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31.3.10

A quick Cornish media round-up

Some kind words in the media for Dick Cole and Mebyon Kernow. To be compared with the BBC's new Cornish blog.

I'll vote for Kernow, says former Lib-Dem

Quote:

"How committed to Newquay, St Austell and the Clay Country is each candidate in reality – are they just going for the prize of becoming MP or are they here for the long term? 
"My own conclusion is that there is one candidate who, regardless of the outcome and the size of his vote, will continue serving this area and Cornwall as he has already done for many years; my vote is going to Dick Cole, because, he is the one candidate I think will continue to fight for Cornwall and put its people first. 
"I had the privilege of working with Dick when we were both councillors on Restormel and he proved to me that despite the general cynicism about politicians, there are still a few people in the system that are guided by principle and dedication."

Compare that with the half hearted effort churned out by the BBC's Graham Smith (where did he pop up from BTW?) who instead of recognising the hard work and general qualities of the MK candidate simple opines that this will help the Tories. Not for an instant is the thought that MK could win the seat entertained, rather this idea, along with any respect for plural local democracy, is brushed aisde in favour of the confrontation between the two political dinosaurs LibDem and Tory.

The book cover of John Angarracks now classic -Our Future is History- seems fitting. This time the insidious influence coming from across the Tamar is the Anglo-British BBC doing what it can to smother the Cornish issue.

From the Cornish Observer blog: Ignoring the opposition....

Quote:

Yes there are a lot of loyal Lib Dem supporters who will be voting for Steve and yes there are a lot of Conservative voters out there keen to see Caroline elected. But I can also see that there are a lot of people who know Dick Cole very well, have seen how he has worked well as a councillor both at Restormel and County Hall and will be giving their vote to MK. 
Then there are those who are unsure where to go - with the MPs expenses scandal still fresh in the mind it is unlikely that they are going to choose one of the big three. 
So why not MK? They're local, they have a respected candidate and they have not go their snouts in the trough. I think that is probably the more viable option than going for the one issue party that is UKIP. Or for that matter the Green Party or (shudder) the BNP.

EU Commissioner asked to act on discrimination by Celtic League

The Celtic League has written to the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Lazlo Andor, urging him to press the UK government to end discrimination against members of the Roma and Irish Traveller communities.

The move comes after several well publicised cases in the UK media which highlight the British government failure to meet aspirations set during this "European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion".

The full text of the letter to Commissioner Lazlo is set out below:

"Laszlo Andor
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
European Commission
B - 1049 Brussels
(Belgium)

26/03/10

Dear Commissioner Andor,

I note that the European Union has designated this year as European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Dearing this in mind it is unfortunate that the United Kingdom government and its local authorities are still not engaging in policies that encourage `social inclusion' for members of the Roma and Irish Traveller community.

Despite the fact that the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights less than twelve months ago criticised the failure of the UK government "ensure the provision of sufficient, adequate and secure stopping sites for Roma/Gypsies and Irish Travellers" this community still suffers discrimination. In the past week alone we have identified four reports of either site evictions or refusal of planning approval for new sites for Travellers.

I draw your attention to two reports published this week by the Celtic League to highlight this issue [1][2]

Can I ask that in the spirit of `Combating Social Exclusion' you raise this issue with the British Authorities?

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)"

Link to EU Commissioners website here.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

31/03/10

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.

More on the Breton elections : The two faced French Socialists.

A member of the UDB has very kindly provided me with the following points of view on the recent regional elections.


The Breton branch of the French Socialist Party (FSP) had planned, a long time before the 2nd round of the elections, to not cooperate with Europe Ecologie Breizh (EEB). It is suggested that their reason for this is because they couldn't tolerate some elements of the EEB's programme (autonomy for Brittany, fight against the polluting agro business, conversion of economy … etc.).

The Breton FSP didn't want, in its government group, some of the EEB councillors (for example : René Louail a former agricultural trade union leader of the Confédération paysanne, a great and clever opponent of FNSEA (agro-business union) and its polluting productivist system (nitrate run off and seaweed proliferation), or Herri Gourmelen one of the UDB's historic leaders, or Guy Hascoet a former (Green) French government minister from the Lionel Jospin government, who would have provided too much competition for the FSP council president, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

However theses three councillors were elected anyway, so the future debates in the council hall will be very interesting.

As for We Will Make You Brittany (WWMYB) platform and Christian Troadec. Firstly (Sunday evening) he called on his supporters to vote for the FSP, because of its help to constitute the WWMYB list, but he changed this advice after it became clear that EEB would have to run alone for the 2nd round of elections. (nobody could imagine at this time a no-fuse for the 2nd round)

Some words more about WWMYB : it is suggested that the Breton FSP had helped M. Troadec to build up his list to try to push the score of Europe Ecologie Bretagne under 10% by challenging the UDB autonomist support in the EEB block. If in the first round of the election a group receives under 10% of the vote, the electoral law doesn't allow them to compete for the second round. With the same goal in mind the FSP took some “Greens” on to its list inorder to push down the score of the “reel” Greens in EEB list.

