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31.8.09

Cornish Keyboard Activists

A summary of all the proactive websites I've found to date. Let me know if I've missed any. Many of the below come from the excellent MySociety.org that deserves everyone's support.


The easy way to contact your Contact your Councillors, MP, MEPs, MSPs, or Northern Ireland, Welsh and London AMs for free.


Make or explore freedom of information requests.


How to keep tabs on the UK's parliaments and assemblies.


Find out how your politicians vote.


Get e-mail updates from your MP.


Connecting councillors and communities.


The quick way to get the contact details of you local rags.


What's being built near you.


Report, view or discuss local problems.


A site to help people get things done, especially things that require several people.


A networking site that purports to help people in your neighbourhood get to know each other.

29.8.09

Cornish Internet Invasion

A couple more website for the Cornish movement to consider. Both of them are essentially networking sites and may be of interest to those working in our Cornish communities.

Cornwall Matters.

This website was created to help people who care about local issues. Whether you need access to useful information, want to highlight a particular topic to other people, discuss ideas with like-minded people or just show your support and keep up to date with current affairs in your area, Cornwall Matters is the place for you.

Local People

Local People is a network of websites for people to get together and discuss the issues affecting their communities. Local People can help you find and communicate with people with similar interests, look up information about businesses in your area, read and write local news stories and see what’s going on where you live and work.

So far Local People have set up in Aberfal and Bude

27.8.09

The European Landscape Convention

I've lifted the below from another one of my blogs as it deserves the attention. This version comes with the comments of Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe added at the end.

No doubt many in Cornwall will now have heard about the Council of Europe's (CoE) framework convention for the protection of national minorities (FCNM) and the vital support it would give to indigenous Cornish culture and heritage if only the UK government agreed to recognised the Cornish as a national minority.

Now though I would like to bring peoples attention to another Council of Europe convention that has potential interest for Kernow.

The European Landscape Convention (ELC) has been in force in the UK since 1 March 2007. Specifically included within its scope are the coastal waters and territorial seas of its ratifying states. The ELC contains a range of measures aimed at promoting landscape protection, management and planning, underpinned by principles of sustainable development. It specifically recognises the role of landscape as a basic component of cultural heritage and identity and as an important contributor to quality of life, from which its management is a legitimate object of public interest. It also requires that landscape policies should be integrated with all spheres of government policy.

It is also important to note that under article 5 of the ELC each state has undertaken to "establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of the landscape policies".

I would suggest all interested parties need to know the details of the UK Implementation Guidelines that are due to go to Cornwall Council for comment. How if at all will the Cornish public and cultural organisations be able to participate in its implementation in the Duchy?

The CoE has this to say in summary of the ELC:

The Convention aims to encourage public authorities to adopt policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe. It covers all landscapes, both outstanding and ordinary, that determine the quality of people’s living environment. The text provides for a flexible approach to landscapes whose specific features call for various types of action, ranging from strict conservation through protection, management and improvement to actual creation.

The Convention proposes legal and financial measures at the national and international levels, aimed at shaping "landscape policies" and promoting interaction between local and central authorities as well as transfrontier cooperation in protecting landscapes. It sets out a range of different solutions which States can apply, according to their specific needs.

The Council of Europe intergovernmental committees will be supervising the convention’s implementation. The text also provides for a Council of Europe Landscape award, to be given to local or regional authorities or an NGO which introduced exemplary and long-lasting policies or measures to protect, manage and plan landscapes.


Others organisations working with the ELC include: ICOMOS-UKEuropean Landscape Network bringing together local and regional authorities, NGOs and Universities in support of the ELC.
From Councillor Biscoe:

Bearing in mind that Cornwall is a very diverse of set of interlocking and contrasting landscapes which go to make up a whole that plays on the emotions and intellects of people all over the world, and which evokes strong senses of belonging and rootedness in very many people, not least the diaspora of the indigenous people, and that one of the defining characteristics of our peninsula is its close relationship with the ocean, then it seems to me that we should be pressing the Government to specify the whole of Cornwall as a territory to which the Convention should apply.

