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29.7.09

Vanishing Cornwall

The report -Devolution: A Decade on- from the House of Commons Justice Committee can be found on the link provided.

Via a podcast I watched contributions given by Lord Tyler (Liberal Democrat) and Peter Facey (Unlock Democracy), and both made mention of Cornwall. Peter Facey said most about Cornish aspirations in mentioning the petition of 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish assembly.

Not one mention of Cornwall or our interest in devolution can be found in the report! Not even under the section that discusses regional devolution and local government in England can the 'C' word be seen.

Does this seem a little strange to anyone else?

Breizh today by the Celtic League

A summary below from the Celtic League on the Breton movement in 2009.

One of the biggest developments this year in Breizh is the progression of the debate over the return of the territory of the Loire Atlantique to Brittany. The reunification of Brittany has been a long term aim of the League, but to date the issue has largely ignored by the French central government.

However, this year has seen the biggest proposed reorganisation of French `regional' territory since the Second World War (WWII) and with it a possibility that Brittany could be reunified. Draft proposals of the Balladur Report have considered the reunification of Brittany, which was split into two parts under Vichy France in 1941. Breton reunification was proposed in the report, but was couched in clauses. It stipulated that a referendum would need to be held on the issue in Loire Atlantique and a consultation process followed with the different regional assemblies concerned, to decide if the reorganisation should go ahead. However, resistance to reunification has remained stiff from both the right and left.

The Breton Regional Council, the departmental council of Loire Atlantique, a number of local councils have all previously voted in favour of reunification (the Breton Regional Council have in fact voted for reunification three times) and every poll conducted in Loire Atlantique shows that the electorate are strongly in favour of the same. Unfortunately, Mayor Ayrault and his Jacobin supporters, including the Mayor of Roazhon/Rennes, Daniel Delaveau, still believe that they can over rule any decision made in favour of reunification. There is still no comment on the report, which can be supplied by myself to anyone interested or can be
found here

It seems that the current economic crisis has taken priority over `regional' reform for the moment.

Both the Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB) and Parti Breton (PB) had candidates in the European election, but only Parti Breton had their own list. Parti breton gained a credible 2.82% of the votes, which is pretty good considering it iwas the first time that the party has stood at the European level. PB were happy with the result, because it gave them a wider European profile and and further perspectives on how to develop.

The UDB put their support behind a new joint list (Europe Ecologie) made up of Green party candidates and representatives from the nationalist political parties that make up the Fédération Régions and Peuples Solidaires (RPS). The political parties that make up the RPS are also individual members of the European Free Alliance (EFA) European political party – along with the SNP, Plaid and Mebyon Kernow - and the agreement was that if one of the RPS members on the list was elected, they would represent the interests of all the nationalist political parties of the RPS.

The number two on the list and EFA Treasurer, François Alfonsi, was elected and consequently the UDB gained direct representation in the European Parliament for the first time. Alfonsi is a member of the PNC nationalist party of Corsica. The Europe Ecologie list was a shrewd piece of political manoevouring and even though it meant some compromises from the UDB, it nevertheless provided them with an elected candidate they can call their own. The UDB saw the development as "historic".

With regard to the Breton language, the Regional Council has pledged additional financial support and has agreed to finance some Breton language scholarships, but critics say that this is too little, too late. l'Ofis ar Brezhoneg (Office for the Breton language) has been continuing to persue a successful langauge charter campaign that has seen a growing number of Breton muniocipalities committing to the Breton language by agreeing to meet certain Breton language goals (actions) within a particular time frame. The first part of la charte `Ya d'ar brezhoneg'/`Yes to the Breton language' Charter was initially launched in 2001 are targeted business and organisations and saw hundreds join up. In 2004, the second part of the Charter was launched, which tartgeted municipalities.

On May 9th 2009, the Breton national anthem `Bro Goz My Zadoù' was played to and sung by a crowd of 80, 000 people at a French football cup final in the Stade de France stadium in Paris for the first time. The unprecedented event in the history of French league football became what Breton Agence Presse (ABP) called `la fête de la nation bretonne' (Breton national celebration), as the crowd attendance broke the stadiums attendance record. In is not unknown for the current French President to attend the football final, but on this occassion President Sarkozy did not show.

Another significant development has been the planned introduction of `regional' numberplates throughout the French state. After heavy lobbying by the Bretons, the French Government agreed that the Breton Gwynn ha Du flag could be included on the new plates and the word `Breizh'. The French government though has stated that anyone in the state can use any of the newly approved plates, no matter where you live. So in theory, people living in Paris can use the Breton plates, but this also means that Bretons living in the partitioned Loire Atlantique can also show their Breton roots by opting for Breton licence plates.

The www.bzh association was granted financial support from the Conseil Régional de Bretagne in December 2008 to establish the application for a top level internet domain name for Brittany, gather the necessary funds to ensure its submission and its promotion within the Breton community.

Breizh today by the Celtic League

A summary below from the Celtic League on the Breton movement in 2009.

One of the biggest developments this year in Breizh is the progression of the debate over the return of the territory of the Loire Atlantique to Brittany. The reunification of Brittany has been a long term aim of the League, but to date the issue has largely ignored by the French central government.

However, this year has seen the biggest proposed reorganisation of French `regional' territory since the Second World War (WWII) and with it a possibility that Brittany could be reunified. Draft proposals of the Balladur Report have considered the reunification of Brittany, which was split into two parts under Vichy France in 1941. Breton reunification was proposed in the report, but was couched in clauses. It stipulated that a referendum would need to be held on the issue in Loire Atlantique and a consultation process followed with the different regional assemblies concerned, to decide if the reorganisation should go ahead. However, resistance to reunification has remained stiff from both the right and left.

The Breton Regional Council, the departmental council of Loire Atlantique, a number of local councils have all previously voted in favour of reunification (the Breton Regional Council have in fact voted for reunification three times) and every poll conducted in Loire Atlantique shows that the electorate are strongly in favour of the same. Unfortunately, Mayor Ayrault and his Jacobin supporters, including the Mayor of Roazhon/Rennes, Daniel Delaveau, still believe that they can over rule any decision made in favour of reunification. There is still no comment on the report, which can be supplied by myself to anyone interested or can be
found here

It seems that the current economic crisis has taken priority over `regional' reform for the moment.

Both the Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB) and Parti Breton (PB) had candidates in the European election, but only Parti Breton had their own list. Parti breton gained a credible 2.82% of the votes, which is pretty good considering it iwas the first time that the party has stood at the European level. PB were happy with the result, because it gave them a wider European profile and and further perspectives on how to develop.

