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29.12.10

Defend the Human Rights Act!

Defend the Human Rights Act: the Aso Mohammed Ibrahim case shows the need for a strong response | openDemocracy

It seems the HRA needs defending from not only the right-wing populism of the Daily Mail but also that of the ConDems. An interesting article above that sifts through the lies and misrepresentations of those hostile to human rights.

Perhaps the lack of recognition and protection given to the Cornish national minority is a continuing bone of contention between us and the London establishment but don't let that blind us to the progressive step forward that is the HRA.

28.12.10

Crises of Capitalism

27.12.10

Sovereignty

I was reminded of one of Cornwall's constitutional peculiarities the other day by a tweet from Keep Cornwall Whole.

Perhaps you know this already but within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland you never really own the land you live on. If you are ever lucky enough to buy property you'll do so as a freeholder. Essentially you are 'free' to 'hold' this land for as long as you like and dispose of it as you see fit but you don't really own it. The land is held from the Lord Paramount. In the UK this is the Crown.

If you die without heirs -intestate- your land reverts to the Crown and is disposed of by the Crown Estate. The bigger legal concept is that of Bona Vacantia or ownerless goods. So what? You might be asking. After all we do need a way of dealing with intestacy, ownerless goods, mineral rights, treasure trove and so on. Very true, but where does this right to Bona Vacantia come from and what can it tell us about the Cornish question.

Clearly the answer is sovereignty. Who has sovereignty over the territory in question has the rights. In England and Wales this is the Crown. Equally in Scotland and the Six Counties of Northern Ireland it comes to the same Crown. Within the territory of the Duchy of Lancaster the Monarch recuperates Bona Vacantia as she/he holds the rights to the Duchy. This is always the case. The money generated from the Duchy of Lancaster is filched by the Monarch as an income. An interesting constitutional question therefore is whether the Monarch has the de jure constitutional power to govern the Duchy of Lancaster differently from the rest of England?

To recap: the Crown is sovereign over the UK's 'home-nations' and so has the rights to Bona Vacantia, amongst other things, in these countries. In Cuba, Malaysia, the USA, so on and so fourth, the Crown has no such rights because in these places it has no sovereignty.

Is that the whole story within the UK? No, not quite. Within Cornwall -to many the historic county of Cornwall- Bona Vacantia is not the right of the Crown but the Duke of Cornwall instead. In other words Prince Charles Duke of Cornwall gets to trouser the money. So does this mean that in some legal constitutional de jure way the UK Crown and its government are not sovereign in Cornwall even if they do exercise de facto authority? Does that equate to the Duke of Cornwall being the constitutional head of state of Cornwall having un-exercised sovereignty?

It should also be noted that besides the already mentioned Crown, Duchy of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall ALL other royal titles found within the British Isles are merely titular and carry NO constitutional power. They are just for show. Only the Crown, Duchy of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall are mentioned when new laws are passed. They are protected from having their rights infringed by the new laws. No other titles are mentioned as they don't have rights and powers that could be infringed upon. Take for example the Tamar Bridge Act of 1998 which states in section 41 under Crown rights:

(1)Nothing in this Act affects prejudicially any estate, right, power, privilege, authority or exemption of the Crown including (without prejudice to the general law concerning the applicability of statutes to the Duchy of Cornwall) the Duchy of Cornwall and, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, nothing in this Act authorises the Authorities to take, use, enter upon or in any manner interfere with any land or hereditaments or any rights of whatsoever description—

(a)belonging to Her Majesty in right of Her Crown and under the management of the Crown Estate Commissioners, without the consent in writing of those commissioners; or

(b)belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall or enjoyed by the possessor for the time being of the Duchy of Cornwall, without the consent of the Duke of Cornwall testified in writing under the seal of the said Duchy or, as the case may be, the consent in writing of two or more of such of the regular officers of the said Duchy or of such other persons as may be authorised under section 39 of the [1863 c. 49.] Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1863; or

(c)belonging to a government department, or held in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of a government department, without the consent in writing of that government department.


You'll never find anything like that for the Earl of Wessex, Duke of York or Duke of Edinburgh. An interesting constitutional can of worms don't you think? Many more of the Dukes rights over the territory of Cornwall can be found here. What is the basis in constitutional law for these rights? Cornish constitutionalists are unanimous in stating that sovereignty over the territory of Cornwall was annexed and united to the Duchy of Cornwall when it was created in 1337 and that since this date, in legal terms, nothing really has changed. Returning to the subject of freehold: in Cornwall you hold your land from the Duke of Cornwall as Lord Paramount over the territory of Cornwall.

Why was Cornwall chosen for the creation of this very particular constitutional arrangement? Could it of had anything to do with the fact that Cornwall was inhabited by Cornish Britons with a long history of fighting for their independence? Could it of had anything to do with the rich mineral wealth of Cornwall?

We could comment that today to deny the Cornish their recognition via this special legal status to the point of even denying them any open and honest knowledge of the Duchy and its history is an effort by the establishment to erase Cornish specificity.

So what is on my belated Christmas wish list with regards the above? Well to start with what on earth is this nonsense of a Monarch (even if fused with a partially elected government) or Duke being sovereign? We the people are sovereign. It is only because enough of us continue to believe in the Monarchy and Duchy or ignore them as being unimportant that they continue to exist favouring as they do their small selection of super-citizens above the laws that govern the rest of the populace. Return the sovereignty of Cornwall to the residents of Kernow for them to govern themselves as they see fit.

22.12.10

Country Standard: Cornwall

Country Standard: Cornwall- a monthly radical magazine for rural workers establised in 1935. This site celebrates its work and that of the National Union of Agricultural Workers "Sharpen the sickle! The fields are white; 'Tis the time of the harvest at last".


The above link will lead you to their articles about Kernow.

19.12.10

Cultures united to honour diversity and democracy

In Corsica, Cultures United to Honor Separatism - NYTimes.com.


A message above from the European Free Alliance, EFA Youth and the Centre Maurits Coppieters for 2011.

18.12.10

UK Uncut : Duchy Cut!

UK Uncut: "At the same time as making massive cuts to public services, this government is letting rich individuals and corporations avoid billions of pounds of tax. Join UK Uncut’s Big Society Revenue and Customs (BSRC) and become part of an army of citizen volunteers determined to make wealthy tax avoiders pay."

As a token measure how about the Duchy of Cornwall being brought fully within the UK's tax laws so that its Duke pays his fair share. Personally I don't think his voluntary  tax contributions are sufficent in our modern democratic age.

The Duchy of Cornwall has a constitutional existence outside of standard UK laws (rather like the legal status' of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). Due to this relic of feudalism the Duke is not obliged to pay tax on the profits from his Duchy to the UK exchequer.

From -The Duchy of Cornwall a very peculiar private estate- by John Kirkhope expert in Cornish law:

The right not to pay tax.


