 2008.
For ethnic groups that ONS is not able to accommodate on the Census form, space will be provided where individuals that feel that their ethnicity is not covered by the specific tick boxes can write in their ethnic identity.
We anticipate that we will be able to make use of these write in responses to produce data on the numbers and characteristics of groups that do not have a specific tick box. As well as the legal implications, non-completion would obviously reduce the quality of data that ONS could provide on groups, which would have an adverse effect on subsequently policy development.
A White Paper setting out the Government's proposals including the wording of any questions about ethnicity and identity is scheduled to be published in 2008. However it will not be possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census until the consultation and question testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.
Ethnicity, Identity and Inequalities team
So we are just going to have to wait an see if a national minority is allowed to have its own tick box category on a census in its own homeland, seems strange that it should even be an issue though.