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30.1.11

A message from the central scrutiniser

Many faithfully UKanian consumers will not have failed to notice a certain disquiet in some less fortunate countries around the globe. Greece, Tunisia, Egypt- where next? Rest assured! Order will be restored shortly and consumption resumed.

Even within the shores of sacred island England some less enlightened UKanians may have been heard incoherently and negatively mumbling about bankers, city traders and other such noble professionals.

These unfortunate few are sick!

They are, of course, being manipulated by the insidious Trade Unions. The self same Trade Unions that have endangered our economies in the past by insisting on such frivolities as more money and paid holidays. As if working in itself was not enough for some! Do not be fooled! If there has been a mild down turn in our economies -leading to some limited career reconversion's it's true- then it is clearly the fault of the Trade Unions and other deluded rabble rouser rather than the sacred city and it's holy financial industry.

Unions do not make you strong! They make you sick!

Neo-liberationalism has brought health and happiness to some lucky people. If you have not yet benefited then -Keep Calm- your number is queued.

Mobilising the Earth's resources for the aforementioned lucky people, whenever economically viable, neo-liberationalism has also preserved some nice green areas where consumers can walk.

Neo-liberationalism is ironing out those uncomfortable cultural differences that exist between people. Soon -in all corners of the UK- UKanian consumers will no longer need question their identity or have to adapt their behaviour to respect the identity of others. Your identity is a subject far to complex for you to deal with alone. For this reason such questions have been decided by experts and the process of UKanianisation is now well under way. For those in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and Wales with identity doubts -Keep Calm- and continue to devote your precisely valued time to UKanian BBC (now with a greater range of similarity than ever before). This should help sooth away any such identity pains.

A message brought to you by the LibLabCon establishment. Comfortably snoozing in the pocket of some banker somewhere.

The Bretons are coming, the Bretons are coming … - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

The Bretons are coming, the Bretons are coming … - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

The Bretons are coming, the Bretons are coming … - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

The Bretons are coming, the Bretons are coming … - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

29.1.11

The Hope of Place

The Hope of Place / Selected Poems 1990-2010 by Alan M Kent - Morning Star

Ban Ki-moon: World's economic model is 'environmental suicide' | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Ban Ki-moon: World's economic model is 'environmental suicide' | Environment | guardian.co.uk

27.1.11

The greatest illusion

Some months back now, on Our Scotland, I suffered a rather glib remark from a Scottish nationalist during a debate about the possibility of closer cooperation between the different EFA members in the UK.

He described Cornwall as the 'slowest boat in the convoy' with reference to the struggles of the different nations in the UK for greater autonomy. To be easily picked off by unionist U-boats perhaps? His point was that the movement for self-determination in Kernow was the least developed of all the Celtic nations and had made the least advances. He went on to add that it would not be in the interests of the Scottish movement to tie it's self, in alliance, to a weaker movement. No point in holding back to help the slowest boat when one could steam ahead out of danger. I suppose I should be grateful that Kernow was considered 'a boat in the convoy' at all. I'm guessing, in his eyes, the various grass-roots English regionalist hadn't even slipped anchor.

Swallowing some Cornish pride, it's not hard to conclude with the gentleman from the largest Celtic nation that the Cornish movement has not yet obtained the same momentum or achieved the same results as that of the much bigger Scotland. Indeed it seems that rather than fighting for devolution we are having to fight for our very existence as a politico-territorial unit. The first colonised, perhaps we are going to be the last to break with England.

However what if our little Cornish boat had an alternative engine -old, rusty but very powerful- locked away under the deck and forgotten about by almost all?

The greatest illusion the Devil every performed was to convince the world he didn't exist.

To any interested parties it should be clear now that all UK governments, and the authority for the Duchy of Cornwall, have wilfully deceived the public about the constitutional status of Cornwall. Perhaps the latest research from PhD student and solicitor, John Kirkhope, will help dispel any remaining doubts (opens pdf):  “A Mysterious, Arcane and Unique Corner of our Constitution”: The Laws Relating to the Duchy of Cornwall. More from Kirkhope is in the pipeline. Equally we have -The riddle of the Duchy of Cornwall and planning law- which appeared in the Cornish press recently.