Firstly it should be noted that the Duke of Cornwall is entitled to the income of the Duchy but not the capital.


Next, in the report issued by the House of Commons in 2005 it was stated: “In accordance with normal practice the Duchy is not subject to tax as it is not a separate legal entity for tax purposes. However, His Royal Highness is subject to income tax on the Duchy’s net income.”

The statement is surprising and difficult to understand. Effectively, the Duchy is exempt from capital gains tax and presumably inheritance tax. Asset sales, on which capital gains tax may potentially have been due, have totalled £123 million since 2001. Presumably this considerable benefit makes the task of running a ‘well managed’ private estate much easier.

It is in this regard that the Duchy website is misleading. It states: “The Prince of Wales already pays income tax on the Duchy’s surplus.”

He does not. He pays voluntarily an amount equal to the income tax he would have paid if he had been liable.

In reply to a question from the public accounts committee Mr Ross stated: “The Prince pays tax on a voluntary basis in exactly the same way as any other taxpayers.”

I don’t know how many of us pay tax on a voluntary basis.

The Duchy enjoys a highly privileged tax status unique to a ‘private estate’. In accordance with ‘normal practice’ it does not pay capital gains tax or inheritance tax and income tax is paid on a voluntary basis. The last figures published show the Duke’s income from the Duchy was £16 million. His voluntary contribution, equal to the income tax, would be £3 million. For completeness sake the Duchy does pay VAT.

ippr - Without local financial powers, Pickles' Bill is 'lipstick localism'

ippr - Without local financial powers, Pickles' Bill is 'lipstick localism'

Breton solidarity for Cornish students

Solidarité avec les étudiants cornouaillais en lutte contre la dégradation de l'enseignement supérieur - Le blog des Jeunes de l'UDB - Re Yaouank an UDB - UDByouth

It's gratifying to see such support for Cornish students coming from the Breton Democratic Union, MK's sister party in Brittany.

Unfortunately the most vulnerable and poorest will suffer the most from the proposed cuts. Don't forget to follow the developments of the Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance here at March the Fury.

I certainly hope the Labour party doesn't perform a hostile takeover of the Alliance in Kernow but it looks like party politics will take precedence with them as usual. If Labour monopolise the anti-cuts movement it will simply become the victim of party politics. It should not be forgotten that Labour brought in fees in the first place so their sudden conversion to champions of the anti-fees movement seems somewhat hollow.

MK polices: Increase support for students. We are opposed to tuition and top-up fees, as introduced by Labour, support a return to grants for first degree courses and would reinstate the right of students to claim benefits such as housing benefit.

Breizh Leaks - France created itself by destroying five cultures

The below is taken form WikiLeaks and details a cable sent by US Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton following a meeting with former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

2. (C) Rocard, like former president Valery Giscard d'Estaing (reftel), believes that French history provides the keys for understanding French politics and France's policies. Rocard's point of departure is France's emergence as a nation-state. The history of other European nation-states is that of linguistic communities serving their trade needs. France created itself by destroying five cultures -- Breton, Occitan, Alsatian, Corsican, and Flemish. "We are the only European nation which is the military creation of a non-homogeneous State. This makes France difficult to govern to this day. This explains our difficulty in reforming, our slowness," he [MR] said.

Like most things with wikileaks there is no great surprise but the simple fact to have it acknowledged in black and white has a profound effect nonetheless. The rest of the cable make for interesting reading. Now has anything been leaked about inconvenient Duchies and unresolved territorial claims?

Breizh Leaks - France created itself by destroying five cultures

The below is taken form WikiLeaks and details a cable sent by US Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton following a meeting with former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

2. (C) Rocard, like former president Valery Giscard d'Estaing (reftel), believes that French history provides the keys for understanding French politics and France's policies. Rocard's point of departure is France's emergence as a nation-state. The history of other European nation-states is that of linguistic communities serving their trade needs. France created itself by destroying five cultures -- Breton, Occitan, Alsatian, Corsican, and Flemish. "We are the only European nation which is the military creation of a non-homogeneous State. This makes France difficult to govern to this day. This explains our difficulty in reforming, our slowness," he [MR] said.

Like most things with wikileaks there is no great surprise but the simple fact to have it acknowledged in black and white has a profound effect nonetheless. The rest of the cable make for interesting reading. Now has anything been leaked about inconvenient Duchies and unresolved territorial claims?

16.12.10

Living Cornish!

Following the post -Dead Cornish?- it gives me great pleasure to reproduce the following press release from the Celtic League.

The status of the Cornish Language was reclassified last week by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), who recognised that the language was not `extinct', but 'critically endangered'.


Last Wednesday (8th Dember2010) the most recent edition of the Atlas of World Languages in Danger was published, which for the first time recognised the existence of Cornish as a living language. In February 2009, the Cornish language was classified by UNESCO as extinct, despite numerous complaints from individuals and organisations, including the Celtic League. Previous to 2009, UNESCO listed endangered languages in the Red Book of Endangered Languages, which the Atlas has superseded. The online Atlas is a much more comprehensive list of the world's endangered languages and also includes some interactive features. In 2009 though, Cornish was listed as extinct alongside the Manx language, leading some linguists to question its academic validity.


Over the last ten years the Cornish revival has grown rapidly, with the language has been recognised by the (UK) government and receiving funding for its development. Manx was even further advanced in its revival than Cornish, with the language being taught in its own Manx medium schools system and as part of the curriculum in others.


Campaigners were therefore surprised to discover that UNESCO had described both languages as extinct in 2009. Following an outcry by campaigners and a re-designation of the degrees of endangered terminology on the Atlas, both Cornish and Manx have now been reclassified, with Manx being reclassified earlier on this year. Both languages also have a `revitalised' status, showing that they are revived.


Nevertheless, this means that all the Celtic languages are now recognised as living, albeit endangered languages, for the first time by the UN. The Breton language is the only Celtic language that is not `officially' recognised by the state government. The Celtic languages also occupy all classification categories with the exception of `extinct'. The classification of the six Celtic languages is as follows, with the healthiest classification at the top. A rough approximation of numbers of speakers compared to population can be found alongside.


Cymraeg/Welsh: Vulnerable (611,000 speakers out of 2.98 million population)


Gaeilge/Irish: Definitely endangered (80,000 speakers out of 6.1 million population)


Gàidhlig/Scottish: Definitely endangered (58,652 speakers out of 5,168,500 population)


Brezhoneg/Breton: Severely endangered (200,000 speakers out of 4,365,500 population)


Gaelg/Manx: Critically endangered (revitalised) (1,689 speakers out of 76,315 population)


Kernewek/Cornish: Critically endangered (revitalised) (2,000 speakers out of 500,000 population)


The 2010 edition of the Atlas has been made possible through funding by the Norwegian government.

