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Between Optimism and Cynicism

I can only be supportive of the move described here -Cornwall turns to Celtic assembly.

Cornwall is clearly one of the historic nations of this European archipelago and, even if our true constitutional position has been gerrymandered from under our noses, the legal position of the Duchy easily gives us the same footing as the Ilse of Man or Channel Islands.

No surprises that Andrew-electoral-trail-George is on hand to recycle and reproduce the language of Mebyon Kernow to win the Cornish national vote. Thankfully, part of the operation is in the hands of Plaid leader Elfyn Llwyd.

Wouldn't it be good to see our own progressive (Cornish) nationalist politicians in positions of power and able to speak for us as opposed to Liberal Democrat careerists ready to please all for a few extra votes but equally ready to 'forget' their promises.

The website for the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body can be found here.

Real Cornish Histories

The Runnymede Trust runs a website called -Real Histories- which describes itself as a "resource tool for teachers, parents, pupils and the wider community to support them in teaching and learning about cultural diversity in the UK."

You can propose organisations and websites to them for inclusion within the resource. Following one of my e-mails I received this reply:

Thank you for your message. You will notice that the Real Histories Directory allows individuals or organisations to submit resources to the Directory at (click here).

Once an entry is submitted, it is reviewed and, if suitable for schools in helping to teach and learn about cultural diversity in the UK, approved. If you know of resources that would be appropriate, please do feel free to submit them to the Directory. We do already include resources for the Welsh and Irish, so I am sure that there is no reason to exclude resources for the Cornish. I look forward to hearing from you.

Perhaps this would be of interest to our Cornish language and cultural organisations.


Congratulations STIG!

Congratulations must go to STIG and the people of St Dennis for their recent victory, but does it all have to end here? 

What now for their energy? What purpose could their experience and network of contacts but put to? Does the end of this particular campaign have to mean the end of all this positivity and action?

Reading this excellent OurKingdom article -The Politics of Liberty in the Age of ‘Liquid Democracy’- perhaps we can find a pointer.

The author Gerry Hassan writes: Drawing on Zygmunt Bauman's description of how a new, more fluid, fragmented, hyper-individualised ‘liquid modernity' has replaced the solid modernity of previous times (18), I suggest we adapt accordingly and nurture our practice and ideas to the requirements of what I have called ‘liquid democracy'. What would ‘liquid democratic' organisations look like? They would:

*Have a sense of inhabiting spaces which both engage with the system, while not being wholly part of it.

*Be at least part-outsider: engaging in a politics of direct action, fun and imagination, as well as serious, insider-orientated politics.

*Use new technologies and older senses of belonging and gathering to develop collective identities and democratic voice.

*In many cases be localist or defined by the importance of the local.

*Oppose the reach of big business - refusing to take or be dominated by corporate sponsorship.

As an example of a 'liquid democratic organisation' Hassan proposes London CitizensLondon CITIZENS is a powerful grassroots charity working with local people for local people. Our goal is social, economic and environmental justice. We meet that goal by training people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds to take action together for change. Our dynamic campaigns have secured many victories for the people of London. Beginning our journey twelve years ago as TELCO, our membership today includes over one hundred civil society organisations across the city.

With the birth of the Trelawney Alliance and the existence of any number of other grass-roots groups and single issue campaigns in the Duchy I can't help being jelous of Englands capital and its London Citizens organisation. We once had Cornish Solidarity. Today would it be possible to bring together Cornwall's campaigns for social justice, fair wages, envronmental responsibility, heritage protection and democratic reform in a Cornish Citizens? Due to the crisis the World, and therefore Cornwall, is ripe for change we just need agree on a direction, organise and then apply the pressure.


Cornish Banks

Cornish Credit Unions have been mentioned here along with other local scale economic projects but could Cornish Banks make a come back? This from nef:

The Government believes that the best way to revive the economy is to start from the top down. So it continues to throw public money at the ailing giants of the financial sector, hoping that they will start lending again. But a new report from nef argues that these measures do not strike at the real root of our economic problems: the failure of banks to perform the basic functions required of them.

