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18.12.09

The Celtic League complains to EHRC

KERNOW: COMPLAINT TO EHRC

The Kernow Branch has written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to bring to their attention a race relations issue that the branch say has been brought to their attention by individuals in Kernow/Cornwall over the last few years. Iwan Le Moine told the Regional Advisor for the EHRC that the branch had been contacted a number of times regading "derogatory and/or insulting" comments about the Cornish in newspapers, magazines and radio. Mr Le Moine points out that the resources of the branch are not large enough to "deal with these complaints effectively and feel that an organisation like the Equality and Human Rights Commission and/or the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall (CREC) should be doing this on behalf of the public."

At the 2009 Celtic League AGM in Kernow, a resolution was passed condemning the use of insulting terms against the Cornish in the media, internet and elsewhere and called upon the EHRC and CREC to help tackle this. On 1st December the General Secretary of the league, attended a meeting of CREC, who are currently engaged in a process of reorganisation in order to formalise structure and working of the organisation after a period of inactivity.

The full text of the letter to the EHRC can be found below.

Qaiser Razzak
Regional Advisor
Equality and Human Rights Commission
22 November 2009

Dear Qaiser,

Condemnation of use of the word `inbred' to describe the Cornish

I am writing to you on behalf of the Celtic League to ask that you offer support for a resolution that was passed unanimously at our annual general meeting (agm) held in Truro, Cornwall on 18th July 2009.

The resolutions states:

"That the Celtic League utterly condemns the frequently used description of Cornish nationals as `inbred', amongst other insulting phrases, in the media, on the internet and elsewhere, and calls upon the Equality and Human Rights Commission, as well as the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall to join us in taking action to tackle this outrage."

In addition, over the last few years a number of individuals have contacted our branch to complain about various comments and articles that have been written in newspapers, magazines and aired on the radio referring to the Cornish as `inbred' and being generally derogatory and/or insulting. This refers to comments made by individuals, as well as from sources on the internet, but a surprising number also come from supposedly well respected sources, such as the BBC (Radio), The Times newspaper (London), The Western Morning News, The Guardian newspaper, The Spectator and the website of Imperial College, University of London.

Over the past few years, the Celtic League (the organisation and branch) have written a number of letters to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), calling for action against different newspapers, in whose pages comments deriding and/or insulting the Cornish have appeared. However, in each case the PCC have explained to us that there is nothing they can or will do.

The Kernow Branch has very limited resources to deal with these complaints effectively and feel that an organisation like the Equality and Human Rights Commission and/or the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall should be doing this on behalf of the public. We would therefore like your help and support in asking you for a comment in response to this letter that we can use in future, condemning racist and prejudiced comments towards the Cornish.

We look forward to your response, which we aim to distribute widely among our members and elsewhere.

Yours sincerely

Iwan Le Moine
Branch Secretary
Kernow Branch
Celtic League

Related links:

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

17/12/09

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.

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