The UDB put their support behind a new joint list (Europe Ecologie) made up of Green party candidates and representatives from the nationalist political parties that make up the Fédération Régions and Peuples Solidaires (RPS). The political parties that make up the RPS are also individual members of the European Free Alliance (EFA) European political party – along with the SNP, Plaid and Mebyon Kernow - and the agreement was that if one of the RPS members on the list was elected, they would represent the interests of all the nationalist political parties of the RPS.

The number two on the list and EFA Treasurer, François Alfonsi, was elected and consequently the UDB gained direct representation in the European Parliament for the first time. Alfonsi is a member of the PNC nationalist party of Corsica. The Europe Ecologie list was a shrewd piece of political manoevouring and even though it meant some compromises from the UDB, it nevertheless provided them with an elected candidate they can call their own. The UDB saw the development as "historic".

With regard to the Breton language, the Regional Council has pledged additional financial support and has agreed to finance some Breton language scholarships, but critics say that this is too little, too late. l'Ofis ar Brezhoneg (Office for the Breton language) has been continuing to persue a successful langauge charter campaign that has seen a growing number of Breton muniocipalities committing to the Breton language by agreeing to meet certain Breton language goals (actions) within a particular time frame. The first part of la charte `Ya d'ar brezhoneg'/`Yes to the Breton language' Charter was initially launched in 2001 are targeted business and organisations and saw hundreds join up. In 2004, the second part of the Charter was launched, which tartgeted municipalities.

On May 9th 2009, the Breton national anthem `Bro Goz My Zadoù' was played to and sung by a crowd of 80, 000 people at a French football cup final in the Stade de France stadium in Paris for the first time. The unprecedented event in the history of French league football became what Breton Agence Presse (ABP) called `la fête de la nation bretonne' (Breton national celebration), as the crowd attendance broke the stadiums attendance record. In is not unknown for the current French President to attend the football final, but on this occassion President Sarkozy did not show.

Another significant development has been the planned introduction of `regional' numberplates throughout the French state. After heavy lobbying by the Bretons, the French Government agreed that the Breton Gwynn ha Du flag could be included on the new plates and the word `Breizh'. The French government though has stated that anyone in the state can use any of the newly approved plates, no matter where you live. So in theory, people living in Paris can use the Breton plates, but this also means that Bretons living in the partitioned Loire Atlantique can also show their Breton roots by opting for Breton licence plates.

The www.bzh association was granted financial support from the Conseil Régional de Bretagne in December 2008 to establish the application for a top level internet domain name for Brittany, gather the necessary funds to ensure its submission and its promotion within the Breton community.

A Cornish BBC?

I've lifted the message below directly from the Cornwall 24 forum. The BBC will include more Cornish content only if we ask for it. So get writing!

Well, as I said I would, I have spoken with Matt Shepherd at BBC Cornwall. A very nice chap. The BBC in Cornwall are, I believe, very centrally controlled and it seemed that many of the staff, presenters etc. would like a more 'Cornish' output despite the centralist nature of the BBC. The best way ahead to make it more 'Cornish' is to keep the pressure up with requests for local bands (Dalla, Bagas Degol, Bagas Crowd, Sue Aston, Pentorr, Jim Wearne, Bolingey Troyl etc etc….there are dozens more great musicians in Kernow).

Contact details are: BBC Cornwall, Phoenix Wharf, Truro, TR1 1UAphone:01872 275421 e-mail: cornwall@bbc.co.uk

Current programmes aimed at Cornish listeners are: Sundays 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM 'Cornwall Connected' featuring local musicians, groups, bands, choirs, singers.

Sundays 5.00 PM An Newodhow – News in Cornish.

Fridays 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM 'Introducing Show' with David White featuring the best local groups.

Broadcast on 103.9FM West and 95.2FM East and via http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall

I expect many already know much of this and it may be 're inventing the wheel' but I place it here to be used as a resource perhaps. I shall certainly be listening and making requests etc. As for BBC TV, well, I don't believe they will ever reflect Cornish matters or give Cornish drama and media airtime. They are too distant and unaccountable.


You can find more information and/or websites for all the artists mentioned above by simply typing their names into your search engine.

23.7.09

Can we expect real change for Cornwall?

Would a synthesis between the ongoing campaign for Cornish devolution (see Government of Cornwall Bill) and Real Change be possible?

Something for the Cornish Constitutional Convention and other supporters of devolution to look into. Equally could the many unanswered questions around Cornwalls constitutional status be included in the Real Change process as it runs in Cornwall? Finally could citizens groups such as the Trelawney Alliance benefit from the project? Perhaps the Real Change campaign isn't the horse to back but look around and you'll find plenty of others so lets not waste a good crisis! Below is an e-mail received from the Real Change campaign.

Dear Supporter of Real Change,

Welcome to the Open Politics Network! Thanks for being amongst the first to join the Real Change project. As someone concerned with cleaning up and reforming our political system, we hope you will get involved with Real Change and be amongst the first to hold or attend a meeting and feed back the results to be discussed at a large convention on the future of our democracy in the autumn.

This is an experimental process as we work out how to join together to build a popular force of citizens for democratic change. We are encouraging a first round of meetings that will feed back and help improve the quality of the resources and advice that we provide on the Real Change website. To check these out go to the Start a Meeting section of the website. What we'd really like for you to do to get things started is hold one of these Real Change meetings, even if it's just you and two friends, using the meetings material on the website. After the meeting you can feed back the results using the simple feedback form we provide: this will help us improve the advice we offer in order to make these meetings as constructive and engaging as possible and will ultimately feed into the people's convention in the autumn. If you have any comments or queries on the meetings process, then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can also follow coverage of Real Change on the website and we will be posting related articles and media in the Blog section. There you will find a fascinating ongoing debate in response to Real Change co-chair Anthony Barnett's article setting out seven possible campaigning strategies for democratic reform ahead of the next election. We have published a strong series of responses so far from Peter Oborne, Melissa Lane, Stuart White, John Jackson, Suzanne Moore, David Marquand and Jeremy Gilbert. Read them here.

The discussion was also picked up by Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian and by Andreas Whittam Smith in the Independent, who added an eighth possible strategy to Anthony's list. If you blog about Real Change do let us know so that we can add your postings to our list of coverage on the website and widen the debate.

We look forward to working with you towards a growing democratic movement for Real Change and are more than happy to answer any queries you might have about the project.

