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27.6.08

DotKer A domain name for Kernow?







So what about a ".ker" or ".cor" internet domain name for the Duchy? There is some talk on Cornwall 24 of a domain name for our nation so to give a few pointers I've lifted the article below from the nationalia website.

Galicia, Brittany and Wales attempt to show that they fulfil requirements for top-level domains at the 32nd International ICANN Meeting · With its ‘Catalan culture’ domain Catalonia is currently the only stateless nation with its own top-level domain.

The 32nd International Public Meeting of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which addresses a wide range of issues related to the future of the Internet, including the creation of new domains and the incorporation of new alphabets and languages, is currently taking place in Paris. Three European nations attending the conference are to present the reasons why they believe they should have a sponsored Top-Level Domain (sTLD). An sTLD represents a community, such as the aviation industry (.aero) or Catalan language and culture (.cat), and is governed by a particular agency, such as the Fundació PuntCat (DotCat Foundation) which decides who can use that domain name.

Before approving an sTLD, ICANN requires a community to give unanimous support to the proposal and to present technical reports endorsing the project. ICANN also values support from abroad - from members of the community who live abroad, for example - as well as guarantees of financial viability from individual and business donors. Once these conditions are met, the community names an agency to be responsible for running the new domain name.

Although new domain names for Wales, Galicia and Brittany are not actually on the agenda for the meeting, the organizations representing these nations will use the occasion to raise awareness for their campaign and to seek support among ICANN members. While there are other European stateless nations seeking their own domain names, these three are the ones most likely to succeed because of the considerable backing for the proposals from their respective communities.

Taken from nationalia

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Penygroes, Sunday, 12 August 2007 Une contribution de Huw Jones .The dots join up! Web domain campaigns to work together. Campaigners for web domains for Brittany, Galizia, the Basque Country and Wales are to meet in September in Santiago de Compostela (Galizia) to look into the possibility of a coalition of bids to the administrators of the Word Wide Web.

They have been inspired by the resounding success of the '.cat' domain for Catalan websites. There has been a 33% increase in the use of the Catalan language on the web since it was established last year, with over 22,000 websites using '.cat'. The leader of the '.cat' campaign, Amadeu Abril, has been extremely active in supporting and advising the other countries.

The campaigns in Brittany, Galizia and Wales have all succeeded, not only in gaining considerable support, but also in their aims of being non party political and inclusive. All three have avoided the controversy which often occurs when countries who do not have their own state attempt to gain forms of independent status.

Nearly 15,000 signatures have been collected by the Breton '.bzh' campaign and Nicolas Sarkozy has come out in favour. In Galizia the Partido Popular (The Spanish Conservative Party) have lent their support to '.gal'. Although the campaigns have been voluntary the applications will not succeed if there is opposition from governments.

In Wales all parties in the National Assembly support '.cym', and the London government's Department of Trade and Industry has stated that they "do not see any reason for opposing the application" so long as steps are taken to prevent cybersquatting - the malicious practice of setting up web names that are similar to those of well know companies or brands.

Wales has won official status for her language over the past 30 years, but there is concern regarding the way in which many Welsh speakers take for granted that English is the only language of information technology in the same way English was considered to be the only language of education, broadcasting and government in the past. According to Dewi Bryn Jones of the Welsh Software Association the hope is that '.cym' will "add to peoples' expectations of seeing Welsh on the screen". (Eurolang 2007)

Web Domain Campaigns:
Galizia: http://www.puntogal.org/web/
Flanders: http://www.puntvl.net/
Brittany: http://bzh.geobreizh.com/www/bzh/
Wales: http://www.dotcym.org/
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers: http://www.icann.org/

Taken form the eurominority website.

26.6.08

Elected Mayor for Kernow

Two left of centre think tanks have proposed more elected mayors as a solution to the English question.

Both the Institue for Public Policy Research and the New Local Government Network have proposed elected mayors as a response to the asymmetric devolution that has seen power devolved to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales but not England. Obviously the Cornish question is at no point mentioned but nevertheless would directly elected mayors with powers over local police, transport, health services and more be of interest? Would a single elected mayor for Cornwall be conceivable?