Happily these strategies didn't work and the EEB list was able to present for the second round with of course the support from Brezhistance.

After the first round, the expected issue was the two lists merger between the FSP and EEB according to the D'Hondt law as in all other regions of the French state. This method would have given 14 councillors to EEB but the FSP proposed only 10 positions to EEB. A deliberate provocation of EEB. (M. Le Drian said : I have already 4 ecologists on my list, with 10 from your side you could get 14).

Thus, all Monday, after the election, the FSP pretended to negotiate with EEB, but at 8pm the leaflet printers for EEB (the same one as the FSP) called EEB to warn that the FSP had given orders to print its own ballot papers (in Brittany as in the rest of France each party uses its own ballot papers for elections) for the second round, without informing EEB. In other words the FSP in Brittany had already decided to run alone and not fuse with EEB.

You can see a short video (French television F3) which shows theses facts : the journalists were present when the printer called EEB here.

During the week between the two rounds the FSP in Brittany tried to split the alliance UDB-Greens by secretly proposing  a vice-presidency to UDB members, but the UDB refused categorically and warned its Greens allies and press about these tactics..

More on the Breton elections : The two faced French Socialists.

A member of the UDB has very kindly provided me with the following points of view on the recent regional elections.


The Breton branch of the French Socialist Party (FSP) had planned, a long time before the 2nd round of the elections, to not cooperate with Europe Ecologie Breizh (EEB). It is suggested that their reason for this is because they couldn't tolerate some elements of the EEB's programme (autonomy for Brittany, fight against the polluting agro business, conversion of economy … etc.).

The Breton FSP didn't want, in its government group, some of the EEB councillors (for example : René Louail a former agricultural trade union leader of the Confédération paysanne, a great and clever opponent of FNSEA (agro-business union) and its polluting productivist system (nitrate run off and seaweed proliferation), or Herri Gourmelen one of the UDB's historic leaders, or Guy Hascoet a former (Green) French government minister from the Lionel Jospin government, who would have provided too much competition for the FSP council president, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

However theses three councillors were elected anyway, so the future debates in the council hall will be very interesting.

As for We Will Make You Brittany (WWMYB) platform and Christian Troadec. Firstly (Sunday evening) he called on his supporters to vote for the FSP, because of its help to constitute the WWMYB list, but he changed this advice after it became clear that EEB would have to run alone for the 2nd round of elections. (nobody could imagine at this time a no-fuse for the 2nd round)

Some words more about WWMYB : it is suggested that the Breton FSP had helped M. Troadec to build up his list to try to push the score of Europe Ecologie Bretagne under 10% by challenging the UDB autonomist support in the EEB block. If in the first round of the election a group receives under 10% of the vote, the electoral law doesn't allow them to compete for the second round. With the same goal in mind the FSP took some “Greens” on to its list inorder to push down the score of the “reel” Greens in EEB list.

Happily these strategies didn't work and the EEB list was able to present for the second round with of course the support from Brezhistance.

After the first round, the expected issue was the two lists merger between the FSP and EEB according to the D'Hondt law as in all other regions of the French state. This method would have given 14 councillors to EEB but the FSP proposed only 10 positions to EEB. A deliberate provocation of EEB. (M. Le Drian said : I have already 4 ecologists on my list, with 10 from your side you could get 14).

Thus, all Monday, after the election, the FSP pretended to negotiate with EEB, but at 8pm the leaflet printers for EEB (the same one as the FSP) called EEB to warn that the FSP had given orders to print its own ballot papers (in Brittany as in the rest of France each party uses its own ballot papers for elections) for the second round, without informing EEB. In other words the FSP in Brittany had already decided to run alone and not fuse with EEB.

You can see a short video (French television F3) which shows theses facts : the journalists were present when the printer called EEB here.

During the week between the two rounds the FSP in Brittany tried to split the alliance UDB-Greens by secretly proposing  a vice-presidency to UDB members, but the UDB refused categorically and warned its Greens allies and press about these tactics..

30.3.10

Cultural Policies for Diversity : Compendium

Introduction to the Public Forum "What Cultural Policies for Diversity?"

Cultural diversity is becoming more and more an issue in cultural policy making. In a broader perspective, policies and debates in this field often address:

*the cultural and linguistic background of arts or media professionals and of their work;
*the production, distribution, regulation and financing of cultural and mass-media content;
*practices or demands of increasingly diverse audiences; as well as
*efforts aimed at "intercultural dialogue".