Adam and Guy

For the Real Change team

www.realchange.uk.net

Looe Councillor behind anti-Irish Traveller Campaign?

LOOE councillors are under investigation over alleged discrimination against a woman who recently stood in the Cornwall Council elections.

Kathrina Ring, who describes herself as coming from Irish travelling stock, has made a formal complaint to Cornwall Council's standards committee. In a separate matter Mrs Ring has also contacted police in Liskeard alleging she suffered racial hatred from individuals in the town during her election campaign."

Story here

20.7.09

What future for Celtic cooperation?

An interesting press release from the Celtic League below which examines the future of cooperation between the Celtic nations: Cornwall, Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

An idealistic dream of many Celtic nationalists has always been a Celtic federation / con-federation of the 6 nations. What future is there in this vision? Has it a place within the European Union?

Among the current forms of cooperation between various governments from the Celtic nations I notice scant mention of Cornwall. A total lack of Cornish governmental interest is at the root of this malase.

You can follow the Celtic League via its Yahoo News Group or on Twitter.

CELTIC LEAGUE - PRESS INFORMATION

THE CELTIC NATIONS – A ROAD MAP FOR THE FUTURE

One of the most substantial reports compiled by the Celtic League in recent years will be considered at the organizations AGM in Cornwall this weekend. It is the result of a remit given to the Celtic League General Secretary, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, (at the 2008 AGM in Dublin in 2008). It looks at possible models for `A CELTIC COUNCIL' so that the Celtic countries can work together in the future.

The draft is set out below (please note the appendices referred to are not included):

"A Celtic Council?

A Celtic League discussion document for the 2009 AGM on achieving the long term goals of the organisation

Introduction

Background

At the 2008 AGM in Éire, an item entitled `A Celtic Council?' had been put on the agenda.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot (General Secretary) said that this item was inspired by a radio interview that had been held with Bernard Moffatt (League Director of Information) with Manx radio recently. The interviewer had asked Moffatt how the Celtic countries could formally work together in the future. BM had replied that this was something that should be discussed further by the League. The motivation of including this agenda item also stemmed from recent political developments in some of the Celtic countries and how a `formal association' specifically could be developed or worked towards in the future.

Tal-e-bot said that he was a little unclear himself as to how precisely the League was working towards this `formal association'. Tal-e-bot said that he felt this topic should be discussed in more detail among delegates as part of the AGM in order to pursue the aims of the League more fully.

Tal-e-bot said that he understood a `formal association' to be something like the British-Irish Council, without England and with the inclusion of Breizh. A brief discussion ensued (see Minutes of AGM of 2008).

The Convenor of the League, Cathal O Luain, asked the General Secretary, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, to write a report on this topic to be presented at the 2009 AGM in Kernow for the issues to be further debated.

The following discussion paper has been compiled following that request.

Participation

You have been forwarded this document as a Branch Secretary or Officer of the Celtic League to ask for your participation in the development this debate, partly because it is expected that not all of you will be able to attend the 2009 AGM. Your views are needed and your contributions expected.

Following the discussion at the 2009 AGM, we will hopefully have a better understanding of how we can perhaps achieve one of our long term aims and a clearer idea of what it may look like when it is achived. After the AGM, I will then write a short report on what we have agreed to (if we agree at all!)

To help you further the discussion, I would like to ask you to focus on the questions below when reading through the document:

1. What sort of model do you think the League could aim for of the four listed below and why?

2. Do you know of any other models that the League could usefully research to gain a better understanding of what a formal association of the Celtic countries would look like?

3. What competences should a Celtic formal association cover?

4. How could the League best work creating Celtic formal association?

5. Do you think a formal association should be initially lobbied for with the Celtic countries that have a greater degree of autonomy, or do you think that the formal association should begin with the Celtic countries that have less autonomy? Why?

6. What is your view of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)?

7. Do you know of any other MoU that have been signed between the Celtic countries or territories?

8. How in your view could the League work more effectively in establishing a formal association?

9. Ideally how would you envisage a Celtic Council?

10. What other observations do you have on this topic?

__________________________________________________________

Celtic League Constitution Article 1. of the Constitution of the Celtic League refers to what could be considered as the long term objectives of the organisation. Article 1 of the Constitution states:

1. The fundamental aim of the League is to support through peaceful means the struggle of the Celtic Nations, Alba, Breizh, Cymru, Eire, Kernow and Mannin to win or to secure the political, cultural, social and economic freedom they need for their survival and development as distinct communities.

This includes:

a. working towards the restoration of the Celtic languages, which are essential characteristics of nationality for each Celtic country, as ordinary means of communication b. developing the consciousness of the special relationship existing between the Celtic peoples c. fostering solidarity and cooperation between them d. making our national struggles and achievement better known abroad e. furthering the establishment of organised relations between the Celtic nations, based on their recognition as distinct nations, and with the long term aim of formal association between them

f. recognising that the Celtic peoples will be free only in a society that will give to all the means to participate actively in the national affairs, i.e. to control production, exchanges and services, and the exploitation of the national resources for the benefit of all.

1.0. Formal associaition: A Celtic Council?

The League works towards meeting its long term objectives on a daily basis, but there is no clear consensus as to how the Celtic countries could work together more formally. There are consequently a number of questions that could be (and should be perhaps) clarified. Two of the main obvious questions are:

• What shape should such a `formal association' take?

• How can we establish organised relations between the Celtic nations, with the long term aim of creating a formal association between them (as in Article 1e of the League's Constitution)?

The rest of this document has been provided with the aim of giving some information and raising some points for discussion, focusing specifically on the two main questions above.

1.1. Formal Association

It could be argued that the current activities of the League already work towards many of of its long term goals through its current activities, but how the `formal association'aspect would work is a little obscure.

In view of the fact that the establishment of this formal association is a little obscure, makes it difficult for us to know how it can be achieved. It is my intention then to set out some possible ways that this formal association could be achieved, which can then be further discussed. Once the `formal association' is achieved, then it would be much easier for organised relations to take place between the Celtic countries.

1.2. Some existing possibilities/models

The League wouldn't necessarily be responsible in setting up a Celtic Council, but could more realistically lobby for its establishment. Nevertheless, it would be worthwhile discussing how such a Celtic Council would function and operate.

Below are four models of political cooperation that could be of interest.

1.2.1. Nordic Council

a. Please see fact sheet on the Nordic Council (Appendix 1.)
b. Please see organisational structure of Nordic Council (Appendix 2.)