The full article here

22.6.08

The Pigs Head

KEEP KERNOW TIDY! Cornwall has always been multicultural and always will be. Following Mebyon Kernow party leader Dick Cole's condemnation of the pigs head event (see here and here) some more thoughts.

Throughout history our Duchy has welcomed people from other cultures. Flemish, Breton, English, French and other nationalities have lived side by side with the Cornish and our sea ports have always thronged with languages and peoples from around the world. The sea has never really isolated us but rather connected to us to the wider Europe and wider world. Even the vast majority of our modern genetic make up is thought to have originated in the north west of the Iberian Peninsula and spread up the west coast of Europe after the last ice age followed later by our Brythonic language.

By multiculturalism I mean the natural product of a multi-ethnic, multi-faith, individualist society. Such a society is healthy, liberal and libertarian whilst being respectful and tolerant of other peoples life choices. No group can live in isolation and the exchange of people and culture is a source of innovation, creation and ultimately strength.

I don't mean passively accepting massive in migration from England. This is not a question of multiculturalism but rather cultural, economic and environmental sustainability. Surely nobody is arguing that in the name of multiculturalism our environment should be destroyed, our young families priced out of the housing market and our indigenous culture submerged and lost?

Nor do I mean isolated communities layered on top of each other yet ignorant and suspicious of one another. Such is a recipe for a breeding ground of hate, intolerance and all forms of extremism.

Of course we need an immigration policy but we cannot (and should not want to) hermetically seal off Cornwall from the rest of the world because in the end it will be only us who suffer. The best we can wish for our nation is a healthy civic society which is informed about our true history and culture yet open to other cultures and new ideas from around the globe. Rather than isolation us give us a Cornish education; give us autonomy; give us institutions and our culture will look after itself.

There is no place for the extreme right in Cornwall, surely this is something all Cornish groups can agree on. I find it hard to believe true Cornish nationalists were involved with the pigs head incident, after all how can anyone with their head screwed on think targeting hyper-minority groups in the Duchy will help the Cornish nation in anyway whatsoever? When it comes to the Cornish question there is a list of usual suspects, and tiny communities issued from immigration aren't on it.

The disparate groups in the Cornish movement well never agree on everything but perhaps the Pigs Head affair is cause for a common front. Why not a letter or anti racist charter drafted and signed by all Cornish groups denouncing all forms of prejudice that is then disseminated to the media in Kernow?

If you are thinking the BNP have anything to offer Cornish culture then take a look at the Anglo-supremacist trash below.




MK CONDEMN ATTACK ON FORMER CHAPEL AT QUENCHWELL

We must all work hard to promote understanding throughout Cornish communities Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the recent racist attack on the former Methodist Chapel at Quenchwell, near Carnon Downs, where an Asian community centre is planned.

The new owner of the chapel has stated that he hopes to develop the building into a multi-faith centre where people of all faiths can go to celebrate family occasions and practice their religion.

In the recent attack, the head of a pig was nailed to the door and graffiti of a racist and ‘nationalist’ nature daubed on the walls.

Speaking on behalf of MK, Party Leader Cllr Dick Cole made the following statement:

“MK is saddened and appalled at the attack on the former chapel at Quenchwell. Such racist behaviour has no place in Cornish society and we condemn it without reservation.

“The attack is a crude attempt to foster division and intolerance in Cornwall and this must be resisted at all costs. It is unacceptable that any individual or group should have to put up with such harassment.

“We believe it is important that everyone works hard to help build an inclusive society that respects and celebrates the cultural background and faiths of minority groups in Cornwall today.

“We also welcome the statement of Police Inspector Mark Richards that the graffiti was offensive ‘not only to Asians, Asian religions, but also to Christians and Cornish nationalists whose name is taken in vain.’

“It is our hope that the Police will be able to catch those responsible for this crime and take the appropriate action.”