With smug self-confidence, the Duchy authority and UK government repeat, parrot fashion, that the Duchy 'is a private estate' and that it 'consists of around 54,090 hectares of land in 23 counties, mostly in the South West of England' (i.e that is is not and never has been coterminous with the territory of Cornwall), comfortable in the knowledge that such state lies are a centuries old tradition.

With the growth in Cornish national consciousness and the birth of a Cornish self-government movement perhaps it's not so surprising that the establishment wants to keep this under wraps. After all could it be that our constitution allows for a position similar to that of a crown dependency? Administratively run as an English county, Cornwall appears to have de jure a constitutional position that, if enforced, would see us more akin to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. From a certain legal perspective, does slow little Cornwall have a greater degree of autonomy from the Crown than Scotland!

Perhaps this hidden constitutional engine is far too securely locked away from the people of Cornwall for them to ever gain access. The legal efforts required to bust the lock would be hugely expensive. Imagine, however, for one second, the constitutional can of worms it would open for the if Cornwalls de jure legal status were to be translated into administrative de facto reality. Cornwall transforming into a crown dependency over night would send shock waves through the rest of the UK creating an un-hoped for and unmissable opportunity for all democratic reformers to tackle the UK's outdated constitution head on.

25.1.11

Cornwall Film Festival 2010 Documentary


Cornwall Film Festival 2010 Documentary from James Forster on Vimeo.

Kernow is good for business


Recently an English nationalist told me that he would be sad if Cornwall separated from England (Please note! England not UK!) as he had always considered it part of his country [England] and that he had spent many happy childhood holidays there.

For the first point we had to agree to disagree but for the second, at the time, I simply accepted his view and conceded his potential regret if Cornwall left England. It's only later I asked my self, 'why would it change the way he viewed his childhood vacations in Kernow?' More generally, would it dissuade English tourists from visiting the Duchy? Does Wales being separate from England stop English people going there and having a fine time? Why should Cornwall be any different?

If Cornwall were rightfully recognised as one of the home-nations, in line with its culture and constitution, would it dramatically reduce the number of tourists it gets? I think not. In fact, quite the opposite could be true.

Cornwall already has a reputation far larger than any English county. Most of the major, and many of the minor, European languages have specific words for Cornwall and the Cornish. Europe's cultures recognises the South West peninsula of Britain as the 'Cornish peninsula'. The Arthurian legends, including the tragedy of Tristan and Isolde popularised by Wagner, are world famous. The transnational nature of the Cornish identity -the diaspora in Australia, America, South Africa, Mexico- also ensures that Cornwall is simply bursting out of the English county box. Giving it greater recognition would simply increase its international profile and, not only attract more tourists, but help sell Cornish produce too.

Anyway, the event advertised above and organised by the very promising Bewnans Kernow is the place to learn more about how the Cornish identity could help Cornish business. One not to miss!

24.1.11

Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn?

On Newsnet Scotland: Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn?

22.1.11

Addicted to Risk

Propper Job!


Propper Job! The Cornish Republican opposes all discrimination based on sex or sexuality.

Big Design Challenge Cornwall - solving the issues that affect communities in Cornwall


The Big Design Challenge is a practical way to address Cornwall's issues through community action, inspiring local people to come forward with challenges and design solutions that have potential to improve peoples lives.

We want to find out what issues matter most to people and we have developed this website as a place for sharing ideas and connecting people.

Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance | Fighting The Cuts, Together, In Cornwall

Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance | Fighting The Cuts, Together, In Cornwall

French politics in the balance? - the Le Pen Effect | openDemocracy

French politics in the balance? - the Le Pen Effect | openDemocracy

Breton comments welcome!

French politics in the balance? - the Le Pen Effect | openDemocracy

French politics in the balance? - the Le Pen Effect | openDemocracy

Breton comments welcome!