1.2.2. The Arab League

a. The main goal of the league is to "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries."

b. The Arab League currently has 22 members (Arab states in Southwest Asia and North and Northeast Africa).

c. Through institutions such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) and the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League's Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), the Arab League facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific and social programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world. It has served as a forum for the member states to coordinate their policy positions, to deliberate on matters of common concern, to settle some Arab disputes, and to limit conflicts. The League has served as a platform for the drafting and conclusion of many landmark documents promoting economic integration.

d. Each member state has one vote in the League Council, while decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them. The aims of the league in 1945 were to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic, and social programs of its members, and to mediate disputes among them or between them and third parties. Furthermore, the signing of an agreement on Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation on April 13, 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.

e. The Arab league has played an important role in shaping school curricula, advancing the role of women in the Arab societies, promoting child welfare, encouraging youth and sports programs, preserving Arab cultural heritage, and fostering cultural exchanges between the member states. Literacy campaigns have been launched, intellectual works reproduced, and modern technical terminology is translated for the use within member states. The league encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, and deals with labor issues—particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.

1.2.3. British Irish Council

a. Membership of the British-Irish Council comprises representatives of the Irish and British Governments and of the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, together with representatives of the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

b. The British-Irish Council works as a forum within which Members consult and exchange information with a view to co-operating on issues of mutual interest within their respective competences. The BIC meets regularly in various formats to review areas of common interest and use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation within the competence of the Member Administrations. However, the BIC does not have any legislative or regulatory remit in regard to these areas.

c. The British-Irish Council meets at summit-level at least once a year, and more frequently at Ministerial-level. The British-Irish Council meets regularly at official level across its nine current work sectors.

d. The British-Irish Council meets at summit-level at least once a year, and more frequently at Ministerial-level. The British-Irish Council meets regularly at official level across its nine current work sectors.

e. The Council holds meetings regularly in all Member Administrations.

f. Members of the British-Irish Council meet in different formats including Summit meetings at Head of Government or Administration level and in specific sector format at Ministerial and official level on a regular basis. The Council also holds seminars and conferences to consider cross-sector matters.

g. The British-Irish Council meets regularly across its nine priority work sectors with one or more members taking the lead in each sector. A Co-ordinator in each Member Administration takes overall responsibility for facilitating the development of networks and the exchange of information between Members. Sectoral groups meet regularly with discussions chaired by the Lead Administration. The Lead Administration in each sector takes responsibility for advancing work in their individual sectors.

h. There are currently nine agreed work sectors, with each administration taking the lead in advancing particular sectoral areas. The work sectors are: Misuse of Drugs (Ireland); Environment (United Kingdom); Social Inclusion (Scotland and Wales); Transport (Northern Ireland); Knowledge Economy (Jersey); Tourism (Guernsey); e-Health (the Isle of Man); Minority and Lesser-Used Languages (Wales), and Demography (Scotland).

i. The British-Irish Council is mandated to exchange information, discuss, consult and use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant Administrations.

j. The first Summit meeting in London in December 1999 agreed an initial list of priority areas of work within the Council and decided that individual administrations would take the lead in advancing particular sectoral areas. Additional areas of work were agreed at subsequent Summit meetings.

k. It remains open to the British-Irish Council to propose and agree new areas of work, within the competence of Member Administrations, to advance co-operation among them.

l. The BIC normally operates by consensus. In relation to decisions on common policies or common actions, including their means of implementation, it operates by agreement of all members participating in such policies or actions.

m. It remains open to the British-Irish Council to propose and agree new areas of work, within the competence of Member Administrations, to advance co-operation among them. The possibility of adopting new work areas remains under active consideration.

1.2.4 British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (BIIPB)

a. The British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (BIIPB) (Comhlacht Idir-Pharlaiminteach na Breataine agus na hÉireann) (now called the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, BIPA) was established in 1990 to bring together 25 members of the United Kingdom and 25 members of theOireachtas (the Irish parliament) to develop understanding between elected representatives of the UK and Ireland.

b. The BIPA now includes five representatives from the Scottish Parliament, five from the National Assembly for Wales, five from the Northern Ireland Assembly, one from the States of Jersey, one from the States of Guernsey and one from the Isle of Man's Tynwald.

c. The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly holds two plenary sessions a year. Its four committees (dealing with sovereign matters between the Irish and Westminster parliaments, European affairs, economic matters, the environment and social matters) meet several times a year. They produce reports which are submitted for comment to governments, and which are discussed in plenary. A steering committee organises the work of the plenary and deals with the Body's institutional matters.

d. At its 29th March 2009 meeting, Cornwall was to be considered as a future member.

1.3. General considerations

The above organisations are now well established, but shows what can be done if the will is there.

It must be pointed out though that all the above organisations came in to effect from the top down. The League is working from the bottom up.

It is necessary therefore for us to start small. This could possibly be achieved through lobbying initially for bilateral associations between the Celtic countries.

2.0. Bilateral associations

At the 2008 AGM, Cathal O Luain, (Celtic League Convenor), suggested that perhaps initially a more bilateral base should be pursued first. The basis of such bilateral associations currently exists.

2.1. Memorandums of Understanding

a. In January 2004, an agreement was signed between Wales and Brittany in the Welsh, French and English languages. Later in the year, the President of Brittany, Jean-Yves Le Drian, made a request that the memorandum be signed in Breton as well. On 12th October 2004, the agreement was re signed in Cardiff in the Breton language.

b. The Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between Wales and Brittany which encourages co-operation in a range of areas including business, tourism and education.

c. The First Minister said at the signing:

d. "I would like to warmly welcome the newly elected President of Brittany, Monsieur Le Drian to Wales. We have so many things in common with Brittany. We are Celtic cousins on the Western Atlantic Coast of Europe; each with a population of around 3 million; and we both aim to modernise our industry, tourism, agriculture and continue our ongoing investment programme in broadband and telecomm infrastructure.

e. "I hope that through this Memorandum of Understanding, we will continue to work closely together in the future."

f. The Memorandum of Understanding sets out the following objectives:

• Economic co-operation with exchanges between businesses including tourism
• Co-operation on water sports and maritime activities
• Co-operation on education and training, especially exchanges between young people
• Develop agri-food through trade shows and consumer events
• Develop telecommunications, especially broadband internet access
• Cultural exchanges
• Promote best practice in language planning
• All areas of mutual interest

g. On 16th June 2006, the First minister of Wales (Rhodri Morgan) travelled to Brittany to set out an Action Plan to build on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Wales and Brittany in 2004 and includes proposals for action in a number of areas including economic development, health, education, sustainable development, the environment, sports, tourism, agriculture and culture and language policy.