From the Celtic League:

KERNOW - RACIST ATTACKS ON COMMUNITY CENTRE CONDEMNED



The General Secretary (GS) has written to Cornwall Council Leader David Whalley in an attempt to urge the Council to do more to promote relations between ethnic groups in Cornwall. The call comes shortly after a spate of racist graffiti attacks against a former Methodist chapel near Truro that is currently being converted into an Asian community centre.

The full text of the GS letter, which has been copied to the Muslim Council of Britain and Chief Constable Stephen Otter (who is also the spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers on Race and Diversity), can be found below:

"Dear Councillor David Whalley

Racist attacks on Methodist Chapel, Quenchwell

I am writing to you following repeated graffiti attacks on the old Methodist chapel at Quenchwell, near Carnon Down in recent weeks.

The Celtic League outrightly condemns any racist attack against members of other ethnic communities in Cornwall and elsewhere, even if they are only, for the moment, in the form of graffiti. Even though it was probably only a small number of people who were responsible for dubbing the graffiti and that the vast majority of people in Cornwall would equally condemn the attacks, it may nevertheless be prudent for Cornwall Council, along with members of the Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary and other public bodies, to begin a campaign or series of events to encourage members of Cornwall's public to engage in intercultural dialogue.

As you may be aware, 2008 is the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue and is also an area that the European Union has been promoting for many years within Europe and beyond. The aim of the project is to forge and develop good relations between members of different cultural groups. (More information, including some ideas, can be found at the link below). Relating to the Year for Intercultural Dialogue events could be organised between members of different ethnic groups throughout Cornwall, in an attempt to promote cultural dialogue and understanding. In the other Celtic countries, where such programmes have been implemented, the results have been very encouraging.

We are aware of some small scale programmes in Cornwall that aim to promote intercultural understanding e.g. Redruth Polish Society, but the Celtic League believes that a Cornwall wide approach is needed to overcome the bigotry and prejudice among some people that has manifested itself in the graffiti at Quenchwell.

We look forward to hear your views on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary"


The Celtic League is committed to combating racism and in 2001 at its AGM in Cymru endorsed the aims and objectives of the (United Nations) 'World Conference Against Racism'.

See links at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/475
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/478


J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

22/06/08

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.

Internet site at:

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

19.6.08

Europe must embrace federalism with or without the Brits

An interesting article below following the Irish no vote to which I'd just like to add the following comments. Imagine if the UK left the EU. There is every possibility that this would push Scotland and eventually Wales to pull away from the UK and move back into the European circle.

That would leave Cornwall stuck on to the toe of a Tory controlled England with no European checks or balances to protect us, no objective one and no Cornish minority status or language funding. Cornwall left in the hands of Westminster for evermore. Europe must embrace federalism with or without the Brits

David Marquand, 18 - 06 - 2008 This is a response by David Marquand to John Palmer's article on Ireland's "No" vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

David Marquand (Oxford): The real issue goes far deeper than our blinkered political class and media commentariat seem to realise. The post-cold war world, with a hegemonic US as the only super-power, is dying if not dead. An infintely more complex and more dangerous multi-polar world is coming into existence, with China, India and perhaps a revitalised Russia as super powers alongside the US. The US will for the foreseeable future remain the strongest of these super-powers, but it will not be the only one. Economically it has already ceased to be a hegemon: as the dollar falls, the Euro climbs. The crucial question for Europeans is whether we want the world to be run by the Americans, Chinese, Indians and perhaps Russians, or whether Europe should get its act together and become a quasi-super power as well. Europe’s political elites have either funked or fudged that question, and in Britain virtually no one has so far faced it. But the answer Europeans give to it will determine the shape of global and European politics as the 21st century proceeds. If Europe wants to hold its own in the multipolar world now taking shape it has to make a qualitative leap towards federalism.