The Council of Europe/ERICarts Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe (www.culturalpolicies.net) has committed itself to monitoring international legal instruments as well as cultural policies and measures on the national and regional levels which aim at supporting cultural diversity. Compendium monitoring includes, but is not limited to:

*the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;
*laws and policies supporting national minority groups;
*the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and related linguistic diversity policies or measures;
*pluralism in media programming, including film and book markets;
*policies and projects fostering gender equality and intercultural dialogue; and
*efforts to sustain, or enhance, artistic creativity and culturally diverse content production.

Reflecting the main mission of the Council of Europe, the Compendium information system has also become a place for debate on ethical and human rights issues in a cultural context.

On the occasion of the annual meeting of Compendium authors, editors and advisors in Zurich on the 9th and 10th of April 2010, we want to take the opportunity to discuss topics of cultural diversity and human/cultural rights in a Public Forum, where prominent experts from the host country participate and exchange with the Compendium "community of practice".

Switzerland, located at the crossroads of cultural and linguistic traditions, has important insights to contribute to the above issues. Swiss experience could play an important role in stimulating further debates on how to develop and sustain diversity-related cultural policies throughout Europe and beyond – which could then be reflected in future Compendium editions.

The newsletter from Compendium.

28.3.10

More Tory Cornish Talk

Rupert Matthews: What exactly are "the nations and regions" of the UK?

Just to bookmark the above article from the Conservative Home website in which the author writes:

Then there are the Cornish. An independent Celtic state, it fell under English rule during the pressure of the Viking invasions. The Cornish retained their language and culture and even now consider themselves distinct from the English. The LibDems with typical opportunism want Cornwall to be raised to the status of a region within England. The policy has some traction in the county, but nobody east of the Tamar (including the LibDem national leadership) seem to take the ambition very seriously.

Can't help but agree with the author and his analysis of the LibDem position on Cornish devolution. It seems that local Cornish LibDem, MP's and PPC's, are allowed to wave their St Pirans flags for the purpose of co-opting the pro-Cornish vote, and in doing so retard the development of a truly Cornish alternative to the London parties, but wave their flags west of the Tamar is about the limit. Talk to any LibDem from the rest of the UK and you'll meet a puzzled look if you talk about a Cornish Assembly.

27.3.10

Englands Green Party V The Party for Cornwall

There is to be no repeat of the 2005 MK Green electoral pact for 2010.

Too bad. Whilst Cornish nationalists and Greens haven't always been the best of bedfellows there are still plenty of points of convergence between the two parties. The Greens support for a Cornish Assembly is a laudable example as is MK's stance on environmental issues. In fact the two parties share so much policy that there is no contradiction in MK and the Green Party for England and Wales being partners within the EFA / European Green alliance.

In four Cornish constituencies the Greens and MK will be running against each other, a shame, but I suppose that's democracy. In Newquay / St.Austell and North Cornwall however there will be no Green candidates. Is it too much to expect the Greens to support the MK candidates in these two seats?

This from their website:

Sorry, we do not have candidates in these areas. We recommend that you do vote, but we will not explcitly endorse a candidate from any other party.

The fifth of our ten core values states: "A healthy society is based on voluntary co-operation between empowered individuals in a democratic society, free from discrimination whether based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social origin or any other prejudice." so no green minded person would ever vote for a party of racist bigots who may be standing here.

We would also recommend that you do not vote for either Lib Dem or Tory (or Labour, although they are pretty irrelevant in Cornwall) candidates as we regard them as indistinguishable and fatally weak on economic and environmental matters. We would also not vote for UKIP as their little England attitude has no place in the modern world.

Having excluded those, look at any remaining candidates on their own merits. There is at least one other party (MK) who may have good candidates in these two areas, and there may be independents - look closely at them. If you still feel that there is no one you can vote for then, we recommend you write in Green on the ballot paper - and join us !

There we go. Better than nothing I suppose. Would MK have done as much if the situation was reversed?

Again, after witnessing the success of the electoral platform, Europe Ecologie, in the recent French regional elections -now the third force in French politics- you have to ask; couldn't we do a better job of cooperation? Europe Ecologie has regrouped the French Greens with democratic nationalists and regionalists as well as various other personalities to great electoral success.

26.3.10

Regional Election Results.

A quick round-up of the regional electoral results.

Via their electoral alliance, Europe Ecologie Bretagne (EEB), the UDB has won 4 seats on the council of the French administrative region of Brittany. The French Socialist Party (FSP) refused to fuse with EEB to fight the second round of the election -the result being the UDB will not be represented in government- but 4 councillors is still an achievement.

In all other French administrative regions the FSP fused with Europe Ecologie and other leftist parties to great electoral success.

The Socialist Party of Brittany -Brezhistance- lent its support to EEB for both rounds of the election, but they have obtained no councillors.