Over the last three decades, banks have closed their high-street branches and withdrawn from less-wealthy communities in favour of setting up shop in the financial sector. The big banks have abandoned local economies and small businesses to pursue the more profitable business of speculative commercial banking. If we want to fix our economy, we now need banks which are 'fit for purpose': appropriately scaled to serve our communites and our small businesses, which still account for the majorirty of the UK's private sector jobs.

nef proposes a raft of measures to support community finance institutions and small businesses, from de-merging the big banks to creating a 'people's bank' at the Post Office. Instead of banks that are 'too big to fail' we now need an 'ecology of finance', made up of different sized institutions which each serve a specific area of the UK and international economy.

Read I.O.U.K.: Banking failure and how to build a fit financial sector


Stadium for Cornwall

This is a quick note to highlight the petition for a modern multi-functional Stadium for Cornwall: link here.

It must become the responsibility of our new Cornwall Council to provide a Stadium for Cornwall with the modern facilities of which the people of Cornwall can be proud. A Stadium that would serve to inspire our local sportsmen and women, along with Cornish youngsters, who aspire to play their sport at the highest levels.

Every nation needs a national stadium.


Andrew - Liberal Democrat - George

I, like many I suppose, found myself nodding along in agreement with Andrew George's recent press release -CORNWALL: A NEW BEGINNING?

Full of what seems like common sense and sound reasoning it certainly has something for everyone:

•One Strong Voice - The new authority structure makes Cornwall one of the largest rural councils in the UK; representing more than half a million people and a very significant region of the country;

• Support from other “stakeholders” - The private and voluntary sectors can be mobilised in support of a strong and more ambitious vision for Cornwall;

• Institutional Structures - Although still weak, Cornwall has more coterminous institutional structures responsible for delivering public services than many other areas, from the Primary Care Trust to the Sea Fisheries Committee, etc.

• European Recognition - Objective 1 and now Convergence Region, etc.

• Cultural Recognition - Cornish language specified within the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages, etc, and Cornwall leading a proposal to the European Commission to develop the concept of “Regions of Culture”. The boost of Cornwall’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site is also significant here.

• Cultural bodies - Cornwall is an acknowledged member of the pan-Celtic community with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany and the Isle of Mann. We also have a rich population of associated institutions such as the Cornish Gorsedd, etc.

• Strong Cornish Identity/Brand – Both culturally and commercially the Cornish brand is recognised, is strong and growing with increasing use and recognition of the St. Piran’s Flag and a strong and positive regional recognition of the place through its produce - pasties, cream, ice cream, etc.

• Strong environmental sector – Cornwall has an abundance of successful and renowned environmental management and technological organisations and businesses including the recently established Environment and Sustainability Institute at the Combined Universities in Cornwall which is now one of the top climate change research centres in the world.

• Strong modern image – For young people as the “happening” surf capital of the UK and as the home for go-ahead enterprises, through such successful initiatives as the Eden Project.

• Creative/Dynamic – Increasingly recognised as having a strong and successful creative industries and a place receptive to genuine vision and dynamism, particularly in the private and voluntary sectors.

• Resilient traditional industries – In spite of the problems faced by the fishing industry Newlyn is still the most important fishing port south of the Scottish border and Cornwall has the second largest pasture land in the country.

• Unique Constitutional Position - The Duchy of Cornwall is the only place in the country where the soil is owned by someone other than the Crown. The intestacy and foreshore laws are different and the basis of the Stannaries has never been abolished. The potency of this has never yet been explored in the context of mainstream public service and democratically accountable institutions.

• High Sheriff of Cornwall – Cornwall is the only place in the UK where the Sheriff is appointed by someone other than the Monarch and who swears allegiance to both the Monarch and the Duke of Cornwall.