If you want to lear more about the Cornish language then try Maga - The Cornish Language Partnership. To listen to some Cornish then try Kernewegva.com. Finally probably one of the most important developments in Cornish language recently has been the creation of Movyans Skolyow Meythrin: We aim to provide a happy and relaxed atmosphere in which nursery school age children can learn both the English and the Cornish languages through play, songs and games. The emphasis is on building the child's confidence and self-esteem in a high quality, stimulating educational environment. We consider that there is no better preparation for a multilingual world than having two languages in your own life and community.

14.12.10

Taming the Vampire Squid: Take back our banks



Worth it just for the title.

A couple of opportunities to fly the Cornish flag.

A couple of opportunities here to fly the Cornish flag.

If you click on the -Events- link on the Our Democratic Heritage website you'll find a map of the UK which includes a reference to the 1497 Cornish Rebellion. Perhaps the project would benefit from more Cornish input on key dates in the UK's history.

Then we have English and Welsh Diaspora: Regional Cultures, Disparate Voices, Remembered Lives Loughborough University, 13-16 April, 2011 organised by Loughborough University - Department of English and Drama.

While the histories of Scots and Irish rural and local culture are well documented, and Celtic tradition celebrated, less explored are the traditional ways of life of English and Welsh rural or local communities and identities in terms of diasporic event. ‘English and Welsh Diaspora’ aims to address all aspects of rural and regional experience, consciousness, and representation of displacement, dispossession, the transformation or destruction of communities, the idea of community, across a millennium of change and loss, from the Norman Invasion and the Harrowing of the North, the loss of Welsh and the decline of the language community in Wales, to more recent historical and cultural events, such as the closure of mines and factories, the gentrification of villages, and the closure of post offices. There will, in addition be the exploration of the historical transformation of the landscape, the relation of land to identity, regional as opposed to national identity, folklore, folk practices and oral tradition through song, dance, story-telling and forms of ritual and seasonal practice.


Papers are welcome from all humanities disciplines, including, but not restricted to, English, History, Geography, Cultural Studies. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: Representations of agricultural labouring classes; regional narratives and representations; Brythonic traditions; George Eliot and the midlands; landscape and identity; traditional song; folklore and belief; seasonal ritual and practice, oral traditions; enclosure; myth and tradition; changing ways of life; John Clare; the village; Thomas Hardy; dispossession and displacement; the remains of Anglo-Saxon culture and language; riots, rebellion, and protest; agricultural and labouring class poetry; William Cobbett’s rural rides; cricket and rural life; de-Cymricization; local and communal subjectivities; ‘documentary literature’ from Woodforde to Blythe; mummers and Morris; modern English and Welsh rural life; parish records and local history; disappearance of the Welsh language; the Poor law; cultural memory and oral tradition; charity and the poor; politics and policing; rural and regional dialect; parish life; gypsies, witches, poachers, highwaymen and other demonized groups; rural crafts; technology and the destruction of traditional agricultural practices.

Certainly something there for Cornish academics to get their teeth into.

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Britain to take major step towards written constitution

Britain to take major step towards written constitution - Telegraph. I'll be interested to see if the Duchy of Cornwall is mentioned or if, once again, it is swept under the constitutional carpet away from the inquisitive eyes of Cornwall's citizenry only to benefit the Duke.

11.12.10

Pay Day: Truro Protest Against Tax-Dodging

One for all Cornish Republicans to attend : Pay Day: Truro Protest Against Tax-Dodging

Another Breton party to add to the list

As promised the Marie of Carhaix Christian Troadec has launched his new party Mouvement Bretagne Progrés.

Their current mission statement is to defend and promote the political, social and cultural interests of the whole of Brittany and its population.

From what I can gather so far we can consider Troadec and his new party to form a kind of populist Breton left. Good luck to them and with solidarity from Kernow.

Another Breton party to add to the list

As promised the Marie of Carhaix Christian Troadec has launched his new party Mouvement Bretagne Progrés.

Their current mission statement is to defend and promote the political, social and cultural interests of the whole of Brittany and its population.

From what I can gather so far we can consider Troadec and his new party to form a kind of populist Breton left. Good luck to them and with solidarity from Kernow.

Scottish aim to hijack AV referendum. Couldn't we do the same?

Scottish independence campaign aims to hijack AV referendum | openDemocracy

Important Announcement: An Independence Referendum Will Take Place On 5th May 2011

Spoil your ballot for an English parliament! « A National Conversation For England

If the government presses ahead with Devonwall then surely a similar -Justice for Cornwall- campaign to hijack the AV referendum could be tempted. Why not couple Cornish devolution, territorial integrity and national recognition as the demands?

10.12.10

More from the EDL in Kernow

It didn't take long for the Kernow Defence League to reveal their true colours. Renamed to - EDL - English Defence League - Cornwall Division (Kernow) - where their loyalties lie should now be in no doubt.

Doubly despicable for their low-brow populist xenophobia as much for stamping an English fascist logo on the Cornish flag - they really don't seem out to make friends in the Duchy.

English nationalism is indeed a source of constant despair. When will we see a progressive left-of-centre nationalist party campaigning alongside the UK's EFA members? Why not an English Socialist Party to work with the Scottish equivalent? To compound the situation the only left-wing blog for English self-determination -England Left Forward- has been closed by its author.

The previous post on this blog looked at English regionalism so before anybody points out the inconsistencies of blogging about English regionalists and then following it with a call for a progressive English nationalist party, I support the people of England's right to self-determination. If they want a single parliament then they should have it. On the other hand if they decide that regional parliaments would better suit them then so be it. What's sure is that the current unfinished devolution of power is unsatisfactory for all concerned.

Leaving aside the hard right English Democrats and their sometimes allies, the neo-nazi England First Party, what other parties exits? The English Radicals, One England and The English Peoples Party, more or less, all make the -Not left. Not right. Just English- claim. However they all seem to have a nervous dislike of immigration, a rampant euroscepticism and a need to talk tough on issues of law and order. If it walks like a Tory and talks like a Tory... To their credit the English Radicals have called for a distributist economy -"According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism) or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (plutarchic capitalism)"- but then again so have the BNP. They also have a decentralist approach to English government and don't, on the face of it, seem hostile to the Cornish national identity.

Political parties aside there is also the Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP). Sadly it appears to be flooded with the most virulent anti-Cornish members of the EDP. There are also a large number of English nationalist blogs a few of the best being Toque, A National Conversation for England, Rise Like Lions and Britology Watch. If anybody knows of any others of note do let me know.

Of course if UKIP were to become a eurosceptic UK federalist  party as suggested in -A Federal Union – a new approach to devolution?- then it would pull the carpet from under the feet of the various English nationalist parties whose members would be quite happy with a parliament for England within a larger federal GB. Still not much chance of that considering the difficulty most UKIP members have in digesting devolution.

Exceptions aside there simply isn't much more to say about the current state of political English nationalism other than it's: not progressive, not Cornwall friendly, not even very English just right-wing.