We will make you Brittany (WWMYB), the electoral platform including the Parti Breton, was knocked out in the first round of the elections with a score of 4.29%. Although low this is still a net progress on previous elections. Regrettably WWMYB was unable (or unwilling) to give clear advice as to who to vote for in the second round of elections with Christian Troadec finally, and after a change of heart, suggesting that he would vote for EEB.

Two federalist parties, L'Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne and Parti Federaliste de Bretagne, seemed to confirm their status as political nonentities by advising abstention from the elections.

The Breton far-right also abstained from the election.

The new government of Brittany will be formed of French Socialists with their Green and Communist allies. The Breton department of Loire-Atlantic, currently attached to the region Pay-de-le-Loire, also finds itself governed by Socialists, Communists and Greens. No Breton nationalists or autonomists were elected in Loire-Atlantic.

Regional Election Results.

A quick round-up of the regional electoral results.

Via their electoral alliance, Europe Ecologie Bretagne (EEB), the UDB has won 4 seats on the council of the French administrative region of Brittany. The French Socialist Party (FSP) refused to fuse with EEB to fight the second round of the election -the result being the UDB will not be represented in government- but 4 councillors is still an achievement.

In all other French administrative regions the FSP fused with Europe Ecologie and other leftist parties to great electoral success.

The Socialist Party of Brittany -Brezhistance- lent its support to EEB for both rounds of the election, but they have obtained no councillors.

We will make you Brittany (WWMYB), the electoral platform including the Parti Breton, was knocked out in the first round of the elections with a score of 4.29%. Although low this is still a net progress on previous elections. Regrettably WWMYB was unable (or unwilling) to give clear advice as to who to vote for in the second round of elections with Christian Troadec finally, and after a change of heart, suggesting that he would vote for EEB.

Two federalist parties, L'Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne and Parti Federaliste de Bretagne, seemed to confirm their status as political nonentities by advising abstention from the elections.

The Breton far-right also abstained from the election.

The new government of Brittany will be formed of French Socialists with their Green and Communist allies. The Breton department of Loire-Atlantic, currently attached to the region Pay-de-le-Loire, also finds itself governed by Socialists, Communists and Greens. No Breton nationalists or autonomists were elected in Loire-Atlantic.

24.3.10

Graham Smith's Cornwall

An interesting blog development from the BBC with the creation of Graham Smith's Cornwall.

We'll have to wait and see if the BBC use this as yet another opportunity to ram the word 'county' down Cornish throats contrary, of course, to the advice of the Royal Kilbrandon report into the UK's constitution which had this to say:

Just as the people of Scotland and Wales tend to resent the description of their countries as regions of the United Kingdom, so the people of Cornwall regard their part of the United Kingdom as not just another English county. The creation of the Duchy of Cornwall in the 14th century may have been in some respects a mark of English overlordship, but it established a special and enduring relationship between Cornwall and the Crown. Use of the designation on all appropriate occasions would serve to recognise both this special relationship and the territorial integrity of Cornwall, on which our witnesses laid great stress.

Even if it does turn out to be just as British sate-nationalist as the rest of the Beeb, the new blog still adds to the growing Cornish political blogosphere. Comments are open so it's up to the pro-Cornish to leave their thoughts.

As an aside. Two more accounts worth following on Twitter are: @madderdoee & @CoSERG

23.3.10

Report identifies United Kingdom human rights shortcomings

The annual « Country Report » on the United Kingdom from the US State Department Bureau Democracy Human Rights and Labor identifies a number of deficiencies by the British government in relation to Human Rights issues.

In its preamble the Bureau says:

« There were some reports of police misconduct and occasional abuse of detainees and other persons by police and military personnel and employees of government contractors. There were also reports of overcrowded prisons and some inadequate prison infrastructure. Societal problems included discrimination against religious minorities; mistreatment of women, children, ethnic minorities, gay persons, and persons with disabilities; and trafficking of persons. »

It goes on to outline in detail a wide range of shortcomings including the murder of Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died in 2003 after suffering 93 injuries during a two-day detention by UK troops in Iraq. It also refers to the continuation of proceedings in relation to three high profile killings in Northern Ireland in respect of which the report says:

« Three cases involving allegations of government involvement, collusion, or culpability in killings during the conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s. »

The report is quite comprehensive and also outlines discrimination against members of the Travelling community (an area highlighted during the past several years by the Celtic League). The report says:

« The law authorizes police to order Travellers' caravans to move on from any rest area or other roadside location. Before the enactment of this provision in 2003, such locations were among the Travellers' primary stopping places. Travellers' organizations also reported that local governments across the country sought to evict them from so-called »illegal encampments.« In a high profile case that has continued for a number of years Travellers fought an eviction order by the town council of Basildon, in Essex, seeking to remove them from the Dale Farm Traveller Settlement. The court initially ruled that the council could not remove the Travellers but during the year another court reversed this ruling. At the end of the reporting period, the Basildon Council had awarded a contract to a company to carry out the eviction, but the eviction had not taken place ».