On present form, Britain won’t be willing to make such a leap; and assuming the Irish referendum result means that they seriously want to opt out of further integration (I doubt if it does, as a matter of fact) nor will Ireland. How the rest of the member states would go if they were confronted with that question is unknowable at present. But I don’t think there’s much doubt that over the next twenty years or so the core countries of the EU will effectively federate. Of course that will mean a two-speed Europe, with the UK in the slow lane along with some (but by no means all) of the new member states in East/Central Europe. This would be a disaster for the UK, certainly politically and probably economically. But it would be far better for Europe (and the world) for the European core to move decisively towards federalism and leave the Brits behind than to bend over backwards to keep a lot of sulky Brits on board. On past form, the Brits will mutter and grumble if and when core Europe does make a qualitative jump towards federalism, but in the end, after a long delay, they will clamber aboard. What Britain does or doesn’t do, however, matters very little in the long perspective of European history.

What about democracy, you may say? Well, the fact is that the infamous democratic deficit is a product of the cumbersome, opaque intergovernmentalism of the proto-federal Europe we now inhabit. In a properly federal structure, with a clear separation of powers, each level of government would be accountable to the appropriate constituency or constituencies, as happens in the US, Canada, Australia and other federal states. Those who rail against the democratic deficit, and then do everything they can to maintain the intergovernmentalism that causes it, are the enemies of democracy not its friends.

13.6.08

Direct Democracy



A few articles from direct democracy that are of interest.


Localism is the solution to the West Lothian Question

The
Daily Telegraph this week reports that Ken Clarke's Democracy Taskforce report will recommend that a new Tory Government should seek to agree a cross-party convention that no party in Westminster would use Scottish MPs' votes to overturn decisions made by a majority of English members. Fans of a fully-fledged English Parliament, such as Iain Dale, are unimpressed. We argue that the most effective and elegant solution to the so-called 'West Lothian question' would be to devolve similar powers to those enjoyed by the Scottish Parliament to English County and Unitary councils. Westminster MPs would then be on a level playing field - whether they were elected in Dumfries or Dagenham, Pontypridd or Pontefract, they would effectively be voting on, and have power over, the same issues.

Conservative councils urged to break away from central Labour control

Eric Pickles MP has called on Conservative Councils across the land to stop implementing the orders of a dying Labour Government and to start a programme of specifically Conservative reforms. We welcome this call, as we welcomed the announcement last week of the establishment of a Conservative Council Innovation Unit. Because one thing is a nailed on certainty - with Conservatives now controlling the overwhelming majority of local authorities in Great Britain, a Labour Government is not going to carry out any meaningful devolution of power in its remaining years. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that until councils are allowed to become financially autonomous, their options to act independently are severely limited.

Blogging for localism

New blogs have been launched by two of Direct Democracy's founders, both with a distinctly localist flavour. Firstly,
Douglas Carswell MP, who in early posts tackles the EU, central control of schools, local government finance and the lack of accountability of decision making in the U.K. Secondly, Jeremy Hunt MP, who looks at the frustrations of constituents who try to improve their local communities but come up against the dead hand of council bureaucracy. He urges a future Conservative government to put its localist principles into practice and devolve real power down to local communities.

Nepal to be the new Switzerland?

The Rising Nepal online news service comments on the creation of the new Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. They are hopeful that the new constitution, currently being drafted, will not only enshrine a president as head of state and central government, but will also devolve significant powers from the centre to the self-governing states or provinces. Indeed, the new Maoist President - Pushpa Kamal Dahal - has gone on record promising to turn Nepal into another Switzerland - direct democracy and all - within 10 years.

Who we are

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

8.6.08

Breton Number Plates

Looking good (the other one is for Corsica). It'd be nice to see the UK government allowing something similar for Kernow but there is fat chance of that I suppose.

The new plate will carry both the Breton flag -Gwen ha Du- and the name for Brittany in Breton -Breizh-. A surprising move for the centralist state that is France!

Breton Number Plates

Looking good (the other one is for Corsica). It'd be nice to see the UK government allowing something similar for Kernow but there is fat chance of that I suppose.

The new plate will carry both the Breton flag -Gwen ha Du- and the name for Brittany in Breton -Breizh-. A surprising move for the centralist state that is France!

The Celtic League 50 years on

It's been mentioned a number of times on Cornwall 24 now when discussing Mebyon Kernow that when MK was a pressure group it fulfilled a different but perhaps equally important role in the Cornish movement. 


