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23.4.08

Quango Culture South West

The Celtic League Secretary General, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, has echoed criticisms from the Cornish Branch about the 'Culture South West'(CSW) proposals. In his critique he makes it clear that the attempts to subsume Cornwall into a South West Cultural Region are an attempt to further dissipate Cornish cultural identity (see below):

Dear Laura Thwaite

'A better Place to Be'

I am writing to you as part of your consultation period for the Culture South West (CSW) draft document 'A Better Place to Be'.

The Celtic League reject the document in its entirety on the basis that any body of the South West of England region (including a regional cultural consortium like Culture South West), which attempts to include Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in it, is arbitrary. The document seeks to make decisions about the culture of Cornwall by placing the country firmly within the artificial cultural confines of the South West of England, of which it is not a part. The document makes little mention of Cornwall or its language and does not take into consideration the distinct difference between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and England, in terms of its unique constitutional position and Celtic heritage. In short it is our opinion that the document is a blatant attempt to further assimilate Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly into England.

Moreover at our AGM in Cymru/Wales in September 2007, the following resolution was passed:
'That the Annual General Meeting of the Celtic League in Cardiff on 29th September, 2007, calls upon the Westminster Government, Cornwall Council and other bodies to legislate and allow for the retention of all strategies and policies, including those of culture, to remain within the co-terminus boundary of Cornwall and under the control of institutions within the Duchy'

We would like our comments to be logged with CSW and to be kept up to date with developments.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary"

Earlier correspondence on CSW proposal from Kernow Branch below:

28th March, 2008

Dear Sir

Re. Draft - 'A better place to be'

Thank you for sending me a copy of your draft document 'A better place to be' and for including me on your circulation list.

I write as a member of not only An Kesunyans Keltek - Scoren Kernewek (The Cornish Branch of the Celtic League but also as Assistant General Secretary of the Celtic League as an International pan Celtic organisation, with branches not only in Cornwall, but in Wales, Brittany, Scotland, The Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland as well as in England, the United States and Internationally. Needless to say, all these branches recognise Cornwall as a Celtic Nation in its own right.

I have already written to you in respect of a previous document produced by your organisation but take this opportunity to write once more.

At the International Annual General Meeting of the Celtic League held in Caerdydd/Cardiff, Cymru/Wales on Saturday 29th September, 2007, the following resolution proposed following discussion by the Cornish Branch was formally adopted by the Celtic League:

'That the Celtic League calls upon the Westminster Government, Cornwall Council and other bodies to legislate and allow for the retention of all strategies and policies, including those of culture, to remain within the co-terminus boundary of Cornwall and under the control of institutions within the Duchy'

As such, the Celtic League rejects your document in its entirety, preferring that all cultural matters concerning the Celtic Nation of Kernow (Cornwall) are controlled by a Cornish Cultural Department fully and democratically answerable to the people of Kernow.

This position has been reaffirmed at more recent meetings of our organisation.

An examination of your document regrettably shows that you have a somewhat superficial understanding of the true Celtic culture of Kernow, of its language, its distinctive and ancient pre- English history and heritage and indeed its unique constitutional status which predate modern tourist attractions highlighted in your paper many of which cannot even be regarded as being truly cultural. This culture predates the formation of the political state of England which came into being long after the Cornish nation.

We question the legal status of 'Culture South West' to act within Kernow and would respectfully suggest that your activities are confined to South West England, the border of which is set at the River Tamar, dividing Kernow from England.

For better or worse, Kernow is soon to be part governed by a Unitary Authority and one Council leader has remarked that this is an inevitable route to a legislative Cornish Assembly. This would seem to add further weight to the call for all matters concerning Kernow to be dealt with from within our National boundary.

We are also aware that many other Cornish and Celtic Organisations will share a similar view to that expressed herein.

I have copied your communication and your reply to others who may wish to comment.

Yours faithfully

Michael John Chappell

Related article on this topic on Celtic News at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/2315

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

22/04/08

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

21.4.08

Cafébabel - a portal for Cornish culture

Just a quick note to promote this pan-european website and blog community cafébabel.com.

They have an active blog section - babelblogs - that would provide a great means to get the true face of Cornish culture known to a wider European audience.

If you have or are thinking of creating a Cornish blog or blog in the Cornish language then why not do it with cafébabel.com. Contact them here: info@cafebabel.com

20.4.08

Celtic Nations Celebrated in Manx Stamps

Isle of Man Post is issuing a set of stamps which will celebrates the links between the Isle of Man and other Celtic nations.

The eight stamps feature National flags of Mann, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland, Asturies and Galicia.

Sets of stamps can be ordered now with the date of release of May 12th and there will a special 'Interceltique' Sheetlet and set of 8 Postcards produced in August this year to coincide with the 2008 Lorient Interceltique Festival in Brittany. Isle of Man will be cooperating with Manx cultural groups to ensure a presence in Lorient to market the stamp issue.

A text accompanying the stamps sets has been written by Dr Brian Stowell a prominent figure in both the Celtic Congress and Celtic League who is well known for his regular contribution to the Manx language section in each issue of Carn.