This section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities also highlights the discrimination and violence experienced by members of the Roma community from Eastern Europe who were forced to flee their homes in Belfast during the year.

The full United Kingdom `Country Report' can be found here.

Copied over from ABP Press.

The Cornish Democrats are not the Cornish Democrat!

Okay! Is that clear? Cornish Zetetics: New Cornish party: old British politics.

Perhaps a name change for the blog is now needed. Something in Cornish maybe.

Anyway, a distinctly Cornish party that forces Cornishness into the dialogue on the right of the political spectrum, is that such a bad thing? A right-wing vote split between BNP, UKIP, Tory and now the Cornish Democrats, but with the difference of Cornishness gaining in importance.

It should be noted that the right has already started to co-opt the language of Cornish nationalism and some of its themes. From the BNP's recognition of a 'Celtic Cornish folk community', via UKIP's support for Cornwall's 'Gaelic' language, to the Tories various efforts noted on this blog.

Can this be seen as a success, of a limited scope, for the Cornish movement?

Someone who votes for the Cornish Democrats, would they have ever voted for the left and green Mebyon Kernow anyway?

21.3.10

Hang 'em!

From OurKingdom: Hang 'em - in this week's New Statesman

How should we vote? By 'we' I mean all of us who are democrats: women and men who treasure liberty, regard our fellow citizens as our moral and political equals, want honest government, honourable leaders and an economic policy not motivated primarily by the urge to make Britain fit for global finance.

So starts Anthony Barnett's interesting article, suggestion, for the forthcoming election. From what I can glean from the OK article, not having read the New Statesman, the suggestion seems to be a coalition, or at least large cooperation, between SNP, Plaid ( Mebyon Kernow to I hope), Greens, Lib Dems and any disaffected Tory and Labour members.

How would it work and would MK be able to carve out a position in such an alliance? Thoughts welcome.

44 = BZH

The 'Fresque Humaine' was a great success as can be seen from the aerial photo.

2000 citizens turned out to take part and to spell out, with their rain soaked bodies, that department 44, Loire-Atlantic, is part of Brittany.

To give Cornish readers some idea of the situation. Imagine if part of North Cornwall had been hived off administratively and attached to Devonshire (Plymouth). Could we muster as much support to protect Kernow's territorial integrity?

Apart from a minor incident between anti-fascist Breton militants and a handful of neo-nazis from Adsav and Young Brittany, they day was peaceful and productive.

44 = BZH

The 'Fresque Humaine' was a great success as can be seen from the aerial photo.

2000 citizens turned out to take part and to spell out, with their rain soaked bodies, that department 44, Loire-Atlantic, is part of Brittany.

To give Cornish readers some idea of the situation. Imagine if part of North Cornwall had been hived off administratively and attached to Devonshire (Plymouth). Could we muster as much support to protect Kernow's territorial integrity?

Apart from a minor incident between anti-fascist Breton militants and a handful of neo-nazis from Adsav and Young Brittany, they day was peaceful and productive.

20.3.10

The Political Circus Comes to Town

First we were treated to the sad spectacle of UKIP clumsily courting the Celtic vote. Now the Tories are ratcheting up their campaign in the Duchy by, once again, playing to Cornish particularist, not to say nationalist, sentiments.

Tories Pledge Minister for Cornwall.

The Conservative party wants our votes but even the quickest of looks at their origins will soon disabuse you of any idea that they actually care about our nation.

The conservatives are old school English nationalists. Britain rules the waves, England rules Britain and the lot is run from London by an elite who just know what's what and how things should be.

My prediction? The proposed Minister will soon be wheeled off stage and Devonwall wheeled back on if they are elected.

The Lib Dems correctly condem this move by the Tories as simple "window dressing", and who better to know than the masters of ineffectual Cornish flag waving? Remember who promised to campaign for a Cornish Assembly and then lumped us with a centralised dead end Unitary Authority that has taken democracy further away from the people and primed Cornwall to be a simple subdivision of some South West government zone.

London based political parties chasing the massive English vote can never -their very nature prevents- put our Cornish communities first. Only a party for Cornwall can do this. The existence, and success, of the SNP and Plaid Cymru is the only reason their respective nations obtained devolution and, today, greater prosperity.

Vote Mebyon Kernow


Help Mebyon Kernow


Join Mebyon Kernow

Equally MK can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Give Cornwall, and all her residents, the political voice they deserve!

P.S. More Tory Celtic courting here. Watch this and you'll see the depth of understanding the Conservatives have for the Celtic nations.