• Pre prepared case – Cornwall has its own well established “Constitutional Convention” with a pedigree of well considered and presented case papers.

• Sub National Review – Treasury recognises that Cornwall is a unit of economic integrity.

• Multi Area Agreements – The Government is now developing an agenda which allows places like Cornwall to build a case for the negotiation of devolved powers.

From pan-Celtic campaigners and Cornish constitutionalists to the business community and voluntary sectors. The world and his dog get name checked. 

The door is opened to all sections of the Cornish movement and then some. Following such a call for unity I'm left asking myself why Mebyon Kernow can't put out a press release like this? But there we go perhaps that is the point. Mr George is not a Cornish nationalist, first and foremost he is a Liberal Democrat. A party that has had total control for a while now but what have they done with this power? I read his excellent essay but find it hard to reconcile with his party affiliations. Do we really want the Unitary Authority dominated by Lib Dems in the same way that the old council was? Have our Lib Dem MP's been stalwart supporters of Cornish devolution and national recognition?

Right words Andrew. Wrong party. Needless to say I would probably dance for joy in the streets if he left his party, ran as an independent and concluded an electoral pact with MK and the Greens, but I think career considerations will quash such ideas.

So it has to asked is Andrew George using his party as a vehical for the Cornish nations aspirations or is he using the language of Cornish nationalism to get elected? Look at the track record of the party that he claims to be a "proud" member of and then make up your own mind.

Personally I think it's time for a BIG change.

Post Script:

Just some after thoughts but who exactly is Andrew addressing with this letter? The hard working Cornish movement who have been suggesting much of what he writes about for years, or his own half-arsed Lib Dem travelling companions who have ignored much of what we have been saying?

Does Andrew think that the current Lib Dem council hegemony are the best team to bring about his wish list? Do you? What about our MP's? Hard workers for their particular constituencies no doubt, but as a group, totally lacking in any coherent vision for Cornwall. Who better than a group of 5 MP's covering the entire Duchy to push our little nation forward, but what have they done? What coordinated strategy have they followed?

Will I be accused of "nosediving into narrowly focused recrimination, backward looking blame and petty point scoring" because I think the Lib Dems, along with the other mainstream English nationalist parties, are the least likely to realise your dreams Andrew?


Cornwall into Europe

An opportunity here from Unlock Democracy to tell them what issues you think count in the up coming European elections. What's more you can record your ethnicity as Cornish.

Following the success of our pilot project for the 2008 London elections, Unlock Democracy will be launching Vote Match Europe in the run up to this year's European Parliament elections. To help us develop this, we've produced a quick survey to identify what people think will be important issues. You can fill this in by clicking on this link here.

A release from MK here: The National Executive of Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has decided to put forward a list of candidates for the ‘South West Region’ seat in the European Parliament.

As well as well as Cornwall, the constituency covers Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire and the island of Gibraltar. Six MEPs will be elected via a list form of proportional representation.

We believe that democracy in Cornwall is at a vital crossroads and June 4th will be an important day for the future direction of our politics, with elections to both the new single tier council and the European Parliament.

Why not help MK get its message out there by contacting the local press to say how great it is that Cornwall will have the chance to vote for a strong team of candidates for the Euro-election - a team 100% committed to Cornish communities?

MK has already selected over twenty candidates for the unitary elections and I would like to thank everyone who has agreed to be a candidate. I would also like to ask other members and supporters to give serious consideration to standing in this important election year or helping others to get elected to the new Council.

Equally a new book has just been released that goes by the name of Pro minoritate Europae - Minorities of Europe Unite! 

Notice the St Pirans on the cover. The book has been created for the 25th anniversary of the Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages of the European Parliament. The compilation book contains of the case studies and analysis of the members of the Minorities Intergroup and prominent minority experts on European minority protection and the situation of minorities in Europe.