20.1.11

A good future society

The Project for a Participatory Society U.K (PPS-UK) organises around the belief that much of the injustices that exist in our societies today can be eliminated or significantly reduced by replacing the current social structures with new ones that further more humane values such as self-management, solidarity, diversity, equality and justice. To guide our actions in improving peoples' lives today through reform work, building alternative institutions, education, etc. we need to have an idea of where we are going and what kind of institutional features a good future society should have based on thought and lessons from history. One value we believe in is self-management, which we think more clearly defines democracy as being that people should have a say in decisions in proportion to the degree they are affected. so for example, if an issue only affects Cornwall then only folk living in Cornwall should have a say. How this would be implemented requires more detail of the economic, political, kinship and cultural models that we organise around such as participatory economics: a model for a classless economy.

Thanks to PPS-UK for the above response. There is a PPS-Kernow if anybody wants to make contact. 

19.1.11

Nolwenn Leroy, Tri-Martolod (CE)



Oh go on! It's not my musical cup-of-tea but I'll include it here as the album is a huge success and uses the Breton language.



But give me some punk anyday!

Nolwenn Leroy, Tri-Martolod (CE)



Oh go on! It's not my musical cup-of-tea but I'll include it here as the album is a huge success and uses the Breton language.



But give me some punk anyday!

Justice for who?

Strange to see a Cornish flag at a rally organised by English nationalists! Justice For England March | Demotix.com I wonder if it was a Cornish nationalist out for a laugh.

To reform the UK state we need unity

In -The problem with the British state- Gerry Hassan once again berates Labour for their failure to understand the reality of a devolved UK. Labour wish only to pay lip service to the distinct political cultures growing in the devolved nations and completely ignore the English question:

"Britain is not and never has been a ‘unitary state’. That is to say, it is not one thing. It is a ‘union state’ meaning, while it is not federal, nor is it singular and it must not be assumed that it is. Everything about our politics – Westminster, parliamentary sovereignty – is different from this perspective."

I would question his conviction that the Welsh and Scottish Labour parties have any kind of independent life of theirown. They are both parts of the much larger establishment dinosaur that is the UK state-nationalist Labour party. No comparison is possible for example between the different parts of British Labour and the separate entities that are the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party for England and Wales. To one day have both autonomous Labour and Green parties for Kernow – we live in hope.

Labour seems set on overlooking multi-nation UK and continuing as if it existed in an homogenised unitary state, therefore Gerry Hassan's insistence on addressing the English question (and giving a real autonomous life to the UK's Labour parties?) is admirable. That he wants the dog-eared Labour game plan based on centralised-UK rejected in favour of a vision that accepts devolved-UK is clearly a step in the right direction. If only he'd take one little step further though.

Hassan does not look beyond the establishment’s rubber-stamped version of who the 'home-nations' are. He rightly criticises Labour’s refusal to play in a devolved UK only to duck fully addressing the national questions himself. If we need a new, plural and decentralised left – as Hassan argues and with which I agree – then how about a new, plural and decentralised view of who the peoples of these Atlantic isles are? Let’s ditch the establishment’s broken record altogether and sound out the public instead. The centre confirms the existence of four nations inside the UK plus the protectorates and dependencies outside. However if we ask the people about their national identity, and if we delve a little into constitution, a different picture is obtained. Cornwall rises into view and the lie that the Six Counties are a home nation is given.

Can we expect an empowering bottom-up approach from Labour that respects the identities of the UK's citizens? – a grassroots take on politics that completely turns Labour's current modus operandi on its head? Can we even expect Hassan's more conservative recommendations to be taken into serious consideration? I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking, fat chance! Labour is so hooked on the power of the Anglo-British centre that it will need an external force to change it.

Already sounded out on Bella Caledonia and Another Green World – what scope is there for unity and collaboration between greens, nationalists, democrats and regionalists to produce such a force?

The French Republic is quite different from the United Kingdom – a quite different electoral system for a start – but perhaps some ideas can cross the Channel.

To stand in the last European elections, les Verts, Régions et Peuples Solidaires (a federation of autonomists) and personalities from various other associations and parties came together to form a remarkable coalition called Europe Écologie. The project met with great success including an electoral score rivaling that of the Parti Socialiste (the principle party on the left) and 14 MEPs’, including one Corsican nationalist. In the 2010 French regional elections Europe Écologie received 12.19% of the national vote – 2,373,922 votes – in the first round. The coalition came third behind the two main French parties- PS and UMP. Next stop the French presidential in 2012.