13.3.10

Cornish Zetetics on UKIP

The imbecilic and the incoherent: Radio Yokel meets UKIP

In the real world, the problems caused by unsustainable housing and population growth in Cornwall are clearly little to do with immigration into the UK. But UKIP seem unable to make this distinction. Harry Blakely (65), candidate for Truro and Falmouth and whistleblower of the imminent imposition of Sharia Law in Hayle, is quoted in the UKIP Cornwall News of February as saying that we are ‘overdeveloping our green fields to accommodate EU immigration policy’.

A great exposé of the dark heart of UKIP can be found on Cornish Zetetics blog linked to above. Bravo to the author and please do contact One Kernow if you produce similar material in the future.

Cornish Domestic Extremists?

This from a Scottish friend, Ray Bell, author of: The Case for Cornwall.

I woke up to this story on the BBC radio news the other day, and couldn't quite believe my ears.

Why would they do this in Kernow which has a negligible Muslim population, and which probably is about as "radical" as a sponge pudding? Is there something else going on here, or is the Muslim thing a smokescreen for trying to weed out the next generation of Cornish nationalists before there's any trouble? And what exactly would they consider "radical"? An child who doesn't consider Cornwall to be English? Or who wants a Cornish Assembly? Or who speaks Cornish?

The BBC article here.

Civil rights fears over Cornwall schools terror watch

Civil rights group Liberty has questioned the value of an anti-terrorism plan in Cornwall schools.

The county council is holding a £3,500 conference to train secondary schools teachers how to spot children who might grow up to become suicide bombers.

It follows a presentation from police to the council's Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.

The council's religious education advisor said curbing violent extremism should be "core to education".

If there's any suggestion they are sharing personal information on pupils it is a pretty terrifying state of affairs
Corinne Ferguson, Liberty

Liberty said the initiative, part of the Home Office's anti-terrorism strategy, could foster paranoia.

Spokeswoman Corinne Ferguson told BBC News: "Teachers can be really good role model for children.

"But the idea of teachers being constantly suspicious of pupils rather than trying to engage in a positive way is quite scary.

"If there's any suggestion they are sharing personal information on pupils it is a pretty terrifying state of affairs.

"I think we should be working on more positive things with young people rather than treating them as suspects."

The conference will be held on a date to be agreed in the summer.

Cornwall's religious education advisor, David Hampshire, said: "Just because we are in Cornwall and it feels we are far away from everywhere this agenda is still important to us in preventing violent extremism and should be core to education.

"Religious education has a particular role to play in getting people to question very extremist narratives."

Far be it from me to say that Labours illegal war in Iraq was an act of extremism. Perhaps if Blair and his then cohorts had had this kind of treatment at school......

7.3.10

European Democracy: a model for the UK?

An interesting article here from OurKingdom: The European Commission is more democratic than the British cabinet.

It compares the unrepresentative UK parliament, that is so easily bullied into submission by the executive, to the far more proportional EU Parliament and its muscled performance.

Common is the cry from eurosceptics that the EU is undemocratic. It's not perfect, that's for sure. A grass roots campaign by all EU citizens to take back Europe and its construction is long overdue, but have some decency when questioning democratic credentials.

Added to the OK article, as is usual, were the following anti-EU comments from an English nationalist this time (but it can equally be Tory, UKIP or BNP that provides the service):

The whole European project is profoundly anti-democratic foisted on the people by a political elite out of touch with those they are supposed to represent.

A quick reality check needed for some I see.

The UK has:

An unelected second chamber, an unelected head of state, an unelected Prime Minister, a feudal constitution that includes UFOs like the Duchy of Cornwall, a totally unproportional electoral system, a very centralised government, unelected quangos a go go, no written constitution or bill of rights, no guarantee of equality before the law...what else...I could go on.

The EU has:

A Parliament elected by us, a European Council made of presidents or PM's elected by us (except the UK PM that is), a Council of Ministers made of ministers from each member state and so elected by us, a Commission which is nominated by the Council of Ministers (elected by us) and confirmed by the Parliament (elected by us), constitutionally recognised fundamental human rights and a principal of subsidiarity...what else...I could continue.

My use of 'us' above, of course, refers to we the citizens of Europe, and I think therein lies the problem for many europhobes. They simply don't like sharing a democracy with Johnny Foreigner. Imposing the Anglo-British system on the Cornish, Welsh, Scottish and Irish, that's fine, but really sharing democracy as equals! What a terrible idea!

Anyway, the EU is far from perfect, I totally agree, but for goodness sake get your priorities right!

4.3.10

The danger of majority tyranny

An article here from the OpenDemocracy website -The danger of majority tyranny- that revisits the highly regrettable vote in Switzerland to ban the construction of minarets on mosques.