Post Script: I forgot to add yeasterday that a new Think Tank for the democratic regionalist and nationalist movements of Europe has also recently been created and is affiliated to the European Free Alliance (EFA), a European political party recognised by the European Parliament. The Centre Maurits Coppieters' aims are: "observing, analysing data and contributing to the debate on European public policy issues with a special focus on the role of democratic-nationalist and regionalist movements and the process of European integration. We will serve as a framework for national or regional think tanks, political foundations and academics to work together at European level."


Cornish Law - a tale of two sovereigns

Back in February 2008 I blogged for OurKingdom concerning the Duchy of Cornwall. The article was called Duchy or County - how would a modern Magna Carta look in Cornwall? Over a year later there seems to be a certain effervescence around this Cornish constitutional question.

Okay! It's not on the same level as the global economic depression but perhaps an update is in order anyway. Hopefully it will give some of our democratic republicans something to mull over as well.

In February this year an article was published in Cornish World magazine by Cornish law researcher, Solicitor, and Notary Public, John Kirkhope. In -The Duchy of Cornwall, a very peculiar 'private estate'- Kirkhope lists the array of unusual rights and prerogatives the Duchy has over the territory of Cornwall. In this blog article from Republic, Graham Smith describes one of these rights, namely Bona Vancantia, but it's far from the whole picture. Kirkhope goes into much greater detail listing for example:

The right to appoint a sheriff; the rights not to pay tax; the rights to Cornish fundus and foreshore; the right to wreck; the right to summon a parliament; the rights to crown immunity; the right to intervene in court cases; the right to demand a trial at bar and much much more.

Did someone say 'just a private estate'?

Prior to publishing Kirkhope sent copies of his findings to all five Cornish MPs. Two, Andrew George and Dan Rogerson, responded and arranged to meet Kirkhope in Westminster so that the researcher could expand on his findings. Both MPs shared Kirkhopes frustration at the governments unwillingness to answer questions about the Duchy. It should also be noted that Andrew George has shown a previous interest in our constitutional affairs.

In the same month, prompted by Kirkhopes work, Andrew George raised a number of questions in parliament concerning the Duchy. These and the responses they received can be viewed here on the new blog from the Duchy of Cornwall Human Rights Association (DCHA). Intelligently commented by Cornish activist John Angarrack, the government responses give the impression of officials more than ready to use doublespeak.

So what can be deduced from these Ducal rights? What constitutional arrangement do they find their foundation in? Even if the Tamar and its estuary almost severe us from Devonshire, geographically speaking, Cornwall is part of the island of Great Britain. Furthermore, in an administrative sense, Cornwall is clearly run as a county of England with a soon-to-be Unitary Authority. No doubt on these two points.

Cornwall's de jure constitutional position is another story though. Is it part of the United Kingdom? Angarracks response is as simple as it is startling. On the big island the Queen/Crown is sovereign except for Cornwall where a second sovereign sits obscured by centuries of government and establishment disinformation. A Duke happy to benefit from his extensive powers but unwilling to assume responsibility for the territory and people of his Duchy. The evidence and arguments are complex but clearly explained on the DCHRA blog.

So where next? The British Isles' other constitutional anomalies may be regretting the good old days before the credit crunch, but what about our hidden Cornish Crown Dependency operated as a tax haven for one man? Shouldn't the people of Cornwall be fully informed as to the nature of the Duchy?

I'll leave the last words to John Kirkhope who writes:

"At a time when Cornwall, economically, needs bolstering and the government of Cornwall is in apparent upheaval perhaps the legal status of Cornwall and the monies generated by the Duchy need to be made transparent rather than suffer the murkiness of misinformation."


Cornish Wikipedia

An e-mail below from one of the people behind the Cornish Wikipedia.

Over the past few days I've been trying to inject some new life into the Cornish Wikipedia, and doing the rounds to see if anyone's interested in making some contributions. Would it be OK for me to ask if you would place a link to it on your site? Hopefully people might see the link and find out that a Cornish version actually exists, and the amount of activity might increase on it. The site is here if you want to take a look.