9.12.10

HOPE not Hate Cornwall College

A quick shout out to HOPE not Hate Cornwall College. Join them in their good work.

5.12.10

The wonderful chaos that is English regionalism

Clearly Cornwall's case for 'regional' devolution would be aided by similar well established and popular grass-roots regionalist movements around England.

So what exists? This post is just a short summary of the various English regionalist movements as of December 2010. The artificial government zone regionalism and the connected campaigns preferred of Labour will not be treated here. Only regions proposed by the people for the people are of interest not lines on maps drawn by technocrats in London.

Wessex: The Wessex Regionalist Party, The Wessex Society and their blog. Mention should also go to the Enchanted Lands blog from David Robins. They are long-standing campaigners who do contest elections and are generally stalwart supporters of the Cornish movement.

The Regionalist Front of Dumnonia. They insist on including Kernow and in doing so step on the toes of both the Cornish and Wessex movements.

Northumbria: Not much here except various Facebook groups and this Free Northumbria blog (no longer  in existence). As far as culture we can find the Northumbrian Language Society and Northumbriania. There seems much potential for a unified autonomist movement but little action. Perhaps Yorkshire, part of Nothumbria, speaks more to people today as a devolvable region?

Yorkshire Independence (no longer in existence) - Campaign for devolution. A new arrival from a region that I would have expected to be much louder in its demands for recognition and devolution. On a cultural level you also have the Yorkshire Ridings Society. Perhaps one advantage they have is the support of those keen on the Labour government zones. This campaign clashes with that for Northumbria therefore precluding cooperation.

Mercia: The Acting Witan of Mercia, Sovereign Mercia, The Mercian Socialist Party, The Mercian Nationalist Party and their blog. Lots of what appear abandoned websites, joke websites and phantom parties? Surely a little more unity and professionalism is need to make the case for Mercia.

Federative efforts: England Devolve is the best but seems to be suffering from a lack of interest. Then there are the following blogs which seem to emanate from the same source: Regionalist.net, Decentralise UK and the Human Scale. Is there a forum where English regionalists can come together, debate and promote their ideas? Ah yes there is -English Regional Devolution and Independence- but it seems a little quiet!

The Green Party of England and Wales are long term supporters of devolution and decentralisation their Cornish branch advocating the creation of a Cornish Assembly.

Some mention should go to Unlock Democracy. In e-mail exchanges with them I have obtained expressions of support for Cornish devolution. Equally they are committed to devolution within England. Sadly though they  are fair weather friends and would be quick to support devolution to the artificial government zones rather than the grass-roots regions.

Grass-roots English regionalism lacks visibility and sadly there doesn't seem to be much unity of action at the moment to counteract this. Is this indicative of a lack of interest in regional devolution in England? Wouldn't it be in the best interests of those grass-roots regionalists who are serious about their campaigns to come together and create a professional lobbying front with greater visibility? If not then the scene is going to remain one associated with abandoned blogs, joke websites, phantom parties and weekend activists.

2.12.10

Tremough Occupation | Students in Falmouth Fighting the Cuts

The Cornish Republican supports Tremough Occupation | Students in Falmouth Fighting the Cuts

30.11.10

Yet more Tory Cornish talk!

In an effort to calm the storm over Devonwall and moreover to smooth over the -Tamar is not the Amazon- gaff David Cameron has been waving his St Pirans.

In -Cameron on Cornwall, cuts and the coalition- we are treated to the following from the PM: "I think Cornish national identity is very powerful – people feel a great affinity with Cornwall. We're going to devolve a lot of power to Cornwall – that will go to the Cornish unitary authority. That's right, but I don't think it's impossible for a Member of Parliament to represent a part of Cornwall and a part of West Devon. I don't think it's impossible."

Cornish national identity? Cornish devolution? Not bad, but haven't we been here before? Lets put this in the perspective of other promises emanating from the LibLabCons.

Before coming to power in the 90's New labour promised devolution to any 'region' that showed an interest. Shortly after that Cornwall produced a petition of 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish Assembly. Labour promptly chucked the petition in the bin and refused to explain why.

Before the last general election David Cameron himself promised a Minster for Cornwall! After the election this gets shelved and in fact we get Devonwall instead.

"You know I promised to help you out? Well, instead I'm going to kick you in the knackers"

Leading up to the decisive vote on Devonwall in the House of Commons our Lib Dem MP's promised to fight to the bitter end. Our newly elected Stephen Gilbert even went as far as to state: "My job is to vote against the government to keep Cornwall intact". Along with his ConDem colleagues Gilbert then voted FOR the Devonwall Bill with the exception of Andrew George who voted for and against.

London's politicians do seem to talk with forked tongues.

No matter what they promise it is vital we do not let up the pressure to keep Cornwall whole! Letters and e-mails are needed more than ever before. For details please visit the Keep Cornwall Whole website. Equally we need to be thinking of the next stages in the fight if democracy fails us in the Houses of Parliament.

Should violence against women in the UK be seen as hate crime?

Should violence against women in the UK be seen as hate crime? | openDemocracy

28.11.10

Direct action at the Post Office

The general secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written to the mayor of a Breton town, asking him to give his support to efforts in persuading the post office in the town to use the Breton language in its working practice.

The letter from the gs follows a protest earlier this month from a group of Breton language activists [Ai'ta!] who staged a sit in at Landerne/Landerneau post office. In his letter, the GS says that it is common practice for post offices to use the Welsh language and requests that the Mayor supports this initiative too. In addition, the GS copied the letter to the regional councillor for his support. The English and French language versions of the letter can be found
below.

`Dear Patrick Leclerc

Use of brezhoneg in post offices

I am writing to you following a protest in the Landerne/Landerneau post office earlier this month.

The peaceful protest involved a number of activists lying down on the post office floor in an attempt to pressure the post office system in Brittany to use the Breton language in their business. As you will be aware, the post office director took exception to the protesters and called the police. However, the point that the protesters were highlighting was perfectly feasible. In an area of Brittany where there are a large number of Breton speakers, like Landerne/Landerneau, it is only natural that a public service like the post office, makes some attempt to incorporate Breton in their working practice. It is our belief that all post offices in Brittany should also do the same.

In post offices in Wales it is a common practice for post offices to use the welsh language, even in area where the Welsh language isn't particularly strong. This encourages a heightened awareness of the language among the public and is a relatively easy and cheap way for the post office to demonstrate their commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity.

I am aware that Landerne/Landerneau already has many bilingual public signs - the Celtic League held an agm in the town in 2006 and was impressed by the bilingual signs in the train station - and that the municipality launched a linguistic plan through Yar d'ar brezhoneg in 2004. However, even though we are respectful of the efforts the municipality have made to date to make Breton more visible in the public sphere, the Celtic league believes that there is always room for improvement. For this reason we have also copied the regional councillor in on this letter, with the hope that he takes this matter up further.