We should not forget that some of our landscapes are the products of industrial activity - not least the china clay mining landscape and the already celebrated Cornish mining landscapes. These two have very distinctive qualities both physically and aesthetically - and both shape particular cultures amongst the inhabitants which foster strong, sustainable and cohesive communities. Other aspects of our landscapes are ancient sites of former habitation, religious and burial practise, places of mystery, pre-christian worship and the age of the saints (especially Perranporth and the Meneage) - all evoke very strong narrative resonances that find expression even in the platitudes and shallowness of modern, media-driven society. Almost every time we see a greefield site let go by planners we are losing ancient sites, archaeology and rootedness. There is no substitute for the real thing!

26.8.09

Cornish Census Update

This is just to bookmark an article in the Western Morning News: Census 'must let the Cornish record their identity'.

CAMPAIGNERS are stepping up their bid to have Cornish listed as a nationality in the 2011 census.

Thousands have joined the crusade online while MPs and councillors have pledged to lobby the Government to ensure people from Cornwall do not have their identity "swept aside just because they are small in number".

Under current plans, there will be no tick-box for people responding to the census to say they are "Cornish". Instead, they will have to tick "other" and then write in their response.

Critics say the omission will mean many people who consider themselves to be Cornish will not realise they can do this, and instead select one of the other options: English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish or British.

In 2001, some 37,000 people recorded their nationality as Cornish, leading officials to assign the response a designated code for the first time.

Now campaigners hope to raise the profile of the option to encourage more people to do the same – including a major Internet operation – eventually forcing organisers to provide a Cornish tick-box.

A video launched on YouTube claims it is "unjust and unfair" for Cornwall to be overlooked and not "treated in the same way as other UK indigenous minorities".

It also claims: "The continued refusal of Cornish recognition can only be explained as deliberate cultural genocide."

And on social networking website Facebook, a group called "Cornish Tickbox for the 2011 Census" has attracted the support of more than 2,800 people, including leading MPs, councillors and parliamentary candidates.

The site says: "Many citizens of Cornwall have considered themselves to be different from English for centuries. In Cornwall today, many consider themselves to be Cornish, not English, however, in the plans announced already, there will be no recognition for 'Cornish' on the 2011 census.

"There is, however, a community of us on Facebook that are trying to get the Government to change their decision over this, and to include Cornish on the census."

Meanwhile, the Office of National Statistics is coming under growing political pressure from the county's MPs, including Julia Goldsworthy (Falmouth and Camborne) and Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) who have demanded a tick-box for Cornwall.

St Ives MP Andrew George has urged people to ensure they record their nationality as Cornish, even if a box is not made available.

"It is important that Cornish people should be given the opportunity to record their identity," he said.

"The Cornish identity should neither be ignored nor suppressed in the modern United Kingdom – we make a significant contribution to the celebration of diversity throughout this country and in a wider world. No-one's identity should be ignored, or swept aside just because they are small in number."

The issue of Cornish language and identity was "considered" by the Office of National Statistics but was "not included in the proposals for the 2011 census".

Other topics considered, but rejected, included fertility, Internet access, pet ownership and use of renewable energy resources.

24.8.09

The Skipper

This is just a quick response to the article from the Skipper in the Falmouth Packet dated August 19th 2009. The article was titled : No-nonsense mayor elected.

That the Skipper in the Falmouth Packet yet again champions simple minded populism and jingoistic politics comes as no surprise.

I wonder if the Skipper is aware that shortly after his election Ron Davies and his 'promises' were taken to task in interview on BBC local radio in Doncaster and his populism exposed for the nonsense it is? Well this is what you get when you vote for the `tell it like it is man in the pub` with hard right tendencies. It may all sound good when three sheets in the wind but when the sun comes up and when questioned by someone with an ounce of political sense it's all soon scat to larrups. By the end of the interview Ron had to run and fled the studio unable to respond to the questions.

Equally I ask myself if the Skipper knows (how could he not?) that Ron Davies is a member of the hard right English nationalist party the English Democrats who wish to create an English Parliament? What another parliament in London would do for Cornwall I have no idea.

Finally, but probably of most concern, I wonder what the Skipper thinks of the now proven alliance between the English Democrats and the extreme right white nationalist England First Party in the north of England?

Is white supremacism part of the Skippers no nonsense approach to politics? I don't know what chance there is of these questions getting a response in the Packet but perhaps the Skipper could be tempted to comment on the blog Cornish Against Racism:

http://cornishagainstracism.blogspot.com/

Included is a link to the interview with Ron Davies: Click here.