In the October 2001 Business Age Magazine Kevin Cahill, an author and investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, wrote the “The Killing of Cornwall”. He notes that the London Treasury extracts £1.95 billion in taxes out of Cornwall's GDP of £3.6 billion. The Treasury returns less than £1.65 billion, so there is a net loss to Cornwall of 300 million pounds, where the total earnings figure is 24% below the national average. Is this some form of negative Barnet Formula?
Low wages, unskilled Mac Jobs, poverty, social problems, and rocketing housing prices are the often hidden face of the optimistically named “English” Rivera. Coupled with this we have seen the centralisation of services, institutions and government (followed by the skilled jobs they entail) out of the Duchy much to the benefit of various undemocratic and faceless ‘South West of England’ quangos.
Due to a complex nexus of factors over recent years there has been an increase in Cornish ethnnic awareness. In parallel to this development little respect has been shown by central government for Cornish territorial integrity or the Cornish identity. This is a phenomenon which sadly has a long historical precedent within the UK. Take for example the recent debate about the Union flag. Not only are the Cornish excluded from the Union Jack but it is not so long ago that you needed planning permission to fly a Cornish St Pirans flag in Cornwall. Following government regulations one could have flown the flag of North Korea in the Duchy with no problems but not the Cornish flag.
Considering recent developments within the Duchy i.e. death threats sent to Cornish activists, the targeting of symbols of English identity for vandalism / protest and the creation of clandestine Cornish nationalist groups, I think it worthwhile posting the finding of a study on interethnic violence undertaken by M. Lim, R. Metzler, Y. Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute.
Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence, Science 317, 5844 (2007)
We identify a process of global pattern formation that causes regions to differentiate by culture. Violence arises at boundaries between regions that are not sufficiently well defined. We model cultural differentiation as a separation of groups whose members prefer similar neighbors with a characteristic group size at which violence occurs. Application of this model to the area of the former Yugoslavia and to India accurately predicts the locations of reported conflict. This model also points to imposed mixing or boundary clarification as mechanisms for promoting peace.This is not an apology for Cornish terrorists nor is it an attempt to over state the scale of the problem, it is just a call for reflection. Were the CNLA / CRA inevitable? When you throw into the mix the ease of communication via the internet thus facilitating the creation and coordination of clandestine groups, poverty and housing problems are we still so surprised by the CRA? Wasn’t the writing on the wall?
Copied below is an interview between a person claiming membership of the CRA and a journalist called Per Svensson: http://periscope.a4r.org/
PS: News of the existence your organisation has been covered in many newspapers and periodicals. Can you explain to me the structure of the Cornish Republican Army ?
CRA: We have a Head Council person, a quartermaster, a fundraiser and two area commanders in charge of two person units in the West and East of Kernow. We have twelve two person units in the East and West. No Unit knows the identity of any other so ensuring maximum secrecy and security should arrests occur.
PS: Detail for me what actions you have initiated or taken part in?
CRA: We tested a firebomb in the old Brewery in Redruth earlier in the year. Later that method was employed in property burnings at Cathedral View and Malpas in Truro and also in Penryn. We have smashed windows at the English chef Rick Stein´s Restaurant in Padstow. We have damaged several cars in Morrison´s Supermarket Car Park in Newquay and Asda´s Supermarket Car Park in St. Austell which were displaying English flags. We have removed English flags from campsites in Mullion and Newquay and issued warnings to tourist attractions flying the English flag in Holywell Bay, Perranporth and elsewhere. Our younger members have been spraying grafitti.
PS: What is the aim of your actions?
CRA: To draw attention to the fact that Kernow is a Celtic Country under English domination. We detest the English flag as this represents a sign of dominant imperialism. We hope that house and show room fires may diminish the value and desire to have second or expensive properties in Kernow and which make Cornish people homeless. We want people to know that Kernow is not England nor ever has been.
PS: Why do you not use democratic means to achieve your ambitions?
