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29.8.08

Why are you a Republican? / Nationalists and republicanism

Various Cornish campaigners have now expressed grave concerns about the Duchy of Cornwall and its apparent boundless ability to affect decision making in and over Cornwall, so if the case, why do you wish this deformed and antidemocratic Duchy institution to be liquidated? If you are a republican what are your reasons?

Republic -the campaign for an elected head of state- (following Angarracks revelations it seems 'elected heads of state' would be more appropriate) are compiling a book written the subjects of this feudal system. If you have a point of view that you think should be included then click here and get writing: Republic Book Project . I know there are plenty of informed individuals who have something to say on the subject so why not get our cause a bit more publicity?

On a different subject the article below is taken from the Republic blog. It calls into doubt the republican credentials of Welsh and Scottish nationalism, and asks why the SNP and Plaid avoid the subject or even support the monarchy. I get the feeling that both parties just avoid this divisive issue that is tainted with IRA extremism and is simlpy not a massive vote winner.

To turn things around I'd like to ask why Republic hasn't shown much greater support for nationalist republicans from around the isles.

Where is Republic when the Cornish try to confront the Duchy?

Imagine Article: Nationalists and republicanism

August 22nd, 2008 Paul Cassidy

The following article is featured in the latest edition of
Imagine. You can respond to the article here.

Since the nationalists came to power in Scotland last year, debate over the future of the union has gained in prominence on both sides of the border. Many hold the view that a continued increase in support for both Scottish and Welsh nationalists could result in seismic constitutional change – a view strengthened by speculation that most nationalists are also republicans.


It is important to stress that republicanism and nationalism are entirely independent ideologies, but it is often assumed that if you are a Scottish or Welsh nationalist you are necessarily against the monarchy.

In practice, however, this is not the case. Neither the pro-independence Scottish National Party nor the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru has an official position on the crown that could be described as ‘anti-monarchy’. SNP leader Alex Salmond has even expressed his support for the monarchy as a symbol of a ‘social union’ between England and Scotland that he hopes will remain even after Scotland achieve independence. In short, Salmond envisages an independent Scotland which nonetheless retains the monarchy.

An independent Scottish parliament, whilst a rejection of the 1707 Act of Union (which established a single Westminster parliament for both nations), would still leave in place the Union of the Crowns of 1603. Similarly, an independent Welsh parliament, whilst a repeal of the 16th Century Laws of Wales Acts, would nevertheless leave untouched the 1284 Statute of Rhuddlan . Thus it is conceivable for either Scotland or Wales to achieve full political independence whilst preserving the monarch as head of state.

But is there any reason for why nationalists should be anti-monarchy in principle? For everyone there is good reason to take a principled stance against the monarchy. For nationalists, however, there is another reason: support for the monarchy undermines the central aim of nationalism: sovereignty.

The primary objective of any nationalist movement is national sovereignty – the exclusive right of a nation to govern its own affairs. Accordingly no nation could be described as ‘sovereign’ if a significant aspect of its governance were controlled by some foreign body.

Now if Scotland were to achieve independence from Britain yet retain the monarchy, we would have a situation in which Scotland had a foreign head of state. This would mean a loss of sovereignty for an independent Scotland, as the highest position in their constitution would be occupied by the head of a foreign power that was neither a true representation of Scotland nor was subject to their laws.

So if the primary demand of nationalism is sovereignty, then it makes no sense at all for nationalists to advocate independence from Britain whilst retaining a foreign monarch. The loss of national sovereignty that would result from having a foreign head of state would undermine the very thing independence aimed to secure. In short, not all nationalists are against the monarchy, but they should be. As should we all.

26.8.08

82 Councillors

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the announcement from the Boundary Committee for England that it will “not be able to complete the work” necessary to create new seats for elections to the new unitary council by May or June 2009 and that the elections will have to proceed on the basis of 82 Councillors for the new authority with the same electoral divisions as the current County Council.

Party Leader Cllr Dick Cole described these latest developments as an “embarrassing and undemocratic mess.” The Boundary Committee have however stated that it is minded to accept the number of 123 councillors for the new unitary authority and will begin a 12-week consultation in November. The Electoral Commission could decide to bring their proposals into effect before the end of the normal four year cycle, which would mean further elections, or alternatively the whole of Cornwall will have to make do with just 82 councillors for the next four years.

The paperwork from the Boundary Committee also stated that their Director Archie Gall spoke to the One Cornwall Implementation Executive on 11 July and warned them that “there was just an outside possibility that any changes could be implemented by June 2009, if the Government decided that local elections were to be combined with elections to the European Parliament.” His letter implied that the Implementation Executive did not succeed in providing "a fully worked up and evidenced electoral scheme for new electoral divisions based on that council size (i.e. 123).”

Cllr Cole said:

“The Boundary Committee for England says that it cannot find the time to carry out the electoral review and yet does not intend to start the consultation on the proposal for a 123 member council until November. This is unacceptable. They just need to get on with the review and stop prevaricating!

“The proposals for the new council include twenty area networks which respect the boundaries of the proposed electoral divisions. If elections are held on the County Council’s old divisions, it will completely undermine the local arrangements for the new council.