Many thanks

Flying the Flag

A couple of opportunities to fly the flag for Cornish progressives.

Put People First

On 28th March thousands will march through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20, ahead of their 2nd April summit on the global financial crisis. Even before the banking collapse, the world suffered poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos. The world has followed a financial model that has created an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental. Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future. There can be no going back to business as usual. People from all over the country will join the march on March 28. Be one of them.

The Spring Alliance

The Spring Alliance is a participatory movement to ensure that the European Union puts people and the planet first. It was created by three leading European civil society organisations: the European Environmental Bureau, the European Trade Union Confederation and Social Platform. But the Alliance is much broader than that - it's supported by a network of organisations from all corners of civil society and beyond, including development NGOs, fair-trade associations, anti-poverty campaigners, consumer organisations and representatives from the research and business community.


Cornwall ERoCC by Black-Hearted Ned

Following my post below on the Cornwall European Region of Culture Campaign I've been called to order by a friend. Black-Hearted Ned has this to say:I have nothing against the Region of Cultures project and wish it well. My personal problem is that I can't take those in charge seriously and have considerable doubts about their ability to understand the Cornish scene. The disgraceful "New Cornish Carol" proposals showed a total lack of knowledge not only of Cornwall's musical heritage but also of the wider European carol tradition itself and the Independent piece was an even bigger disgrace, and dangerous too. Nor do TV appearances inspire much confidence either.

Which is a pity, because there is nothing wrong with the concept and at the outset County Hall asked us to participate in its development. Two of us went to the initial working group meeting, but were then dumped without the courtesy of prior notice or subsequent explanation despite various unanswered requests. I do not take kindly to such behaviour and have made no attempt to hide my feelings. The latest expression of them was at a reception last Saturday, when David Roberts brought news of that afternoon's enthronement of the new bishop and the Cornishness of the occasion - the choir singing in Cornish, the Grand Bard reading a lesson in the language, and the congregation standing to sing Trelawny. These things - and the celebrations of St Piran which have just taken place - are real and come from the heart; against them what is being put about by the funded arriviste comes across as cheap and ersatz, and as little more than a marketing exercise. Convince me that I'm being unfair and I'll change my mind, but currently I can see no reason to alter.


Time for a Constitutional Detox

Always nice to see our errant Duke coming in for criticism. Prince Charles detox 'quackery' an article from the BBC sees Professor Ernst of Peninsula Medical School making the following claim "Prince Charles thus financially exploits a gullible public in a time of financial hardship." Ernst said this in relation to Duchy Originals detox tincture.

Well it wouldn't be the first time the Duke of Cornwall has exploited people would it?

Which brings me to this blog article from Republic; Bona Vacantia - Latin for ‘nice little earner’ .

Yes the Duke has a long list of rights and prerogatives over the territory of Cornwall. Good to see groups like Republic taking notice of this situation at last.

Yet here we are with some individuals within the wider Cornish movement ready to do back flips for HRH when he throws us a few bread crumbs of recognition. A little Cornish language here a quotation for a book there. Never mind that he is a willing part of the establishment that has denuded us of our true constitutional position.

The Duchy is a totally undemocratic feudal relic that perhaps could be challenged by a coalition of democratic reformers in a way that the Monarchy and Crown as a whole cannot.

Does the UK public want a republic? Perhaps not, but do they feel the same attachment to the Duchy?

The Republic blog article is open for comments.


The Cornish Democrat has changed

Been exploring this ere Internet thing. Not baad ez ut?

It is now possible to sign up to the Cornish Democrat Yahoo Group and receive all blog posts in your e-mail. Additionally the CD now has a presence on Netvibes (a new home page), Twitter, Del.icio.us, Technorati as well as a page on the Cornish networking site Cornwall's Coolest. All feedback and advice are most welcome. Now really all that's needed are some good blog post writers.

Just a happy amateur when it comes to the Internet but if anybody wants any help for pro-Cornish ventures I'm more than willing to share what I've learnt so far.