The question posed by this referendum has to be: What are the limits of popular sovereignty?

One commentator responds: "Popular sovereignty is limited by legal frameworks. The power of popular opinion must not extend beyond the principles of the human rights system, a key human achievement, widely adopted by most countries".

Whilst in agreement with the need for a human rights framework, essentials such as legal equality, it must be noted that Swiss democracy does a far better job of protecting its own national minorities and language groups than the UK or France.

The Cornish Democrat added the following remarks to the debate:

Can we not see the same phenomena in most European nation states working againt national minorities, their lesser used languages and cultures?


If Welsh and Breton were banned from use in state schools its not because the Welsh and Breton people chose it thus.


If the 'regional' languages of France are still subject to underfunding and much hostility from the jacobin French state its not because the users of these languages have voted for this.


Rather it is the uncareing and ill educated national majority groups who will simply not vote on issues of importance to national minorities.

Minorities, both new and old, need legal frameworks that 1) recognise their existence and 2) ensure their fair treatment within the larger state.

Cornwall granted observer status on British Irish Council

The League's Director of Information (DOI) was interviewed on Manx Radio this week ahead of a British – Irish Parliamentary Association conference due to take place on the island later this year.

Bernard Moffatt was interviewed on the programme to find out what the position of the League is in relation to closer cooperation between the different Irish and British parliamentary jurisdictions and whether he thought there were any benefits.

In the interview Mr Moffatt said that following devolution across the UK, "these sorts of institutions are more important" than they were in the past and that they had probably helped the island's government to see the wider picture on particular issues than they might have done previously. However, Mr Moffatt explained that from a Celtic League perspective "we would prefer an institution that brings together the Celtic countries", but the British – Irish Parliamentary Association - and similar organisations - go a considerable way towards that. Even though Mr Moffatt pointed out that the League is not particularly a fan of promoting ties with the `wider dimension' in such institutions, he admitted that "it is probably unrealistic to see any structure that artificially leaves out other elements of the British Isles."

Mr Moffatt pointed out that links should be strengthened between parliamentarians in "adjacent jurisdictions" rather than in working with organisations like the Commonwealth. He added that:

"... as long as there is a strict monitoring of the interchanges of this type of assembly and it doesn't become just a talking shop and an excuse for a holiday, then I think they should be promoted and there should be more Manx involvement in it. After all the Isle of Man is uniquely placed, it is right at the heart of the British Isles and we are uniquely placed geographically to be a centre."

The British Irish Parliamentary Association (BIPA) that is due to meet in the Isle of Man is different from the better known British - Irish Council. The BIPA was established in 1990 to specifically bring together members of the Irish and UK Parliaments and the British Irish Council was established in 1998 as a result of the Good Friday Agreement.

The British Irish Council met together last month in Edinburgh and for the first time Cornwall was represented on the Council as an observer member. It was suggested that Cornwall became an observer member of the Council last year by the (Plaid Cymru) Welsh representative on the British Irish Council. Brittany is now the only Celtic country that does not have a presence on the British Irish Council.

At their 2009 Annual General Assembly (AGM) in Cornwall/Kernow the Celtic League discussed a draft paper, written by the League's General Secretary, entitled `A Celtic Council'. The paper set out various possible models of cooperation that could be followed in order to establish more formal links between the Celtic counties. The issue will be further discussed at the League's 2010 AGM in the Isle of Man later this year.

Link:

British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA)

British-Irish Council

Manx Radio Broadcast

Issued by the Director of Information
Celtic League

04/03/10

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

Celtic League website
Celtic League News Letter

English Parliament online

I'm not the biggest fan of the current majority of English nationalists as you are probably well aware.

With some honourable exceptions they generally seem to have sprung from the same cesspit that has blessed the world with the likes of the BNP, UKIP and the Tory hard right. The only difference being that, following devolution to Scotland, Wales and the Six Counties, Eng Nats have lost their faith in the Anglo-UK dream of an English dominated Britain. Before devolution, of course, they were all quite happy to see Britain confused with England as, in fact, Britain was England, simply with some Celtic bits strapped on. However the moment this historic injustice started to be righted via devolution rattles got thrown out of prams.

That being said the question of English home-rule is a legitimate one to pose. Devolution is not finished and what happens now to England will ultimately impact on Cornwall.

For that reason I recommend people to take a look at the website: English Parliament online.

The level of debate is good even if it is still flooded with the usual goggle eyed Eng nat nuts who see EU conspiracies behind every tree. The only thing missing, of course, is some good solid Cornish input.

Below is one of the sites most recent news letters.

John Denham's Speech on English identity / Englishness

The Smith Institute has published John Denham's speech "
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!': Celebrating England and Englishness".

The Smith Institute website has no facility for comments, so we have reproduced it
here enabling you to respond.