“It is ridiculous to expect local people to take part in a consultation on a 123 member council, only for them to have to vote for new councillors on different boundaries.”

Looking ahead to the future, Cllr Dick Cole added:

Mebyon Kernow has never been in favour of the Liberal Democrat’s unitary council experiment. The arrangements are now descending into farce and we would hope that central government will admit that it has got it wrong and pull the plug on the whole debacle.

“If they are unwilling to do this, central government needs to ensure that the electoral review is speeded up and, if necessary, the existence of Cornwall County Council and the district councils is extended for three-four months until the democratic arrangements are in place for the new council.”

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall will also be writing to John Healey, Minister for Local Government, and Sir Archie Gall, Director of the Boundary Committee for England.

CONTACT Cllr Dick Cole 07791 876607

24.8.08

Our languages are Europes heritage

Just a quick note on two subjects; 1) to highlight the story below and 2) to bring to your attention the all new singing and dancing Eurominority website.

‘Regional’ languages recognised as ‘part of France’s heritage’

Brussel - Bruxelles, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 Ecrit par Davyth Hicks

The clause that “Regional languages are part of France’s heritage” will be included in Article 75 of France’s Constitution following a vote in the Senate yesterday. The Senate’s decision followed a second vote last week in the National Assembly calling for the introduction of the clause. The move has been given a qualified welcome by ‘regional’ language supporters, with the NGO EBLUL calling for France to go the extra mile and ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

As reported on Eurolang, recognition was previously voted down by the Senate in June following a vitriolic response from the French Academy, which had called for the withdrawal of the proposed clause because recognition of ‘regional’ languages would, it said, "undermine national identity". This provoked a huge outcry from language supporters, many of whom have seen their languages become endangered because of an ongoing French state policy of eradication.

Marc le Fur, the Breton UMP deputy who pressed for the clause, expressed his “great satisfaction” yesterday on the Senate’s decision.

In a press release EBLUL President, Neasa Ní Chinnéide, while welcoming the move, added that, “EBLUL stresses that the regional languages of France also belong to a European and global linguistic heritage. It is hoped that this recognition will reinforce the European policy of meaningful linguistic diversity on the continent. On this point, EBLUL also expects that France, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, ratifies the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which would give its languages a concrete and pragmatic European framework, for their development.

The statement continued that, “EBLUL believes it is high time that France puts an end to its policy of destruction of its autochthonous languages that has undermined its credibility both in Europe and internationally, and that concrete measures be taken quickly to translate this recognition into realities.”

The President of the Academy of the Basque Language, Andres Urrutia, hailed the reform as an "important and significant", but adding that this is only a "first step… It is not enough to recognize the heritage of the Basque language, it more important that this heritage is alive,” he said. (Eurolang 2008)

EBLUL
http://www.eblul.org/

Diwan
http://www.diwanbreizh.org/

Ya d'ar Brezhoneg
http://ouiaubreton.com/

Our languages are Europes heritage

Just a quick note on two subjects; 1) to highlight the story below and 2) to bring to your attention the all new singing and dancing Eurominority website.

‘Regional’ languages recognised as ‘part of France’s heritage’

Brussel - Bruxelles, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 Ecrit par Davyth Hicks

The clause that “Regional languages are part of France’s heritage” will be included in Article 75 of France’s Constitution following a vote in the Senate yesterday. The Senate’s decision followed a second vote last week in the National Assembly calling for the introduction of the clause. The move has been given a qualified welcome by ‘regional’ language supporters, with the NGO EBLUL calling for France to go the extra mile and ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

As reported on Eurolang, recognition was previously voted down by the Senate in June following a vitriolic response from the French Academy, which had called for the withdrawal of the proposed clause because recognition of ‘regional’ languages would, it said, "undermine national identity". This provoked a huge outcry from language supporters, many of whom have seen their languages become endangered because of an ongoing French state policy of eradication.

Marc le Fur, the Breton UMP deputy who pressed for the clause, expressed his “great satisfaction” yesterday on the Senate’s decision.

In a press release EBLUL President, Neasa Ní Chinnéide, while welcoming the move, added that, “EBLUL stresses that the regional languages of France also belong to a European and global linguistic heritage. It is hoped that this recognition will reinforce the European policy of meaningful linguistic diversity on the continent. On this point, EBLUL also expects that France, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, ratifies the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which would give its languages a concrete and pragmatic European framework, for their development.

The statement continued that, “EBLUL believes it is high time that France puts an end to its policy of destruction of its autochthonous languages that has undermined its credibility both in Europe and internationally, and that concrete measures be taken quickly to translate this recognition into realities.”

The President of the Academy of the Basque Language, Andres Urrutia, hailed the reform as an "important and significant", but adding that this is only a "first step… It is not enough to recognize the heritage of the Basque language, it more important that this heritage is alive,” he said. (Eurolang 2008)

EBLUL
http://www.eblul.org/

Diwan
http://www.diwanbreizh.org/

Ya d'ar Brezhoneg
http://ouiaubreton.com/