Could such a coalition happen in the UK? Perhaps the electorate is more than ready for a progressive ecological and democratic alliance to change the game and offer something different to Lib-Lab-Con. Already in the European Parliament, the Greens and the European Free Alliance (progressive nationalists and autonomists) have a successful partnership. It’s been replicated at state level in France – Europe Écologie – why not in the UK?

So the question is: could the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Mebyon Kernow and the UK's various Green parties work together inside a UK Ecology? Who would represent Northern Ireland? Perhaps English regionalists and progressive English nationalists could be persuaded to join – campaigning together to ensure that the people of England get to decide the response to the English question. As with Europe Écologie, all other democrats, ecologists and progressives tired of no choice at election time would find a place.

In a way, the Greens have not been able to do it alone: do we need another force on the left exerting a reforming influence over Labour, wrenching them away from UK state-nationalism and obliging them to search for a new radicalism? Perhaps this is just woolly wishful thinking; so much would be demanded of the different partners in the coalition; but how else can the Lib-Lab-Con hegemony be seriously challenged? Campaigning under one flag for solidarity, ecology and a top-to-toe reform of our creaking democracy – surely the time has come for a broad and plural democratic green alliance.
On the same subject we have: Click on Wales » Blog Archive » Can England join in the devolution process? Much better article than mine.

18.1.11

Tax havens and the men who stole the world | openDemocracy

Let’s follow Shaxson through the rings of the British spider’s web: the inner ring of the Crown dependencies, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man; the overseas territories, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Gibraltar, all of which have close but ambiguous political relationships with the UK; and the outer ring, Hong Kong (which the Chinese now exploit as their own offshore jewel along with HSBC), Dubai, the Bahamas, etc which are politically independent of the UK but ‘deeply connected’ to the City of London. This network of offshore satellites catches international capital flowing to and from different jurisdictions across time zones and funnels the money and the business of handling it through the City – business possibly illegal in the UK, bur far enough away to be deniable. “Much (but not all) of the financial activity hosted in these places breaks laws and avoids regulation elsewhere,” says Shaxson.

The above is an extract from the interesting article -Tax havens and the men who stole the world | openDemocracy- which descibes the equally interesting book by -Treasure Island- by Nicholas Shaxon. If you want to read something that'll get your blood boiling then this'll fir the bill.

It's interesting to reflect that if things had taken a different direction then the Duchy of Cornwall (ie Cornwall) could also have become one of the "inner ring" of tax havens. The Duchies constitution is such that it exists outside the UK's tax jurisdiction. Today this constitutional peculiarity benefits only one man -the Duke- and not the residents of his Duchy. It seems that at some time in the past the UK government and the Duchy came to an agreement whereby the Duke would not exercise his sovereignty over the territory of Cornwall and Parliament would leave him in peace. Of course this happened behind closed doors and without consulting the Cornish but then such is the nature of British democracy.

17.1.11

Tunisia

The Cornish Republican salutes the people of Tunisia. Sweeping away the corrupt and incompetent- a people ready to fight is a people ready to be respected. Here's hoping the Berber minority come out in better position than before the revolution.

Indignons-nous!

I've copied the below over from the Breton Connection because it's important and, following recent debates on C24, I'm going to revisit the various Breton human rights associations to see if there are ideas we can use in Kernow.

The Celtic League has received reports that a French appeal court has agreed to the extradition of a French woman to Spain for her activity in a political party that is illegal in Spain, but not in France.

The decision to extradite the French woman has been condemned by La ligue Bretonne des Droits de l'Homme (Breton League of Human Rights). The organisation says that the decision by the Pau (France) court is made even worse, because the extradition order comes from a special court in Spain that has been previously criticised by the Pau court for ignoring accusations of torture and have even refused to grant prior extraditions. The woman, who the extradition order has been placed against, is a member of the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the French state. However the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the Spanish state, was banned in 2003 and its leader is still in jail.

The general secretary (GS) of the League has written to the French embassy in London to express his concern about the decision. The full text of the letter from the GS can be found below.

"Maurice Gourdault-Montagne
Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom

Dear Maurice Gourdault-Montagne

Appeal court decision, Pau

I am writing to you to express our concern at the decision by the French court of appeal in Pau, to agree to an extradition order made against a French woman recently.