I hope that you take our observations and comments into consideration and request that opportunities to use the Breton language be made more readily available for the general public in the future.

Je vous écris à la suite de la manifestation qui prit place dans les locaux de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau au début de ce mois.

La manifestation non-violente impliquait un nombre d'activistes étendus sur le sol de la Poste de Landerne/ Landerneau afin d'obliger La Poste en Bretagne à utiliser le breton d'une manière plus systématique. Comme vous le savez déjà sans doute, le Directeur de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau désapprouva l'action des manifestants et fit intervenir les forces de police. Ce que demandaient les manifestants était pourtant tout à fait raisonnable. Landerne/Landerneau est situé dans une partie de la Bretagne où nombre d'habitants parlent couramment le breton. Il est de ce fait naturel que le service public en général et La Poste en particulier essaient d'introduire la langue bretonne comme outil de travail de façon plus systématique. Nous pensons fermement que tous les locaux de La Poste en Bretagne devraient en faire de même.

Au Pays de Galles, `the Post Office' – l'équivalent gallois de La Poste – utilise le gallois comme outil de travail de façon systématique y compris dans les parties du Pays Galles où la langue galloise n'est parlée que par une poignée de personnes. C'est une façon relativement peu chère et facile pour elle d'encourager la population à prendre conscience de l'existence et de l'utilité de la langue et de montrer son engagement pour la diversité culturelle et linguistique.

Je suis bien conscient que Landerne/Landerneau a déjà beaucoup de panneaux de signalisation bilingues. La Ligue Celte avait d'ailleurs été très impressionnée par la qualité et l'ampleur de la signalisation bilingue de la gare de Landerne lors de sa Réunion Annuelle en 2006 de même que par le plan de développement linguistique Yar d'ar brezhoneg lancé par la municipalité en 2004. Malgré notre respect pour les efforts continus de la municipalité de Landerne/Landerneau de rendre le breton plus visible dans la sphère publique, la Ligue Celte croit fermement à l'importance d'une amélioration consistante et continue. C'est pour cette raison que j'envoie une copie de cette lettre au Conseiller Régional, dans l'espoir qu'il poursuive cette affaire.

J'espère que vous tiendrez compte de nos remarques et commentaires et je vous demande expressément de permettre à la population de Landerne/Landerneau d'utiliser le breton de manière plus systématique à l'avenir.

En attendant une réponse de votre part, veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
Secrétaire Général de la Ligue Celte

CC Cc M. Maille Pierre'

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666
rhisiart.talebot@...
gensec@...

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

17/11/10

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
Celtic League News Group.

Direct action at the Post Office

The general secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written to the mayor of a Breton town, asking him to give his support to efforts in persuading the post office in the town to use the Breton language in its working practice.

The letter from the gs follows a protest earlier this month from a group of Breton language activists [Ai'ta!] who staged a sit in at Landerne/Landerneau post office. In his letter, the GS says that it is common practice for post offices to use the Welsh language and requests that the Mayor supports this initiative too. In addition, the GS copied the letter to the regional councillor for his support. The English and French language versions of the letter can be found
below.

`Dear Patrick Leclerc

Use of brezhoneg in post offices

I am writing to you following a protest in the Landerne/Landerneau post office earlier this month.

The peaceful protest involved a number of activists lying down on the post office floor in an attempt to pressure the post office system in Brittany to use the Breton language in their business. As you will be aware, the post office director took exception to the protesters and called the police. However, the point that the protesters were highlighting was perfectly feasible. In an area of Brittany where there are a large number of Breton speakers, like Landerne/Landerneau, it is only natural that a public service like the post office, makes some attempt to incorporate Breton in their working practice. It is our belief that all post offices in Brittany should also do the same.

In post offices in Wales it is a common practice for post offices to use the welsh language, even in area where the Welsh language isn't particularly strong. This encourages a heightened awareness of the language among the public and is a relatively easy and cheap way for the post office to demonstrate their commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity.

I am aware that Landerne/Landerneau already has many bilingual public signs - the Celtic League held an agm in the town in 2006 and was impressed by the bilingual signs in the train station - and that the municipality launched a linguistic plan through Yar d'ar brezhoneg in 2004. However, even though we are respectful of the efforts the municipality have made to date to make Breton more visible in the public sphere, the Celtic league believes that there is always room for improvement. For this reason we have also copied the regional councillor in on this letter, with the hope that he takes this matter up further.

I hope that you take our observations and comments into consideration and request that opportunities to use the Breton language be made more readily available for the general public in the future.

Je vous écris à la suite de la manifestation qui prit place dans les locaux de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau au début de ce mois.

La manifestation non-violente impliquait un nombre d'activistes étendus sur le sol de la Poste de Landerne/ Landerneau afin d'obliger La Poste en Bretagne à utiliser le breton d'une manière plus systématique. Comme vous le savez déjà sans doute, le Directeur de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau désapprouva l'action des manifestants et fit intervenir les forces de police. Ce que demandaient les manifestants était pourtant tout à fait raisonnable. Landerne/Landerneau est situé dans une partie de la Bretagne où nombre d'habitants parlent couramment le breton. Il est de ce fait naturel que le service public en général et La Poste en particulier essaient d'introduire la langue bretonne comme outil de travail de façon plus systématique. Nous pensons fermement que tous les locaux de La Poste en Bretagne devraient en faire de même.

Au Pays de Galles, `the Post Office' – l'équivalent gallois de La Poste – utilise le gallois comme outil de travail de façon systématique y compris dans les parties du Pays Galles où la langue galloise n'est parlée que par une poignée de personnes. C'est une façon relativement peu chère et facile pour elle d'encourager la population à prendre conscience de l'existence et de l'utilité de la langue et de montrer son engagement pour la diversité culturelle et linguistique.

Je suis bien conscient que Landerne/Landerneau a déjà beaucoup de panneaux de signalisation bilingues. La Ligue Celte avait d'ailleurs été très impressionnée par la qualité et l'ampleur de la signalisation bilingue de la gare de Landerne lors de sa Réunion Annuelle en 2006 de même que par le plan de développement linguistique Yar d'ar brezhoneg lancé par la municipalité en 2004. Malgré notre respect pour les efforts continus de la municipalité de Landerne/Landerneau de rendre le breton plus visible dans la sphère publique, la Ligue Celte croit fermement à l'importance d'une amélioration consistante et continue. C'est pour cette raison que j'envoie une copie de cette lettre au Conseiller Régional, dans l'espoir qu'il poursuive cette affaire.

J'espère que vous tiendrez compte de nos remarques et commentaires et je vous demande expressément de permettre à la population de Landerne/Landerneau d'utiliser le breton de manière plus systématique à l'avenir.

En attendant une réponse de votre part, veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
Secrétaire Général de la Ligue Celte

CC Cc M. Maille Pierre'

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666
rhisiart.talebot@...
gensec@...

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

17/11/10

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
Celtic League News Group.