Cornwall a European Region of Culture?

OK so first time round the European Region of Culture campaign from Cornwall Culture got short shrift from many in Cornish cultural circles for being devoid of any real Cornish content, but is it really that bad?

Would it be such a terrible thing if Cornwall were to be recognised as a European region of culture? Might it not be another stepping stone to full Cornish regional recognition? Are there any ways Cornish groups and individuals can get involved in the campaign and try and make it a little more authentic?

ERoCC logo
A paper prepared by the London think tank DEMOS on the above campaign can be found here. Have a look and let me know what you think.


Six young people, who were arrested following a graffiti campaign to highlight the continued disaffection among residents of Loire Atlantique about the territorial division of Briezh/Brittany, were sentenced to a two months suspended prison yesterday.

The sentence, which also included fines totalling over 30, 000 Euros and100 hours community service each, was immediately criticised by their supporters for being disproportionate and politically motivated. Supporters pointed out that in a recent similar court case, three graffiti artists were only fined 500 Euros for a comparable amount of damage caused. Their lawyer said that he would immediately appeal the verdict.

All six youths were sentenced in Naoned/Nantes, the main city of the Loire Atlantique department, which was annexed from Briezh/Brittany in 1941. Ironically, the youths were sentenced on the same day as the Balladur Committee was expected to give President Sarkozy its final report, which Breton nationalists were hoping would recommend the reunification of Loire Atlantique with the rest of Briezh/Brittany.

However, the Mayor of Naoned/Nantes, where the trial of the youths took place, has been campaigning himself among Balladur Committee members, for the reunification of Briezh/Brittany to be left out of the final report.

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League


Six young people, who were arrested following a graffiti campaign to highlight the continued disaffection among residents of Loire Atlantique about the territorial division of Briezh/Brittany, were sentenced to a two months suspended prison yesterday.

The sentence, which also included fines totalling over 30, 000 Euros and100 hours community service each, was immediately criticised by their supporters for being disproportionate and politically motivated. Supporters pointed out that in a recent similar court case, three graffiti artists were only fined 500 Euros for a comparable amount of damage caused. Their lawyer said that he would immediately appeal the verdict.

All six youths were sentenced in Naoned/Nantes, the main city of the Loire Atlantique department, which was annexed from Briezh/Brittany in 1941. Ironically, the youths were sentenced on the same day as the Balladur Committee was expected to give President Sarkozy its final report, which Breton nationalists were hoping would recommend the reunification of Loire Atlantique with the rest of Briezh/Brittany.

However, the Mayor of Naoned/Nantes, where the trial of the youths took place, has been campaigning himself among Balladur Committee members, for the reunification of Briezh/Brittany to be left out of the final report.

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

For One but not All

Hats off once again to Cornish World for their article in the February / March issue (No 62) on the nature of the Duchy of Cornwall. Written by John Kirkhope B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.(Hons.), Dip. N.P., TEP Notary Public, Non Practising Solicitor (not Cornish BTW). 

The article totally debunks the lies promulgated by the current Duchy authority and UK government which usually run along the lines of -the Duchy of Cornwall is just a private estate- and -it has no connection to the territory of Cornwall-.

Kirkhope lists the quite extraordinary number of rights and prerogatives the Duchy has over the territory of Cornwall and adds:

"At a time when Cornwall, economically, needs bolstering and the government of Cornwall is in apparent upheaval perhaps the legal status of Cornwall and the monies generated by the Duchy need to be made transparent rather than suffer the murkiness of misinformation."

For me the article leaves the question -is Cornwall party of the UK in a de jure legal sense?- hanging in the air unasked.

This article along with countless others in Cornish World should not be left to moulder in a corner somewhere. Circulate it along with all other pro-Cornish publications!