From what we can gather, the extradition order was made on the basis that the French woman - who has not been named - was an active member of the Batasuna political party in the state of France. Unlike in Spain, in France as you know, the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is not prohibited. The French woman in question therefore had not broken any law and the extradition order should not, in our opinion, have been agreed to.

Moreover, we are aware that the same Pau Court of Appeal has previously refused to grant prior extradition orders from the Spanish Special court, because the same courts were thought to have ignored accusations of the torture of previous defendants.

I feel that if the circumstances surrounding this case are accurate then a severe miscarriage of justice has taken place and would think that a revision is necessary.

I would like you to pass on my concerns to the appropriate authority.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League"

16/01/11

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.

Indignons-nous!

The Celtic League has received reports that a French appeal court has agreed to the extradition of a French woman to Spain for her activity in a political party that is illegal in Spain, but not in France.

The decision to extradite the French woman has been condemned by La ligue Bretonne des Droits de l'Homme (Breton League of Human Rights). The organisation says that the decision by the Pau (France) court is made even worse, because the extradition order comes from a special court in Spain that has been previously criticised by the Pau court for ignoring accusations of torture and have even refused to grant prior extraditions. The woman, who the extradition order has been placed against, is a member of the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the French state. However the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the Spanish state, was banned in 2003 and its leader is still in jail.

The general secretary (GS) of the League has written to the French embassy in London to express his concern about the decision. The full text of the letter from the GS can be found below.

"Maurice Gourdault-Montagne
Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom

Dear Maurice Gourdault-Montagne

Appeal court decision, Pau

I am writing to you to express our concern at the decision by the French court of appeal in Pau, to agree to an extradition order made against a French woman recently.

From what we can gather, the extradition order was made on the basis that the French woman - who has not been named - was an active member of the Batasuna political party in the state of France. Unlike in Spain, in France as you know, the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is not prohibited. The French woman in question therefore had not broken any law and the extradition order should not, in our opinion, have been agreed to.

Moreover, we are aware that the same Pau Court of Appeal has previously refused to grant prior extradition orders from the Spanish Special court, because the same courts were thought to have ignored accusations of the torture of previous defendants.

I feel that if the circumstances surrounding this case are accurate then a severe miscarriage of justice has taken place and would think that a revision is necessary.

I would like you to pass on my concerns to the appropriate authority.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League"

16/01/11

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.

Celtic League News Group.

Indignons-nous!

The Celtic League has received reports that a French appeal court has agreed to the extradition of a French woman to Spain for her activity in a political party that is illegal in Spain, but not in France.

The decision to extradite the French woman has been condemned by La ligue Bretonne des Droits de l'Homme (Breton League of Human Rights). The organisation says that the decision by the Pau (France) court is made even worse, because the extradition order comes from a special court in Spain that has been previously criticised by the Pau court for ignoring accusations of torture and have even refused to grant prior extraditions. The woman, who the extradition order has been placed against, is a member of the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the French state. However the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the Spanish state, was banned in 2003 and its leader is still in jail.

The general secretary (GS) of the League has written to the French embassy in London to express his concern about the decision. The full text of the letter from the GS can be found below.

"Maurice Gourdault-Montagne
Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom

Dear Maurice Gourdault-Montagne

Appeal court decision, Pau

I am writing to you to express our concern at the decision by the French court of appeal in Pau, to agree to an extradition order made against a French woman recently.

From what we can gather, the extradition order was made on the basis that the French woman - who has not been named - was an active member of the Batasuna political party in the state of France. Unlike in Spain, in France as you know, the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is not prohibited. The French woman in question therefore had not broken any law and the extradition order should not, in our opinion, have been agreed to.

Moreover, we are aware that the same Pau Court of Appeal has previously refused to grant prior extradition orders from the Spanish Special court, because the same courts were thought to have ignored accusations of the torture of previous defendants.

I feel that if the circumstances surrounding this case are accurate then a severe miscarriage of justice has taken place and would think that a revision is necessary.

I would like you to pass on my concerns to the appropriate authority.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League"

16/01/11

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.

Celtic League News Group.