Morgan said to the Breton Regional Council:

"Strengthening and building on the close links between the two Celtic cousins will benefit us both because we in Wales have so much in common with Brittany. We form the western edge of large national entities – the UK and France. Our populations are similar in size and we both enjoy coastal and inland landscape and have industrial economies. Our best qualified young people have been traditionally been drawn to London and Paris as a magnet for their ambitions. Our staple agricultural and industrial economies will not provide the kinds of jobs we need to employ our peoples in the knowledge economy in a world of global competition. We are both at the periphery of Europe but play our full part.

"But it is the character and personality of the Bretons and the Welsh that binds us too. Pride, passion, honesty and integrity are hallmarks of our people. So is a willingness and ability to work with others on a bilateral and multilateral basis.

"Both countries are members of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions and I welcome Brittany's recent decision to join the international Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development. In Wales we are giving priority to sustainable development, which is vital for future generations, and I'm pleased that Brittany takes a similar view.

"Our countries may be relatively small but what we can achieve has no boundaries. We share so much history and the Action Plan I have signed today means we will share a great deal in the future. We will work together on the issues that matter to us at home, in Europe and further afield."

h. On April 24th 2009 Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones met representatives of the Regional Council of Brittany, who were visiting Wales to look at best practice concerning the development of the Welsh language and to study the possibilities for Brittany to develop similar projects. The linguistic study group was lead by Jean Pierre Thomin, the President of the Regional Council's Commission for Culture, Heritage and Sport. The visit further strengthened the friendship that was formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2004. The President of the Regional Council, Jean Yves Le Drian, and the Vice President, Christian Guyonvarc'h, also accompanied the study group on the initial part of their visit and met the First Minister, Rhodri Morgan whilst in Wales.

2.2.1. Other bilateral associations

Another possibility is to lobby for bilateral associations between local councils in the different Celtic countries. This has been done for example in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Highland Council, Alba and Nova Scotia, Canada in 2003. Appendix 3 shows the Action Plan devised.

2.2.2 'Iomairt Colmcille /The Colmcille initiative'

Colmcille was set up in 1997 with funding from the Governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with a remit to 'create a vibrant interactive community spanning Ireland and Scotland'.

They aim to do this in two ways:

1. Giving grant funding to projects that meet our strategic aims and
2. Organising our own projects that raise awareness of the shared heritage of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Their goals are to Promote the use of the Gaelic languages -Irish and Scottish Gaelic-in and between Ireland and Scotland and raise awareness of the shared Gaelic heritage -language and culture- of Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Their four strategicpriorities for 2006 - 9 are:

1. Review of grants policy to ensure Colmcille has robust policies, procedures and staffing in place to assist team to deliver on its new priority objectives

2. Implementation of new Communications Strategy focussing on differentiation or `stand out' and raising the profile of Colmcille and its work in all three jurisdictions both "on the ground" and at the highest levels of administration.

3. Focus on Flagship Projects and Winning Themes (a narrower range of activities with clear key themes) for all projects on which Colmcille can make an impact (i.e. grow stakeholder/membership base) and achieve `stand out' and achieve Colmcille's main goal.

4. Rationalisation of Financial, Legal and Administrative support to ensure Colmcille has robust systems and staffing structures in place to assist team to deliver on its new priority objectives and a roadmap for future sustainable development

2.2.3 Gaeilge-Gaidhlig poetry/music exchanges

These exchanges between Ireland and Scotland began in 1970 and are state funded from both sides. They are still going strong.

2.2.4 Irish Government Consulates in Edinburgh and Cardiff

In 1999 the Irish Government opened Consulates in Cardiff and Edinburgh, after the Welsh Assembly Government and Scottish Parliament were set up and as part of the Good Friday Agreement. In July 2009, the Irish Government took the decision to close the Consulate in Cardiff, due to budget cuts, but there are no plans to close the Edinbugh Consulate. The work undertaken by the Consulates is obviously at a lower level than ambassatorial.

2.3. Membership of international organisations

Another possibility is for the League to encourage the governmental administrations in the Celtic countries to join international organisations that work on joint projects together on different issues in areas that are of interest to the League e.g. Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions. Not all of the Celtic countries or regions in the Celtic countries are members of such organisations. By encouraging their membership of such organisations would enhance the opportunities for them to work more closely together.

3.0. Observations

It is expected that fulfilling our long term aims will require a lot of work. This can be made easier if we have a clear understanding of the direction we are going in and how we intend to get there.

League members, Secs and Officers need to know what sort of model the League has in mind in the creation of a `formal association', in order to persue this aim more effectively.

Formal and informal cooperation and associations on all sorts of levels go on between the Celtic countries without the involvement of the League. The League can and should take more of an active role in facilitating these cooperations/associations. For this to be done effectively members of the League need a clearer understanding of how the organisation is working towards the fulfillment of its long terms goals.

At the 2008 AGM Bernard Moffatt (League Director of Information) suggested that perhaps in the past the League had hitched its wagon too much to the Nationalist parties in the Celtic nations. Moffatt said that the shape of politics was changing and that the League should change with it. It certainly seems, from the Breton/Welsh Memorandum that Moffatt could be right, because neither Government was nationalist, but yet, what was achieved here, could shape the beginning of a `Celtic Council'.

The Memorandum of Understanding between Brittany and Wales also shows that cooperation between the Governments of the Celtic countries is potentially desired by political parties from across the spectrum.

The Breton/Welsh Memorandum fits in well with Article 1a, 1b, 1c and 1e of the Celtic League Constitution and could be used as a basis for further Memorandums between the other Celtic countries.

The lobbying of the Governments in the Celtic countries by the League to sign Memorandums of Understanding between each other is achievable. It may however be simpler to lobby for individual councils in the Celtic countries to do this between each other first – as in the case of Highland Council and Nova Scotia - before approaching the main governing administration. This would still require a lot of work.