A pressure group that was able to regroup people from across the political spectrum and from all walks of life to work for the Cornish nation. Since the change into a political party is has become a more exclusive club quite rightly excluding members of other political parties.

Do we still need a pressure group? In my opinion yes.We have the Stannary Parliament and the Constitutional Convention but setting aside the important work they do they are rather specialized in their own fields.

That leaves the Celtic League which offers the added bonus of networking with other autonomist movements from around the Isles.

The league in Cornwall is that pressure group and it needs our time, support and ideas. Ignoring recent controversies which are nothing but a flash in the pan compared to the leagues long history, if we want an umbrella pressure group with internationalist connections then look no further.

The Celtic League 50 years on

The Celtic League Director of Information (DoI) has said that theLeague faces difficult decisions in the years ahead if it is to adapt its role to meet the needs of the Celtic countries today.

Speaking on the 'Talking Heads' programme on Manx Radio this week Bernard Moffatt said the political and cultural landscape in the Celtic countries today is markedly changed from that almost fifty years ago when the Celtic League was founded.

Politically there has been major change in several Celtic countries with a parliament in Scotland an Assembly in Wales and new political movement in the North of Ireland. However, he said that the objectives of the Celtic League, to promote a formal association between (at least two of) the Celtic countries, are still far from being achieved. Ireland is still only partially independent and despite the devolution moves in Wales and Scotland full independence was still an aspiration. Speaking as a life long Manx nationalist he said it was sad that Scotland would probably eclipse Mannin in achieving full independence and criticised the Manx governments satisfaction with its dependency status.

Culturally moves, particularly in relation to the Celtic languages, had also been more positive in recent years. However, he singled out the French governments negative attitude towards the Breton language saying it was part of a generally hostile stance by the centralised French State to any minorities in its borders.

One of the key features of the Celtic League contribution over the years has been the continued production of the journal Carn with its regular article in each Celtic language. The DoI said that advances in communication not least via the Internet and the wide range of available material on both cultural and political life in the Celtic countries had led the League to seriously consider the future of Carn. The journal is continuing in the short term but its future is under review.

Reviewing the campaigns the League have engaged in over the years the DoI said that some people in Mannin often assumed it was a 'Manx based organisation' and this misconception was not helped by the significant numbers of senior positions in the League held by Manx people in times past. However he said that in recent years the 'officers' of the League are drawn more widely from the Celtic countries and our campaigning record, particularly as recorded on the Internet news groups (see below), shows a broad range of issues being pursued involving all the Celtic countries.

Looking ahead the DoI said that the future in many of the Celtic countries was brighter than at any time in the recent past. However he singled out Kernow and Breizh as being two countries where the picture was not so positive. He said Kernow deserved the same devolved status as other Celtic countries in the United Kingdom. He also criticised recent police harassment of Celtic League members their.

In respect of Breizh the Director of Information reiterated that the main stumbling block was the stifling attitude of the centralised French State to Breton linguistic and political aspirations. He said that French hostility to Breton nationalism was from another era that most other Celtic countries had now left behind. He said the French were also hostile to the inter-celtic solidarity demonstrated by groups such as the Celtic League towards Brittany, an illustration of this was surreptitious police harassment at the Leagues last AGM in Brittany.

Finally, the DoI said the Celtic League was coordinated and directed by its Annual General (and Council) Meetings and had achieved an ambitious programme of work over fifty years. It had accomplished this solely from membership contributions and unlike many organisations received no stipend of financial support from any other source.

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League
05/06/08

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It worksto promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on abroad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlightshuman rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses onsocio-economic issues.

Internet site at: http://celticleague.net/

5.6.08

Democracy Dialogue Debate

This is just to bring to your attention to two internet forums for debate on Europe and its future.

The first has been produced by
Europa the gateway site to the European Union. Join the forum here. The second comes from the campaign -Speak up for Europe- and is called 'What has Europe ever done for us?' Join the forum here.


So yet another chance to make Cornwall's voice heard in Europe even if it is only in a small way.