Kirkhope has met with two of our Cornish MP's, Dan Rogerson and Andrew George, in Westminster to discuss the above. Both expressed regret at the governments unwillingness to tell the truth regarding the status of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Tonight, the 6th of March, at 7pm John Kirkhope will be giving a talk on Cornish Law in Redruth at Kresenn Kernow.

One not to miss!


Returning trust to local government

Just to bookmark this an article from Peter Facey (London, Unlock Democracy).

Yesterday David Cameron in an article in the Guardian stated “I am a confirmed localist, committed to turning Britain’s pyramid of power on its head.” Now to someone like me who believes that the centralisation of power in England is one of the great democratic deficits, this is a joy to hear.

The reason for the article and the soaring rhetoric was the publication of the Conservatives green paper on decentralisation,
Control Shift – Returning Power to Local Communities.

Read the rest here at OurKingdom. I agree with Peter Facey and would add that in the Duchy any talk of decentralisation emanating from the Tories coupled with Cornish nationalist rhetoric is simply an election ploy. In marginal Lib Dem V Tory constituencies all is permitted.


St Pirans day Holiday

With the news that Cornwalls five Liberal Democrat MPs have now called for a bank holiday on the 5th of March to celibrate St Pirans day here is the latest campaign news from the Celtic League.

With the approach of Dydh sen Pyran /St Piran's Day next week (5th March) the campaign to persuade Cornwall's councils to adopt the day as an annual holiday for their staff has drawn to a close for another year. At least three more town councils (TC) voted to give their staff a Dy' goel sen Pyran/St Piran's Day Holiday, which makes the total number of Cornish councils to do so rise to six.

This year the Celtic League has been more successful in encouraging Cornwall's councils to debate the issue and have seen an increase in the number of Councils willing to make the 5th March an annual holiday for their staff than at any other time. This list still remains short, but importantly it is growing.

What is a bit worrying however, is that some of the letters sent by the League to TC's on the matter, did not even get passed the Town Clerk. Sally Vincent, the Town Clerk of Fowey TC for example responded by saying "Do you want to pay me for a day off!!!???" and in another case the issue was only raised with Newquay TC after the Town Clerk went on sick leave and her Deputy received a further letter from the League and got in touch. (How many other requests have been dismissed by Cornish town clerks in the same way?)

Even though the League asked each council to provide feedback, only a handful of councils did so. We are still therefore unsure how many councils did actually discuss the matter and if they did, what was decided. In two instances, the League only learned through a third party that Hayle TC and St Columb TC had debated the issue and had decided in favour of a Dy' goel sen Pyran/St Piran's Day Holiday for their staff members. Only one district council (North Cornwall) informed the League that they had debated the issue, but feedback was also received from Kerrier District Council to say that they had received a letter and the issue would be debated. Cornwall County Council also acknowledged receipt of the original letter from the League, but it is not known if the issue was debated at a full council meeting. The League will now follow up all the councils again, over the coming year, to ask if the matter has been discussed.

What is clear from the feedback that has been received is that councillors were concerned about the cost implications of making 5th March a holiday for their staff and if they made St Piran's Day a holiday, whether this would commit them to making St George's Day (of England) a holiday on April 23rd as well! Another interesting came from a Hayle town councillor, who commented that:

"The letter from the Celtic League was being treated in an almost embarrassed way, and councillors were shuffling in their seats…"

A brief record below highlights some of the successes of the campaign and also some of the feedback received.

Councils that voted in favour of making Dydh sen Pyran /Saint Piran's Day an annual holiday for their staff in 2009:

Hayle Town Council
St Blaise Town Council
St Columb Town Council

Councils where the matter was debated and feedback given to the League:

North Cornwall District Council: "on an already stretched budget, the cost implications of closing the office for the day would be of considerable cost to the "

Falmouth: "The Council supports the principle of the proposal to make 5th March, St Piran Day, a Cornish national holiday. For the sake of equality the Council has indicated that it would wish for the holiday to be comprehensively applied throughout Cornwall before being introduced for Falmouth Town Council staff. I wish the League luck with this campaign and please keep me informed of progress."