When the closure of the Consulate in Wales was announced in May 2009, Minister Martin said that:

"he hoped that the relationship between the two countries could continue through the Irish Embassy in London and develop bilaterally through the British Irish Council and the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Minister Martin explained that he had already advised the Irish Ambassador in London to ensure that appropriate resources are deployed from the Irish Embassy in London to "prioritise" the future relationship between Wales and Ireland." (Celtic News 05/06/09)

The League has sent a letter to express its disappointment at the complete closure and has suggested that the Irish Government keep an Honoray Consil in Wales for the time being. However, it is interesting to note that the Minister has instructed the UK Ambassador to "prioritise" the relationship between Ireland and Wales. This could be suggested to the Irish Ministry in the case of the Irish Ambassador in France, regarding Breizh and also to the UK Minister regarding Kernow. Why isn't there a Consulate in the Mannin?

Appendices

Appendix 1.: Fact Sheet for the Nordic Council
Appendix 2: Nordic Council organisational structure
Appendix 3: Highland Council and Nova Scotia Memorandum of Understanding Action Plan

Links

Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions

Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (website not working)

Colmcille

Consulate General of Ireland in Scotland (website not working on 05/06/09)"

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

18/07/09

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.

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

Internet site at:

Celtic League
Celtic League Yahoo News Group

18.7.09

Stunning Hypocrisy and National Minorities

The stunning hypocrisy that politicians are capable of will never fail to amaze me.

Following the recent unrest in the Xingjing region of China between the indigenous Turkic Uyghur people and Han Chinese the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, described China's behaviour towards the Uyghur people as "a kind of genocide".

Now in that the Chinese governments treatment of its national minorities is far from perfect I'll grant the prime minister, but did he not stop to consider the parallels between his countries treatment of its Kurdish minority and the Chinese establishments attitude towards indigenous minorities?

Before he pronounced the word 'genocide' did he reflect upon his own countries history? A genocide that his government will still not recognises?

Make no mistakes this is pure ethnic nationalism at its worst. To hell with integrity and honesty. The defense of the Turkic ethnic community is all that counts.

Both China and Turkey have followed, and still do follow, aggressive policies of assimilation towards their indigenous minority groups. Tibetans, Uyghurs, Kurds, Armenians the list is long. All have suffered at the hands of centralised authoritarian states and dominant ethnic majorities.

Make no mistakes however! They are simply following in the footsteps of many a glorious European 'nation state' who themselves consolidated their power by crushing their national minorities first.

16.7.09

Cornish Assembly Bill some after thoughts

Just to add some after thoughts to the blog article below. I have no idea if it is possible but could this latest venture, the Cornish Assembly Bill, be connected to one or more of the UK wide campaigns for democratic renewal that have developed following the expenses scandal?

For more on possible partners try -From anger into change- at the Our Kingdom blog.

Equally could not a demand be made for Cornwall to be considered its own EU region for future elections to the European Parliament?

15.7.09

The Cornish Assembly Bill




Yet another cynical move from the Lib Dems courting the Cornish nationalist and autonomist vote? That's certainly the opinion being voiced by some Cornwall 24.


The probable answer is that the doubters are partly right. Politicians want to be elected and therefore will do and say what it takes. It's also no secret that the Lib Dems have time and again used the clothing of Cornish nationalism to increase their share of the vote. It's a long tradition and perhaps one of the reasons why Mebyon Kernow has had such a struggle in developing its position. Not so much opposition but more competition.

That being said the doubters are also partly wrong. Championing Cornish devolution in the UK parliament is not an obvious choice for a career politician. It's a fairly risky ideological choice with many an easier path to follow. Take a look at some of Kernow's other Lib Dem MPs and the choices they've made.

At the end of the day this is all fuel for the cause. Whether it's the Tories or Lib Dems talking up Cornish nationalism it still equates to the Cornish question becoming part of accepted mainstream politics. It places the issues before the Duchies public with a most important air of political respectability surrounding them. No more the reputation of fringe nuts on the margins of UK politics. The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

10.7.09

My Cornwall TV

A Cornwall based online television channel was launched earlier this month (2nd July) dedicated to all things Cornish.

From the Celtic League: `My Cornwall TV' is available on the internet site www.mycornwall.tv and via selected third party platforms and offers a "suite of Cornwall-themed TV channels" that will cover the latest news, sports and leisure activities on original commissioned programming. The programmes will be initially aimed at the tourist market, the Cornish community world wide and those moving to the country, but plans to also offer other channels in the near future that cover the Arts, Culture and Property.

At the date of its commercial launch, the website hosted the channels Mykernow TV, Gastronome, Adrenaline Junkie and Eden Project TV, in partnership with some of Cornwall's most well known commercial brands, such as the Hotel and Extreme Academy, Eden Project and Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen Cornwall.

Dorian Spackman, managing director of mycornwall.tv, said:

"There are an estimated 10 million Cornish descendants around the world, as well as 5 million plus people who visit Cornwall annually and over 10,000 people who relocate here every year, not forgetting the 500,000 people for whom Cornwall is already home. mycornwall.tv offers a unique way for businesses to communicate with these numbers in a sustained and targeted way, at the same time as connecting consumers with a particular interest or passion for Cornwall with the brands and companies that really matter to them.

Cornwall engenders strong emotions amongst many people and by tapping into this powerful allegiance and passion, mycornwall.tv will offer viewers compelling programming, highly relevant to their particular interest in Cornwall…"

The online TV service fills a much needed independent media gap in Cornwall and hopefully it can maintain its independent status. The Celtic League hopes that my Cornwall tv will also be hosting a Cornish language tv channel on the site in the near future too.

Links:

My Cornwall TV:

http://mycornwall.tv

Contact:

Dorian Spackman – Managing Director, mycornwall.tv
07802 796468
dorian@mycornwall.tv

(Article compiled for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot)

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

10/07/09

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.

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

Internet site at:
http://celticleague.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

Whenever something is wrong, something is too big

I've just finished Leopold Kohr's -The Break Down of Nations- and much of what he writes remains valid today.

A long-neglected work that shows big is anything but beautiful - for nations, economies, military forces, government programs, labour unions, businesses, neighbourhoods, and all other human endeavour.

It can't be denied that the growing American and Soviet empires of the 20th century, fixated as they were on bigness, led us all to the very edge of the abyss. When one is on the edge of the abyss the only thing left to do is step back. Step back to what? Kohr responds with small states. Small nations living in confederation. No single country big enough to threaten the peace and existence of any of the others.

Would an independent Cornwall have stood much chance against Nazi Germany? No, but would Hitler have been able to menace the world if he had come to power in a small independent Bavaria? Would Stalin have been such a danger if he had been the state communist leader of an independent Georgia minus Abkazia, South Ossetia, Adjara and perhaps even Swanetia?