27.11.10

What Anarchism really means

A strong thread of Anarchist thought can be found within the movement for Cornish self-determination. Resilient autonomous communities, direct democracy and autogestion are popular themes.

Anarchism however is often the victim of gross misrepresentation. The low brow UK tabloid press being experts in the field of dumbing down otherwise legitimate political positions. The recent student protests provide us with the perfect example. The essay below comes from the The Anarchist Studies Network and tries to set the record straight. I was tipped off to its existence on the generally excellent Our Scotland forum.

Direct action is part of creating direct democracy, but the student protests saw the media painting a caricature of anarchism


Protesters are never a homogenous group, but those who protested under the anti-cuts banner last week were united in the view that the marketisation of higher education should be opposed. Typically, however, property destruction magically transformed a sizeable subset into "anarchists", and gave a green light to the general dismissal of their concerns.


It's certainly true that anarchists were among the protesters. What's misleading is the media's assumption that there's a generalised relationship between anarchism and violence. Anarchism is a far richer tradition, and in the light of the media frenzy, it's worth reflecting on what it stands for.


The Con-Dem alliance is looking to roll back the state. Anarchists want this too, but the government is looking to roll back the state and let business take up the slack, thereby bringing a fictitious "free market" into every last recess of our lives. That's where the disagreement lies. Anarchists advocate practical alternatives to both this neoliberal slash-and-burn policy and the old Labour state-socialism.


Generating a market in education will benefit those who want to make money out of it. Principally, this will include profit-driven universities and businesses. Education for the purpose of developing a sense of our personal and social potential is out, while education for a fat pay cheque is in: the government takes training off its balance sheets and heaps the cost onto students. Students are in effect being asked to pay universities up to £40k for a job interview with a graduate recruiter. And if your "investment" in your future doesn't pay off, the system will claim to be blameless: the responsibility is the student's. To assume that the interests of business and society are the same is utopian.


But anarchists do not believe that state socialism is the only alternative to the undemocratic inequalities produced by neoliberalism. Socialising property does not have to mean nationalising it – that would simply be substituting one set of bosses for another. What about genuine collective worker ownership of industry and services; what about universities democratically run by academics, students and support staff, instead of largely unaccountable and overpaid managers and technocrats?


More widely, couldn't we radicalise the co-operative model and have all companies democratically owned and run by managers and workers? Couldn't we expand and federate worker co-ops, mutuals and collectives? The movement for fan-ownership of football clubs is a further indication that these kinds of alternatives work. The challenge is to think through their potential, and anarchism provides such a framework.


But how does all this differ from the "big society", you might ask? In brief, the Tories are trying to mutualise the welfare state in preparation for privatising it. Individuals will be made responsible, but they will be given none of the power. Charities, voluntary associations and so on will be allowed to organise a village fete but the neoliberal structures of power will not be challenged. Wouldn't it make more sense to start by mutualising the banks?


As it stands, politicians have managed to protect the banks while everyone else takes the pain. As the cuts pinch the poor and the rich get no poorer, it will become clear whose interests are being served. As worker militancy grows and protests become more frequent, the demand for ever stronger, authoritative states will become louder, civil liberties will be curtailed (again), and those at the top of the tree will tell us that they have some special right.


Modern liberal democracies garner the opinion of some adults of voting age once every five years as a solution to pre-determined elite bargaining. Who voted for the Con-Dem coalition? When the governments that are voted in then routinely ignore the will of the people, be that over wars, cuts, or the minutiae of policy, we see modern representative democracy for the sham that it is. Allowing protest only on condition that it will never present a challenge to government is part of that same sham.


Because this fake democracy doesn't work and the interests of anarchists could never be represented by a political party, direct action is the tactic of choice. And direct action is part of the process of creating direct democracy. It produces results by raising the profile of causes and often halting practices many object to.


As well as a tactic, direct action is also a means for self-empowerment. It is a component of the society we hope to create, where people take control of their lives into their own hands and confront the root causes of injustices directly, without representatives. This sometimes includes property damage, but anarchists take seriously the notions of liberty and equality: that people are capable of speaking and acting for themselves and become even more capable through practice rather than representation.


The threat to a liveable world comes not from anarchists, but from governments and capitalism. Before the current crisis is used as a front to take us even deeper into a neoliberal nightmare, let's reconsider alternatives.


*************************************************************


(The Anarchist Studies Network is a specialist group of the UK Political Studies Association. This piece was collectively written but does not necessarily reflect a consensus view)

This seems an appropriate time to give a hat tip to the Kernow Anarchists Network and the campaiging they do for Cornwall's communities. KAN manage to give recognition to Cornish difference without betraying the egalitarian principles of anarchism. For that they should be clearly distinguished from the National Anarchist Movement, a strange Frankenstein's monster of ideas that advocates racial separatism. Make no mistakes the NAM -already mentioned on One Kernow- is but one of the latest incarnations of the extreme-right. As a movement it is invested with plenty of old hands from the far-right and neo-fascist circles. They might link to Warlinnen on their website but can anybody take the idea of a racially pure Cornish community seriously? Sounds like a recipe for inbreeding, bad food and extreme boredom to me.

In the spirit of One Kernow and as far as I'm concerned Cornish culture is not the possession of any imagined pure Cornish race. Cornish language and culture is part of humankind's heritage and should be open to all who wish to celebrate it. Perhaps residents of the Duchy and those of Cornish ancestry feel a particular attachment to Cornish culture. Perhaps they should consider themselves the caretakers of Cornishness responsible to the rest of humanity for preserving their piece of the human cultural jigsaw, but it is not any one groups exclusive possession.

23.11.10

Cornish by English

The threat to Cornish integrity posed by the reform of UK Parliamentary constituencies « England's Left Forward

Cornish Independence: should people support it?

Some blog opportunities above for Cornish comment. Please do visit the sites and leave your thoughts.

22.11.10

Love to hate

After a blatant attempt by a new member of the Cornwall 24 forum to use the actions of 30 Islamist extremists -Muslims Against Crusades (MAC)- in order to whip up hatred against Kernow's placid Muslim community I thought it apt to share the following from Hope Not Hate.

Plague on both their houses!

I particularly like the way in which the author makes it quite clear that both groups of nut jobs need each other to exist and feed off each other. I can almost see them all at knocking off time taking of their apparel of English fascism and Islamic fundamentalism and going for a curry together.

I've hesitated in the past in giving too much support to campaigns like Hope Not Hate as more often than not they seem dominated by the British state-nationalist left (Unions, Labour etc) and therefore viscerally hostile to the recognition and empowerment of the UK's stateless nations. I hope one day they prove me totally wrong. What are Plaids and the SNP's relations like with such organisations? Does the Celtic League have any ties with them?

Anyway a good campaign can't be knocked. All power to its organisers.

The Atlas of Stateless Nations in Europe

The new book -Atlas des Nations sans état en Europe- has finally hit the shops.