Also of interest will be the IPPR's new report "
Is an English backlash emerging? Reactions to devolution ten years on"

2.3.10

Cornish nationalism a sane kind of nationalism.





At the end of this excellent Nosemonkey article -The libertarian case for European integration- treating the connection between Libertarians and Eurosceptic nationalists, can be found the following:

It genuinely baffles me. Can any libertarian provide me with a libertarian case for this apparent nationalism? Because the way I see it, nationalism and libertarianism are mutually exclusive – one being a collective idea focussed around the concept of a geographically and legally-restrictive state, the other focussed around the ideas of individualism and freedom.

I know what is being said when the word 'nationalism' is used. I'm fully aware of the reactionary and majority ethnic group state-nationalists -BNP, UKIP etc- being described. Being cut very much from the same cloth we probably need to add most English nationalist activists to this group as well. By and large they are from the English hard right, but having lost their faith in an Anglo-Britain post devolution, they have snatched back their toys and stormed off to campaign for an English parliament.

Surely nobody can be thinking that the progressive civic nationalism of Mebyon Kernow has anything to do with the above? Read their policies and see for yourselves if you have any doubt.

Anyway I left the following message to test the water and see what the response would be:

Don’t know what to make of that. As a Cornish nationalist I wish to see power devolved to a Cornish layer of government as well as full recognition of Cornwall’s national identity, but equally I’m an ardent supporter of federalism on a European and, yes, global scale.

I also have nothing against freedom and individualism. Quite the contrary.


To which I received this reassuring response from MatGB:

Philip–yours is a sane kind of nationalism, a type that probably needs to find a different word to differentiate itself from the “stop the world” kind that wants to look to one, and only one, nation–scratch the surface of UKIP and, while some members are sane, rational internationalists, others are frothing lunatics who are convinced of various things, including the primacy of the UK, and the absolute need to, for example, to support the Orange ascendency in Northern Ireland (in order to maintain the UK).

UKIP has a libertarian wing (that DK used to be part of), but it also has rapid xenophobes who will both refuse to recognise Cornish nationhood but refuse to accept more than one tier of Govt, which has to be Westminster.


Cornish nationalism a sane kind of nationalism. I like that.

1.3.10

UKIP - You Couldn't Make It Up!

Why do people vote UKIP?


Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool)
March 1, 2010


Not quite Gaelic;
yourLETTERS


HERE'S a sobering nugget for St David''s Day. Reading UKIP''s policy document Restoring Britishness, published on February 12, I came across this sentence in the section on Educational, Art and Music Measures, concerning what schools would be required to teach under a UKIP government: All cultures, languages and traditions from around the British Isles, such as Gaelic, would be celebrated.


' No mention of Welsh culture and traditions?'' I thought.


I read on, and came to: UKIP believes Britishness is inclusive and should celebrate all cultures, languages and traditions emanating from the British Isles. UKIP does not regard Gaelic or expressions of Home Nation identities as being in conflict with Britishness.


' Still no mention of Welsh?'' I thought.


Next: UK citizens can be proud Scotsmen, Welshmen and Ulstermen as well as proud Britons. At last, an honourable mention for the Welsh, after several disparaging references to Welsh nationalism and the Assembly.


Then I came to the next sentence: UKIP will enthusiastically support teaching of the various Gaelic languages and histories within the UK, in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.


Suddenly, the penny dropped. I realised that UKIP's policy-makers are so clueless about anything that doesn''t relate to England that they think Welsh is a Gaelic language.


You couldn''t make it up.


Wyn Hobson, Tal-y-bont, Gwynedd

Don't embarrass Cornwall by voting for them anymore!

Cornish Social Media

The continuing Cornish internet invasion has seen some more developments.

A new Cornish blog aggregator -Blog Kernow- has been created as a one stop site for access to the Cornish blogosphere. Simple and clear, it's a must for all interested in Cornish blogging. Ideally a similar site for pro-Cornish bloggers only would be useful in the campaign for greater home-rule and national recognition.

Twitter has seen an increase in pro-Cornish activity too. Apart from yours truly, @TheCornishDem, others worth a follow include: @MebyonKernow, @Tredhek, @KernowLeague, @BlogKernow, @MKcam_red@simonreedkw and @KernowAction

Whilst on Facebook can be found: Celebrate Kernow, Cornwall Respect, Mebyon Kernow, Radyo an Gernewegva - Cornish Language Radio, Movyans Skolyow Meythrin (Nursery Schools Movement) CIC, Kernow-X, CoBER and the Kernow Branch Celtic League, just to mention a few!

The question has to be asked why aren't our MK PPC's, the Stannary, CoSERG and other pro-Cornish activists not making more of social media such as Facebook and Twitter when it's so simple and quick to do?