CRA: Democracy has failed in Kernow. Many Cornish organisations have campaigned for years to achieve home rule for Kernow and have failed. Anything like home rule is unlikely in Kernow as the Celtic population is diminishing. We believe that direct action is the only way.
PS: Have you tried asking your Government to consider a federal solution as is the case in many modern European Countries? Surely that is a better solution than the type of direct action you appear to advocate?
CRA: A federal Cornish State would be an ideal solution and has become reality in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As for Kernow - forget it - the British Government at Westminster would never ever consider it for us.
PS: Your type of action seems to require very little funding. Why do you fundraise?
CRA: To help with expenses of our people and to hire in the best lawyers should arrests ever occur. Money does buy justice.
PS: What is the state of your funds?
CRA: We are not prepared to say. They are very healthy.
PS: What is the source of your funds?
CRA: From within Kernow, Wales, Ireland and the USA.
PS: Do you have a bank account?
CRA: What do you think? Cash in Euros Dollars or Pounds is our way and can be easily converted.
PS: Have any of your people been arrested?
PS: If so, are you prepared to name them?
CRA: As above.
PS: If none of your people have been arrested, why does your police department arrest Cornish people who are active in politics?
CRA: Because the English run police are anti Cornish and seek to cause fear.
PS: I have read of arrests of your members. Do you know the people who have been arrested and do you not consider your organisation responsible for those arrests?
CRA: None of our people are members of any other Cornish or Celtic organisations. None of those arrested are our people. Yes, we know of the other people who have been harrassed by the police and can name them: JB, DE, HR, TL, GH and DL. None of them are of our organisation although they may have claimed to be. Actually, the reason we changed our name from the Cornish National Liberation Army to the Cornish Republican Army was due in part to copy cats who sang songs about us and who said they were supporters. Perhaps when our name was taken, these people did not realise that we were already in existence. This is the police state that modern Kernow has become.
PS: Some people say that you are comprised of disaffected children, internet players or cranks and do not actually exist and that you have very little support. Can I request your comment please ?
CRA: None of our current membership is unemployed and all have jobs. Our Chief Council person is Cornish and has detested the English authorities and the police all his life. Yes we exist. If we did not would the police have set up a special unit at Launceston Police Station to investigate us and would Inspector MR of Truro Police Station have made the comments he did about the fires? Would we have been mentioned in the Westminster Parliament? Also, since our creation last year, we have had many applications to join and have heard that Cornish World and the Sun Newspaper have received many requests to be placed in contact with us. Also, friends in the Welsh Republican Army have been contacted by many people about joining us. We have to be very careful with these applications as they may be police informants. Even we have been surprised about the level of support and interest. If we did not exist, then why would the police be arresting various people, why would they ban local press coverage of our activities, why do they not relay our communications with them onto the press, why would they raid the offices of the West Briton paper and seize material relating to the Camborne Pool and Redruth Regeneration project and other papers, why are they constantly seizing JA´s books from everyone? Yes, we are here and will shall be continuing next year with a few surprising actions. Watch this space !
PS: What contacts, if any, do you have with other organisations either in Cornwall or overseas?
CRA: We have contact with the Welsh Republican Army and with people in Ireland. Last year, we met people from ETA in Hendaye in the French occupied Basque Country and set ourselves up based on their structure of two person units. They are probably the most succesful organisation of their type after the IRA and have achieved virtual independence for the Basque Region of Spain. Those who give money we shall not name.
PS: If you have contacted other organisations, how do you go about setting up such contacts?
CRA: Messages left on internet sites and so on.
PS: Is yours a class war?
CRA: No. Ours is a war for the Cornish plain and simple.
PS: Do you have access to firearms?
CRA: No comment.
PS: What types of firearms do you possess?
CRA: As above.
PS: So far, you have apparently restricted yourselves to acts of damage. Would you endanger lives?
CRA: We will do our best not to.
PS: What are your future plans?
CRA: 2008 promises to be an interesting year for the English occupying forces and their establishment. Beyond that, no comment.