On Cornwall Kohr as early as 1957 wrote: "In Cornwall guide books greet the English tourist by telling him, gently and humorously, but still telling him, that as long as he is on Cornish ground, he must consider himself a foreigner".

Some of the works of Leopold Kohr can be found online here

9.7.09

Democratic Renewal Now

A good article here from Timothy Garton Ash on the Guardian website.

Importantly Ash is trying to keep the momentum up for radical democratic and constitutional renewal in the UK. All strength to his arm and wouldn't it be good to see our Cornish reformers, human rights and democracy campaigners coordinating activities in the Duchy.

Ash writes:

Meanwhile, outside parliament and its television studios, there's a plethora of initiatives fizzing off in all directions. This evening you can attend a rally in Westminster's Methodist Central Hall, organised by the Vote for Change coalition, with music by Billy Bragg to stir your stumps for electoral reform. The Unlock Democracy campaign has a draft bill to empower a citizens' deliberative convention to decide on a set of major reforms. 38degrees.org.uk aims to create a British online community for change, like MoveOn.org in the US. A new initiative called Real Change (on whose steering committee I sit) aims to launch a thousand small civic meetings across the country, probably leading on to a reform convention this autumn.

A choice of projects to engage with. Take your pick.

The Celtic League (Kernow) AGM

Details below of the Celtic Leagues AGM in Cornwall.

Venue : The City Inn, Pydar St, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3SP (01872 272623) (separate conference room and can provide food and meals at lunchtime and in the evening for the delegates. It is central to road and rail links, and with easy access to parking at a multi story car park 20 yards away)

PROPOSED SCHEDULE OF EVENTS.

Friday 17th July, 2009 - 4pm :

Tour of Skinner’s Brewery, Truro http://www.skinnersbrewery.com/

Skinner’s is a Cornish success story that is known worldwide for their naturally produced real ales. The tour consists of a trip around the brewery, a free pasty, and a free bar for the tour's duration!

Saturday 18th July, 2009 – 8.45am for 9am start :

Meet at the Conference room at the City Inn.

1pm - break for lunch in the pub (menu to follow), we need to know in advance for any special dietary requirements.

2pm - Resume meeting

5.30-6pm - End of (AGM) meeting

7pm - a taste of Cornish history, culture, language, and music at the City Inn. This is going to be provided by guest speakers, artists & musicians. Guest speakers

9pm - the delegates might like to sample the local night life in the Cornish capital

Sunday 19th July, 2009

1000 fifteen seater minibus to collect delegates from City Inn (Tavern An Dre) Truro

1010 same minibus to collect delegates from Royal, Truro City centre (If any delegates require transport from elsewhere, please advise us)

1040 arrive at East Pool Agar Mine, Pool, Redruth and met by mining expert, tour of EPAL mine houses, pumping and winding, film show and museum followed by brief talk on Carn Brea, the huge hill fort dominating the area and which has been occupied by humans for over 3,500 years

1315 Crowst at the Plume of Feathers Public House, Pool; a mining pub once used as a mortuary and Courthouse following the frequent mining deaths in the area, very haunted, full of Cornish mining artefacts home of the BBC series, ‘Cornish Miners’ and very busy on Sundays! Excellent roast dinner only available with vegetarian alternative @ £5 a head - please advise during Saturday if you want the meal (recommended) as it will need to be booked ahead by our contact with the pub. Real ales which are brewed locally sold and consumed here (!)

1430 Onto Gwennap Pit, Re'Druth, home of non conformist Methodism and an open air preaching - Cornish preaching pit in use, as such, constantly since 1762. The modern day proprietor of this Heritage Area and museum is a Welshman who came to Kernow and who never went home ! Lanner Silver Band will be playing and a cream tea is available.

Return to Truro

The only cost to those attending will be for the dinner (£5/person), beer, etc... All transport and entrance fees will be paid for by Kernow Branch and local sponsorship.

Each delegate will receive a pack containing a ‘Dynargh tha Resrudh’ (Welcome to Redruth) DVD, fact sheets, post card souvenirs and a book of money-off-vouchers, which can be used for other local attractions donated by Re'Druth Council and Gwennap Pit.

8.7.09

Support for PR from the British left.

Radical localism from the LGA

A quick post to bookmark this interesting report -Who's in charge? a manifesto for new politics- from the Local Government Association.

The usually very cautious LGA calls for such radical changes as rolling back the unelected Quango state; radical decentralisation to bring decision-making down to the lowest possible level; making local NHS bodies accountable to the electorate; a genuine power of general competence for local government, and real fiscal autonomy, including returning to councils the power to set local business rates.

One for the new Cornish council to be shown perhaps.

Where is Cornwall?

One in five school children think Cornwall is in Scotland according to this Mail Online article.

Of course it's important to ask why so many kids have such a poor sense of geography but surely the first step to a solution is being 100% honest about the facts of history.

As has been explained in detail by the people behind -Tyr Gwyr Gweryn- and -The Duchy of Cornwall Human Rights Association- Cornwall has never legally been part of the country of England. A protectorate of the English Crown and then later UK state perhaps but never part of England or a simple English shire county.

With this in mind I think It would prove far more interesting to ask why the majority place Cornwall in England. How did this situation come about? How did we loose our country?

An interesting extract from A K Hamilton Jenkin's "Cornwall and its People (1933)" indicates education as the source of the Cornish conundrum and the root of uncertainty about our Cornish identity. The extract gives an account of one Peggy Combellack in her dame-school, circa 1840:

The next lesson was in geography. This subject was regarded by Peggy as her masterpiece of learning. "Es Coornwall a naation, a hiland, or what es 'a?" she inquired on one of these occasions. This question completely baffled the whole school, putting the scholars into one continued hubbub. "Ef I aint got a hanser in five menutes, I'll give 'ee all the custis" (caning on the hands), Peggy exclaimed. "I will have horder, though the owld school do cost more in canes than 'tes worth. Now what es Coornwall, I say. Es 'a a naation, a hiland or a furrin country?" "Boy Kit" was the first to hold up his hand. "Please, he hedn't no naation, he hedn't no hiland, nor he hedn't no furrin country, but he's cigged (stuck) on to a furrin country from the top hand," came the bright reply, which was heard with approval by the whole school, Peggy herself included.