It's publication had been delayed but now available to the Francophonic world is a smart new atlas in which can found a chapter on the stateless nation that is Kernow amongst many others of course.

Lets hope the English translation is soon to follow. I'll certainly be available to help with as I was for the French version. It's a very gratifying experience to see ones name in print. Okay enough trumpet blowing.

To mark its release I thought I'd reproduce an essay on self-determination by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation UNPO below:

All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

What is Self-determination?

Essentially, the right to self-determination is the right of a people to determine its own destiny. In particular, the principle allows a people to choose its own political status and to determine its own form of economic, cultural and social development. Exercise of this right can result in a variety of different outcomes ranging from political independence through to full integration within a state. The importance lies in the right of choice, so that the outcome of a people's choice should not affect the existence of the right to make a choice. In practice, however, the possible outcome of an exercise of self-determination will often determine the attitude of governments towards the actual claim by a people or nation. Thus, while claims to cultural autonomy may be more readily recognized by states, claims to independence are more likely to be rejected by them. Nevertheless, the right to self-determination is recognized in international law as a right of process (not of outcome) belonging to peoples and not to states or governments.

The preferred outcome of an exercise of the right to self-determination varies greatly among the members of the UNPO. For some, the only acceptable outcome is full political independence. This is particularly true of occupied or colonized nations. For others, the goal is a degree of political, cultural and economic autonomy, sometimes in the form of a federal relationship. For others yet, the right to live on and manage a people's traditional lands free of external interference and incursion is the essential aim of a struggle for self-determination.

Self-determination in International Law

The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article I of the Charter of the United Nations. Earlier it was explicitly embraced by US President Woodrow Wilson, by Lenin and others, and became the guiding principle for the reconstruction of Europe following World War I. The principle was incorporated into the 1941 Atlantic Charter and the Dumbarton Oaks proposals which evolved into the United Nations Charter. Its inclusion in the UN Charter marks the universal recognition of the principle as fundamental to the maintenance of friendly relations and peace among states. It is recognized as a right of all peoples in the first article common to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which both entered into force in 1976. 1 Paragraph 1 of this Article provides:

All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

The right to self-determination of peoples is recognized in many other international and regional instruments, including the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States adopted b the UN General Assembly in 1970, 2, the Helsinki Final Act adopted by the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975, 3, the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights of 1981, 4, the CSCE Charter of Paris for a New Europe adopted in 1990, 5, and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993. 6, It has been affirmed by the International Court of Justice in the Namibia case 7, the Western Sahara case 8, and the East Timor case 9, in which its erga omnes character was confirmed. Furthermore, the scope and content of the right to self-determination has been elaborated upon by the UN Human Rights Committee 10, and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 11, and numerous leading international jurists.

That the right to self-determination is part of so called hard law has been affirmed also by the International Meeting of Experts for the Elucidation of the Concepts of Rights of Peoples brought together by UNESCO from 1985 to 1991, 12, it came to the conclusion that (1) peoples' rights are recognized in international law; (2) the list of such rights is not very clear, but also that (3) hard law does in any event include the right to self-determination and the right to existence, in the sense of the Genocide Convention.

The inclusion of the right to self-determination in the International Covenants on Human Rights and in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, referred to above, emphasizes that self-determination is an integral part of human rights law which has a universal application. At the same time, it is recognized that compliance with the right of self-determination is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of other human rights and fundamental freedoms, be they civil, political, economic, social or cultural.

The concept of self-determination is a very powerful one. As Wolfgang Danspeckgruber put it: "No other concept is as powerful, visceral, emotional, unruly, as steep in creating aspirations and hopes as self-determination." It evokes emotions, expectations and fears which often lead to conflict and bloodshed. Some experts argued that the title holders should be or are limited in international law. Others believed in the need to limit the possible outcome for all or categories of title holders. Ultimately, the best approach is to view the right to self-determination in its broad sense, as a process providing a wide range of possible outcomes dependent on the situations, needs, interests and conditions of concerned parties. The principle and fundamental right to self-determination of all peoples is firmly established in international law.

20.11.10

Fight the ConDem Nation!

The Cornish Republican supports Falmouth Fight the Cuts. From the website: We will not stand by while the Con-Dem government makes savage cuts to our education and social welfare.

Hear! Hear! We will not stand by and watch the Con-Dem government destroy Cornwall's territorial integrity either! The Cornish Celtic League is already in contact with the people behind FFTC. lets hope more of the Cornish movement gets involved too.

National self-determination and social justice go hand in hand. Where is  a Cornwall Workers Union when you need one?

17.11.10

The Relubbus Roundup

Nyns eus goon heb lagas, na ke heb scovarn. There is no down without an eye, nor hedge without an ear.

Putting the 'R' Back into the 'County' of Cornwall!! From the ever funny Relubbus Roundup. If you haven't already visited the Roundup then don't hesitate. You'll soon see what you've been missing.

14.11.10

UK Government pursuing right-wing agenda in Cornwall and Wales


Cabinet office manual may be basis for constitution

Cabinet office manual may be basis for constitution: ePolitix.com:

"The manual is believed to contain guidance on important constitutional questions such as the monarchy and Privy Council, the role of the prime minister and ministers, collective cabinet decision making, ministers and Parliament, minsters and the law, ministers and the civil service, relations with devolved administration and local government and relations with Europe and international institutions."

....and perhaps the Duchy of Cornwall. lets hope the document is quickly released uncensured into the public domain and that it contains yet more information on the complex relationship between the Duchy, Cornwall and the United Kingdom.

Talk of "localism" is a sham without real constitutional power to local government

Talk of "localism" is a sham without real constitutional power to local government | openDemocracy

12.11.10

One Kernow shutting-up shop

Created largely as a response to racist incidents in Quenchwell the One Kernow blog, formerly Cornish Against Racism, is going to be closed down due to lack of interest.

Created initially as an anti-racist focal point for the wider Cornish movement it must be said that interest in the blog and what it could become has been disappointing.

One Kernow's posts will be imported into the CRB and the blog deleted within one week unless a person comes forward with an interest in taking the project further.

Rest assured that the Cornish Republican will continue to blog on the themes found in One Kernow.

11.11.10

Write to the ConDems

Following my previous blog post on our two-faced ConDem MP's I think it's time for some answers don't you?

Please write to our Cornish MP's and ask them why they voted for the Bill that will create a Devonwall parliamentary constituency. You can contact them here using the Write To Them website. Equally you could write to your Lib Dem MP and ask for an explanation on the tuition fees U-turn.