Illustrations of the stamp issue and details of how to order can be found at the Isle of Man Post site here

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

18/04/08

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918
MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

The Celtic League Website

17.4.08

Direct Action for Cornwall

Following the release of the article on the Cornish movement - Passport to Padstow - I think it valid to point out that this Sunday Times article, that most agree is a refreshing change and good bit of publicity, would not have seen the light of day if it had not been for the 'Cornish Terrorists'.

No this is not an add for the CNLA/CRA but rather for media friendly direct action. So I would like to endorse the planned 'Rally for Recognition' and ask that its organizers do their best to ensure that it leads to the creation of permanent Cornish umbrella group who embrace non-violent direct action and keep Kernow in the headlines.

Original CD article below:

With the heat and light around clandestine Cornish groups starting to fade and talk once again turning to peaceful protest perhaps it is time to rehabilitate direct action for Kernow.

Cornish Solidarity closing the Tamar Bridge, operation chough by the Cornish Stannary Parliament, the defacing of the Tudor Rose road Signs, this OurKingdom article suggests that - Direct action is a British value - well it certainly seems to be a Cornish one too and should not be overshadowed by the CRA.

Direct action can entertain, inspire and gain the support of the Cornish public whilst highlighting the social and economic problems faced by the Duchy, but it takes planning.

One example I have used before is of the London based graffiti artist Banksy. How about, instead of threats to burn houses, we saw creative and humorous graffiti that tackled the Cornish question. Graffiti might not be the answer but there are many more forms of direct action that could be considered when our politicians let us down the only problem is that they need a little more imagination and creativity than copying ETA and issuing threats.

Threats and terror may generate a media frenzy but what will be the long term fallout for the Cornish movement, one thing is for sure some Cornish patriots have been criminalized and marginalized when there energy could have gone to more productive ends. If you want to take action for Kernow why not start your research here:

Activists Legal Project: http://www.activistslegalproject.org.uk/

8.4.08

Stop the Abuse of Power In Britian

As a follow up to the press release from the CSP below I'd like to draw peoples attention to this OurKingdom article: UK to be put under UNCHR spotlight.

Posted on 8 April 08, 2:18 pm by ourkingdom

Jon Bright (London, OK): The UK is one of sixteen countries taking part in the “First Universal Periodic Review” being run by the UN Commission for Human Rights. The video for the entire event can be viewed archived here and live here - as I write a significant number of well dressed people are filing calmly into a large oval hall, as a balding chair talks slowly about time management issues. According to the timetable (opens pdf), the UK’s turn to be reviewed comes on Thursday morning. It’s not going to be gripping TV, in all honesty, but it could form an important part of the current debate on UK liberty: praise for the UK’s record would be a fillip for the government, whilst criticism would be a PR boon for those trying to highlight damage being done to civil liberties. How many of Henry Porter’s List of Liberties Lost will be brought up?

A St Pirans day press release from the Cornish Stannary Parliament.

The control of power

United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,proclaims: “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to the equal protection of the law”, Article 26, and Article 27, “Ethnic minorities shall not be denied the right to enjoy their own culture or to use their own language”. As in the United Kingdom, Members of Parliament for Canada take an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown.

The Oath does not prevent the Canadian: “Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, 1982, from encouraging respect for others: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination”, Article15 (1), and Article 35, “the rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Aboriginal’ as:- “Indigenous, existing in a land at the dawn of history”. Defined by objectivity and impartiality, indigenous would embrace the Cornish of Cornwall.

Also, the Constitution of the Monarchy of Sweden, Chapter 1/9: “Courts, public authorities and others performing functions within the public administration shall observe the equality of all persons before the law and shall maintain objectivity and impartiality”.

The abuse of power

The Constitutional Monarchy of the United Kingdom fails to encourage respect for others. “The UK has no statutory guarantee of equality before the law. Protocol 12, which the government has refused to ratify, gives a general right not to be discriminated against on any ground not just in relation to ECHR rights”. Professor Francesca Klug, London School of Economics, Human Rights Centre, 6th July 2006.

Persons in power in the United Kingdom have excluded Article 13 of the European Convention of Human Rights, “an effective remedy against violations by persons acting in an official capacity” from the Human Rights Act 1998. They have not transposed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights into UK law. They have excluded the Cornish from the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. These omissions betray an institutional top-down grace and favour feudal legacy in denial of objectivity and impartiality.

It is noted that without a guaranteed right to equality before the law, the rule of law made Apartheid legal. In the United Kingdom persons acting in an official capacity, the Crown; the Duke of Cornwall, Heir to the Throne; the Privy Council; politicians; police; academics and the media, seek to mould the democratic will of the people. Without public debate or consultation they protect their own interests by conspiring to agree not to provide British subjects with an effective right to equality before the law.

Almost everywhere else in theworld, national structures have agreed the constitutional right to equalitybefore the law for everyone to prevent the abuse of power. We, the people, have not rejected a modern written British Constitution.

The Cornish Stannary Parliament
Camborne
Cornwall TR13 0JG
5th March2008

7.4.08

Interesting Websites

A quick post to introduce two new website of interest.