Has the Anglo-British establishment slowly removed our unique constitutional accommodation within the UK? Have our schools been used to help the Cornish forget they ever even had any special relationship with the UK in the first place? Is the question of Cornwall's constitutional history or distinct national identity even touched on in our schools today? Not a bit of it! We have a majority schools and curriculum content in the Duchy pumping out English history and culture with not even a nod to the indigenous Cornish identity or its actual history.

Cornish Republican Bloggers needed

Republic -the campaign for an elected head of state- is looking for guest bloggers to write articles of about 700 words for their excellent blog. After a brief initial contact they have assured me that articles on the Duchy of Cornwall concerning constitutional issues would be most welcome.

Republicanism from a Cornish perspective has here a golden opportunity to make its voice heard.

Their contact details can be found here.

4.7.09

Cornish in the 2011 UK Census update



I've lifted this important message below direct from the Cornwall 24 forum.
Any queries with regards to the new Census 2011 arrangements please contact Malcolm Brown, Senior Research and Information Officer (Cornwall Council), by telephone on 01872 322621 or by email mbrown@cornwall.gov.uk
Regarding the 2011 ONS Census, are the ONS once again using the '06' category for recording Cornish ethnicity as they did in 2001 ?

Will the ONS be obliged to record the number of “Cornish” identity returns as they did in 2001 as they have stated:- “For those groups that will not be covered by tick-boxes, ONS will be liaising with representatives of groups to inform them of the policy and encourage members of the group they represent to make full use of the write-in boxes to ensure their community is accurately measured.”

There are 2 questions that apply to the Cornish.

15. What is your national identity ?
16. What is your ethnic group ?

I guess many Cornish will write Cornish as their ethnic group (which is recognised by the ONS) and also write Cornish as their national identity (which is not recognised by the ONS).

This leads to a number of questions:-

1. Who will be checking how accurately the ONS measure the Cornish return ? Will there be independent Census scrutineers in 2011 to accurately verify the number recorded as Cornish ?

2. If people record Cornish as their national identity (which is not recognised by the ONS), then what will this be changed to – British or English ? or will it be registered as an unfilled, or a spoilt paper ? If they are changed, then who will do the changing ? What policy will be deployed to determine the change and will the citizen be notified ?

3. Will the ONS be allocating a census code for those people who wish to record their national identity as Cornish ?

4. What publicity will be given to Cornish options available in questions 15 and 16 in Cornwall ? Will there be any funding made available for publicity from Cornwall Council or in the local press etc, to ensure that Cornish people are actually aware of the Cornish option ? (unlike in 2001 when there was little publicity regarding the Cornish option).

5. Many Cornish people have stated that due to the Census confusion with problems recording their identity that they will not be completing the 2011 Census, leading to even fewer Cornish returns.

6. What is Cornwall Council's opinion and position regarding these questions ?

7. A Cornish tick box was not allocated as the ONS stated that “insufficient requirement for the data had been expressed by Census users” and “national identity and ethnicity questions will contain tick boxes only for the largest groups” — but the ONS then went on to include a tick box for the ethnic group “Irish Travellers”, even though their numbers in the UK are probably comparable to those of the Cornish

The main problem with the 2001 Census form, was that in order to register as CORNISH, people had to deny they were BRITISH. As Cornish people do not, in the main, wish to reject their British identity, by making it an either/or decision, the ONS form inhibited people from registering as Cornish. This was merely one feature of the Census that led to Census 2001, and will lead to Census 2011, under-recording the numbers of Cornish by a factor of at least four. This has a significant adverse effect on the Cornish, particularly in terms of general policy formulation and service delivery.

It has also been shown that the the low Cornish Census return statistic in 2001 (the ONS were alerted to the Cornish Census recording problems prior to conducting the Census) was used by the Government in the High Court to undermine a legal challenge designed to ensure that the Government extended the rights of the “
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)” to the Cornish.

Do you think that the reluctance of the ONS/Government to recognise the Cornish on the 2011 Census could be explained as perhaps another case of forced assimilation ? Could continued refusal of Cornish recognition (including not being recognised as per all other UK indigenous minorities under the FCNM) could be perhaps explained as deliberate cultural genocide, whilst the indigenous population is gradually being replaced for example through mass (70,000) housing projects which will not benefit local people but will in the long term encourage more people to re-locate to Cornwall ?



You can follow debates and news on the Cornish census tick box campaign here on the Cornwall 24 and This is NOT England forums. The campaign can also be found here on facebook
Please join the campaign and get the Cornish the recognition they deserve.

2.7.09

UKIP bedding down with the far-right in Europe

Following the election of three UKIP MEPs in the South West government zone, one of them Cornish, it seems that the party is intent on keeping some extremely unsavoury company in the European Parliament.

An article here taken from the Nosemonkey's EUtopia blog that explores the often racist, xenophobic and homophobic opinions of UKIPs new partners in Europe: UKIP’s new Europe of Freedom and Democracy group.

The people of Cornwall need to reflect on whether being represented abroad by UKIP and their charming partners is what they really want.

The Anglo-British

An English nationalist pointed me towards the quote below following my comments here that the Tories could be described as greater-England nationalists i.e very pro-English but conceive their nation as being England plus some Celtic bits strapped on. The type that confound Britain and England without concern.

Prof Chris Bryant describes these people as the Anglo-British, people who "do not notice when an institution or person associated with England performs a British function. For example, it goes unremarked that the Bank of England is the central bank for all Britain, or that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primate of the Church of England, crowns the sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Nor do countless references to ‘England’ which should have been to ‘Britain’ grate on the English ear. Walter Bagehot’s famous The English Constitution (1964 [1867]), for example, does not strike the Anglo-British as mistitled."

English or Cornish Heritage?

A surprising bit of honesty from the BBC concerning the vandalising of Launceston Castle recently. 

First we have "Vandals have damaged part of a Cornish castle dating back to the 11th Century". Note the use of 'Cornish castle' instead of a Cornwall castle or a castle in the West Country.

Then I almost fell out of my chair when I read the following: "English Heritage, which maintains and runs the castle on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, said the stones were smashed and impossible to repair".

Is it me or have I never seen the BBC, or other establisment body for that matter, admit that the Duchy owns sites such as Launceston Castle?

Is it that our letters and e-mails of complaint are actually having an affect? All the more reason to continue.

Why do we need subcontractors like the Historic Buildings and Monuments Trusts, aka English Heritage, in Kernow in the first place? Surely the Duke could invest some of his massive profits to create a Cornish Heritage organisation charged with maintaining sites owned by the Duchy in the Duchy for the people of the Duchy.

Our own Cornish Heritage can be found by clicking here.