Liskeard: "One of the comments made is that if St Piran's Day is made a holiday they would need to make St George's day also a holiday. Obviously a lot of the members are not Cornish. Another concern would be the cost implementation."

Lostwithiel: "This was discussed at our recent meeting but the decision was unanimous not to comply with your request for St. Piran day to be a holiday for staff. There was quite a lengthy debate on this but what really prompted the negative response was that March is a busy time of year in the office and even if the Council declared it a public holiday my workload could well mean that it would not be practical to take the day off. If that were to be the case and I worked that day it would be overtime with the associated additional cost to the Council."

Saltash : "I understand from what was said just before the meeting, there is no holiday for St George's Day and therefore this is a similar type of day.":

Newquay Town Council reported that the matter will be discussed at their full council meeting on 4th March.

(Report prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot)

Related articles on Celtic News at:1 2 3 4 5 6

2011 Census Update / No Cornish Nationality Code

I received an anonymous e-mail from a 'Cornovii' today concerning the 2011 census that people should see.

'National Identity' is a newly invented Census 2011 category. It is not the same as 'ethnic group'. If the 2011 Census asks people to record their 'National Identity', there is no code for Cornish like there was for 'ethnic group' in 2001. The government refuses to recognise Cornish 'national identity' so is there a possibility of Cornish entries either being voided, or changed to something else (possibly English, or British) without our knowledge ? This leads to the question will there be independent Census scrutineers in 2011 to verify the number recorded as Cornish ? Perhaps our MPs could confirm the procedure as to how the Cornish identity vote will be accurately monitored and recorded ?

YouTube link




The link takes you to the following (very good)

Certainly has more balls than this blog don't you think.

If anybody wants to confirm the provided by Cornovii information then contact the Office of National Statistics or make a Freedom of Information request to them via the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

BBC Spotlight - Cornish Language Thriving !

Just to add this YouTube version of a Spotlight story following the UNESCO clasification of Cornish as extinct.


Nations and Regions by the Westminster Media Forum

It's often been pointed out that our little nation suffers badly from a lack of proper media provision. Dissolved within variously Devon and Cornwall, West country, South West government zones as well as England, Cornwall is denied its own place in the sun. Perhaps the seminar below organised by the Westminster Media Forum would be an opportunity for the Cornish movement to express its justified concerns.

Full details below:

This seminar will present a timely opportunity to discuss provision of news and other public service broadcasting for the UK’s nations and regions, as policy makers examine this important set of issues. Planned sessions look at: ‘Identity’ and what it means in the UK nations and regions; latest on media consumption in the nations and regions, and how things are changing. Delegates will also discuss the economics of public service broadcasting in the nations and regions and consider the future shape and structure of PSB provision: who will be providing services, what they should look like and options for governance, regulation and funding. This seminar is supported by S4C.

We are delighted that Stewart Purvis, Partner, Content and Standards, Ofcom has agreed to deliver a keynote address.

Further speakers confirmed so far include: John Angeli, Head of Content, The Press Association; Robert Beveridge, Lecturer in Media Policy and Regulation, Edinburgh Napier University; Mark Dodson, Chief Executive, GMG Regional Media; Tabitha Elwes, Partner, Spectrum Value Partners; Bobby Hain, Director of Broadcast Services and Regulatory Affairs, STV; Blair Jenkins, Former Chair, Scottish Broadcasting Commission; Michael Jermey, Director of News, Current Affairs and Sport, ITV; Iona Jones, Chief Executive, S4C; Rt Hon the Lord Macdonald of Tradeston, Member, Communications Select Committee; Mark Scrimshaw, Chair, BBC Division, BECTU and David Strachan, Joint Managing Director, Tern TV will also be speaking.

Austin Mitchell MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Media Group and Adam Price MP, Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport have kindly agreed to chair this event.

To view the latest agenda, click here

To book places at this event, click here