The first is from the NGO Minority Rights Group Internationl and is a directory of world minority groups. The link is: World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples. It has a section on the UK and a space for the Cornish but information is very thin. Perhaps our Cornish and Celtic groups should contact them and help MRG to flesh out their directory a bit. Anyway it still does offer a bit of recognition to the Cornish.

The second site comes from the European Free Alliance youth movement. The link is: Diversity is Richness. It offers an interesting way to explore other European nations in a similar position to Kernow and again gives us a bit more recognition.

6.4.08

France and its minorities

The the Celtic League

The French Culture Ministry has responded to concerns expressed by the Celtic League. General Secretary of the Celtic League, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, had pressed the French government to give some indication when it would honour its commitments and fully implement the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.

The full response is set outbelow:

You asked the Minister of Culture and Communication about the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its implementation.

As you know, the Constitutional Council claimed that some of the Charter's provisions were against the Constitution. During the debate about the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, last January, some MPs presented some amendments aiming at the legal recognition of France's regional languages. These amendments were voted against. On this occasion, the Minister of Justice committed herself, on behalf of the government, to set up a parliamentary debate on the question of regional languages.

France's regional languages have been, however, valued in many different ways, as the action taken by the civil service has proven. This action has developed in a significant way over the last few years, as seen by the progresses done by the Ministry of Education in matters of teaching or by the part played by the general commission to French language and the languages of France within my services. This action comes within the scope of the European plurilingualism, around such priorities as the aid to publication, to live shows and multimedia creation, which appear high up on the list of priorities in matter of multilingualism during the discussion organised by France on 26th September under its European Presidency.

Yours faithfully Xavier North

See related articles in Celtic News at:

http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2422
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2176
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2144
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2082
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2074
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 1613
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 997
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 648
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 108

France and its minorities

The the Celtic League

The French Culture Ministry has responded to concerns expressed by the Celtic League. General Secretary of the Celtic League, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, had pressed the French government to give some indication when it would honour its commitments and fully implement the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.

The full response is set outbelow:

You asked the Minister of Culture and Communication about the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its implementation.

As you know, the Constitutional Council claimed that some of the Charter's provisions were against the Constitution. During the debate about the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, last January, some MPs presented some amendments aiming at the legal recognition of France's regional languages. These amendments were voted against. On this occasion, the Minister of Justice committed herself, on behalf of the government, to set up a parliamentary debate on the question of regional languages.

France's regional languages have been, however, valued in many different ways, as the action taken by the civil service has proven. This action has developed in a significant way over the last few years, as seen by the progresses done by the Ministry of Education in matters of teaching or by the part played by the general commission to French language and the languages of France within my services. This action comes within the scope of the European plurilingualism, around such priorities as the aid to publication, to live shows and multimedia creation, which appear high up on the list of priorities in matter of multilingualism during the discussion organised by France on 26th September under its European Presidency.

Yours faithfully Xavier North

See related articles in Celtic News at:

http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2422
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2176
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2144
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2082
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 2074
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 1613
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 997
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 648
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/celtic_ league/message/ 108

3.4.08

Camerons Duchy & Direct Democracy

Considering Cornwall's interest in devolution it seems strange that Direct Democracy (see bottom of this post) have never mentioned us and even stranger that our Shadow Minister for Cornwall Mark Prisk has never brought up Cornish devolution with them.

One would think that if a Tory think tank like DD wanted to sell 'localism' they would try in a place like Cornwall that has a strong Conservative presence and a desire for decentralisation.

What has our Shadow Minister been doing since his appointment by David Cameron, does anyone know? I certainly think we should all ask Mark Prisk and let him know our thoughts on Cornwall.



Even noting David Camerons use of 'Duchy' to describe Cornwall and Mark Prisks appointment I still can't help thinking we are just witnessing more Tory flim-flam in an effort to win votes.

How about seeing a commitment to Cornish 'localism' and decentralisation to Cornwall, and if the Tory leader wants to call Cornwall a Duchy why not a promise to investigate the Cornish constitution?


Reforming the quangocracy is the key to solving the 'English question'

Richard Hayton and Michael Kenny of the IPPR argue in the Guardian that a solution to the so-called 'English question' will only be found by reforming the "mish-mash of bureaucrats in Whitehall, quangos and unelected regional bodies" that decide upon, amongst many other things, how we are policed, how welfare is organised and delivered, and how our children are taught. They are quite correct in this assessment - localism and a radical decentralisation of power would not only reinvigorate local democracy but would also provide the most elegant and lasting settlement for the English, post-devolution.

Reforming the quangocracy is also the key to voter disillusionment

This year's
Hansard Society annual 'health check of political engagement' makes particularly depressing reading with less than a third of the British public saying that the present system of governing the country works well. Polly Toynbee argues that the story behind these figures and of why people see precious little point in voting, is that there is now so little difference between the main political parties on the big issues. We disagree with this assessment. There are still big differences in policy and approach - its just that MPs and councillors have much less influence over them than the panoply of non-accountable quangos that effectively determine what happens in our everyday lives.

Who we are

The Direct Democracy campaign is supported by a broad range of MPs, MEPs, candidates and activists from within the Conservative Party
.