Equally, party to some disinformation released by Lib Dem Adam Killeya under the pretence of Keep Cornwall Whole I'd just like to set the record straight. In an e-mail sent out by Adam he writes that:

"Cornwall was discussed, and the issue provoked the greatest number of MPs voting against the Government since the election, including all six Cornish MPs, but was defeated 315-257"

Not quite true Adam. Perhaps you are letting your loyalty to the Lib Dems get in the way of the facts. In reality 95% of Con Dem MP's voted AGAINST the pro-Cornwall amendments even if our six Cornish MP's voted for them. When these amendments were rejected by the House of Commons our 6 MP's voted FOR the Bill that, if it becomes law, will create a Devonwall parliamentary constituency. Simply ignoring these facts and carrying on as if nothing's happened will undermine the KCW campaign. People will come to see KCW as nothing more than a public image damage limitation exercise on behalf of some highly compromised Cornish Con Dem MP's.

Anyway I'm not going to let two faced politicking get in the way of a vitally important campaign. Keep Cornwall Whole is now asking us to write to the Lords. If you want to do this via e-mail you can do so by clicking on their names here: Lord Strathcylde, Lord McNally and Lord Wallace. Write to them and keep writing to any one else you think will listen.

10.11.10

MK’s Annual Conference : Come one and all.

MK’s Annual Conference will be held at the Public Rooms in Bodmin on Saturday November 13th and the Party will be marking its 60th anniversary with a new publication and a celebratory event.

MK’s Annual Conference

The main purpose of this year's Conference will be to plan ahead for the next five years and decide on our approach to future elections to Cornwall Council, the European Parliament and Westminster. Our approach to a range of pressing issues, such the savage cuts to the public sector and attacks on the integrity of Cornwall, will also be debated and agreed.

Registration will commence at 10.30, when tea and coffee will be available. The morning session will start at 11.00 and the event is anticipated to finish at about 5.00.

Celebrating sixty years

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall was founded on 6th January 1951. To mark our important 60th anniversary, a commemorative publication is to be produced and a celebratory event will be held in January 2011.

The commemorative publication

This publication is presently being written and it will be an A4 booklet. It will include numerous photographs, press clippings and other images from the 1950s through to the present day.

Anniversary event

On Saturday 22nd January 2011, MK will be hosting an evening event at the Lowenac Hotel in Camborne to celebrate the Party’s 60th anniversary. It will include music and other entertainment, reminiscences of the Party’s campaigns and achievements, as well as a significant buffet. The doors will open at 6.00 and the entertainment will be from 7.00 until late! Tickets will cost £10 each and we hope that you will be able to join us at the event.

Further information and contact details here:
Mebyon Kernow website.
Party leader Dick Cole's blog.

Cornwall ConDem(n)ed?

All except one of our ConDem MP's voted for Devonwall.

It's true that our six ConDem MP's proposed and voted for amendments that would have protected Cornwall's territorial integrity. However when the amendments were rejected  by the House of Commons -some might say a forgone conclusion- our fearless MP's still voted for the Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Bill. The Bill that will result in the creation of a Devonwall parliamentary constituency if it should become law. It must also be noted that the vast majority of Lib Dems and Tories voted against the pro-Cornwall amendments and for the Devonwall Bill.

Lets put this in some context.

Before the election the Tories promised Cornwall a minister and appointed Mark Prisk Shadow Minister for Cornwall. Not only have they totally reneged on this promise but they've driven the dagger deeper and undermined Cornwall's thousand year old border with England. The icing on the cake being that Mark Prisk joyfully voted for Devonwall and against the pro-Cornwall amendments.

Both our Tory and Lib Dem MP's have outdone themselves in Cornish patriotism: "This is Cornwall that is England!" "Cornwall is a Duchy" "Cornwall a fifth nation" etc etc etc. The level of lipstick Cornish nationalism has been unprecedented in the Duchy recently. Nonetheless, one by one, they voted for Devonwall. Following the party whip, their mapped out party career plans and/or their desire for AV keeping Cornwall whole lost out.

Considering the Cornish Lib Dems long-standing professed pro-Cornishness we can only marvel at the level of hypocrisy and cynicism they've shown in voting for Devonwall and against everything they've claimed to stand for in the Keep Cornwall Whole campaign. Saying one thing -loud and proud- but then voting in the opposite direction, I'm not the only one that sees this as yet another blow to voter confidence in politics and politicians.

Still, making spectacular U-turns on electoral promises seems to be a Lib Dem speciality of late.

The irony of ironies being that this voting and constituencies reform is about restoring public confidence in politics and politicians. Sadly as a convinced supporter of electoral reform I can see nothing more than a shallow attempt by the ConDems to boost the credibility of the political establishment by offering the non-choice of AV or FPTP dressed up as deep and empowering electoral reform.

6.11.10

Why is Labour so hostile to Cornish devolution?

We all know that when Labour was pushing for devolution to the artificial government zones, the South West Region being one of them, Labour absolutely refused to consider Cornwall only devolution even after receiving the petition for 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish assembly.

It's no secret that the Labour government was highly embarrassed by UK's rejection of their plans for regional assemblies whilst Cornwall was the only territory to show any real interest. I should be noted that at the time Jude Robinson, Charlotte MacKenzie and the rest of Cornish Labour, now all ardent defenders of Cornwall's territorial integrity, did not supported the creation of a Cornish assembly but rather wished to see Kernow disappear within a much larger South West government zone run from Bristol. No political opportunism there then.

Has anything changed in their inflexible attitude? Following a Twitter conversation with some local Labour activists I fear not. At least two Labour supporters [1][2] resident in Cornwall were incredulous that Cornish devolution should even be considered. The usual attacks then followed including the accusation that "isn't it all a bit isolationist wanting to cut Cornwall off?" or words to that effect. I think I was accused of some form of racism at some point as well. Anyway, when I pointed out to them that Labour had championed Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and English regional devolution, in other words and following their logic 'isolationism' the conversation was cut short. Funny that.

It should also be noted that during our exchange a Labour activist who has access to my personal details, I suspect via Facebook, was quick to provide our two Labour ladies with information about my private life which they happily employed against me in our debate. Thanks for that to the brave and responsible Labour activist so happy to spread peoples personal details around the web. How very moral of you.

I pose this question now as from Labours ranks can be heard rumblings of English regional devolution once again. One example is this speech to the Cambrian Society from MP David Blunkett where he proposes a Yorkshire assembly. Equally we have -The real battle for the future of the English regions is just beginning- by Kevin Meagher on Labour Uncut. Of course in both examples no mention is made of Cornwall. One has to ask why. They are not totally ignorant of our campaign. The petition of 50,000 certainly got their attention. So why their deliberate refusal to discuss Cornwall in the context of the debate on devolution and the English question?

My prediction? Devolution to English regions will be part of Labours election promises in their attempt to retake power in future election battles. They want to finish the job the started with devolution to Scotland, Wales and the Six Counties, but what form will their regions take? Will they show a little more flexibility on what they consider a region? Let me suggest some election promises for Labour to make in Kernow:

1) Return Cornwall's territorial integrity.

2) organise a referendum on Cornish devolution.

If you give us this you'll win in the Duchy.