16.1.11

May 2011 - Equality South West

May 2011 - Equality South West: "ESW - 10th May - The Equality Act - The Eden Project, St Austell, Cornwall

This half day seminar, as part of a series of Equality Act events being run across the South West, will focus on the changes taking place since the first provisions of the Act came into force last October, and look at the new Single Public Equality Duty which will be introduced in April. Each event will start at 10,00am with coffee and registration, and close at 1.00pm with a networking lunch.

15.1.11

The riddle of the Duchy of Cornwall and planning law

Following my blog post on sovereignty the above article may be of interest: The riddle of the Duchy of Cornwall and planning law.

14.1.11

Cornwall's in the red!


Or - What has Europe ever done for Cornwall? 

If you ever wondered what other parts of Europe qualify for Convergence funding, along with our Cornish Duchy, then the map above will help. A few thoughts then:

Rather like the totalitarian socialism suffered by Eastern Europe and the fascism of Salazar and Franco, it seems the Anglo-British state, with its inherent London centric focus, hasn't been that great for Kernow. Before anything gets cut in Cornwall shouldn't we be sure that Kernow gets its fair share of funding in the first place? But hey, what the hell. Lets keep voting for LibLabCon. Change is scary after all.

Among many other specificities Cornwall has a very particular economic situation - its own advantages and disadvantages. This calls for devolved Cornish governance capable of tailoring specific responses to specific Cornish challenges. What we don't need are more dictates from England's centre that have clearly failed so miserably. Are we not capable of running our own affairs or are we just too lazy? And no, before anybody jumps down my throat! This is not a cry for separatism, blowing up the bridge or Cornwall for the Cornish. This is a call for the redistribution of power- for federalism.

With Cornwall being 'in the red' do we need our political voice diluted by having to share an MP with part of Devonshire? Keep Cornwall's governance whole to deal with Cornwall's particular problems.

Isn't it just slightly obscene that the Duchy of Cornwall is partially funded from the rights it has over the territory of Cornwall? One of the poorest regions in Europe(!) is saddled with funding one of the richest families in Europe who even have their own special super-citizen status. Liquidate the Duchy and ALL its assets then hand them, and the Cornish constitution, back to the residents of Cornwall for them dispose of democratically.

The size of the states: If they were countries | The Economist

The size of the states: If they were countries | The Economist

12.1.11

The Banker

10.1.11

Brezhoneg war CNN

Brezhoneg war CNN

West of the Tamar, down Camborne way « Splintered Sunrise

West of the Tamar, down Camborne way « Splintered Sunrise

9.1.11

I'm Having A St Pirans Day Celebration

I'm Having A St Pirans Day Celebration

Christmas is behind us so lets turn to our next opportunity to drink ourselves into oblivion and away from the ConDems. St Pirans day will be a time of celebration across Kernow and for lovers of Cornwall around the globe.

The Celtic League in Cornwall has continued its campaign of letter writing to all local councils with not little success. Equally a new initiative can now also be found associated with the Melting Pot Cafe in Redruth. They say: There is now a campaign to make St Piran's Day as widely known and as celebrated as other festivals and patron saint's days.


The campaign has begun by establishing St Piran's Day as a cross-Cornwall day of music and celebration by enabling and encouraging 500 pubs to take part; this will then cause a chain reaction across the South West and into the Cornish enclaves across the globe.


This project already boasts support from a wide range of Businesses, Charities and Organisations including: Cornwall Council, Feast, MAGA the cornish language partnership,Cumpas music project, Leap Media, Lovely Little Books, mycornwall Magazine and TV, the melting pot cafe, Celtic Branch League, Bewnance Kernow, Celtic Link and the list is growing..........


To register your interest in volunteering, your participation as a venue, your wish to contribute to our St Piran's Kit or even if you would like to donate any amount of money contact Ben Read: ben @ themeltingpotcafe.co.uk


All donations must be received by Christmas 2010 and St Piran's Kit contributions by 10th January 2011. Kits will be sent to participating venues in mid January; we must receive venue's requests to host a St Piran's Day party by then.


Make your pledge to participate by visiting www.facebook.com and search for our page called - I'm Having A St Pirans Day Celebration [link here].


Please use the statement above to help us generate interest in this project.


Email this information to everybody in Cornwall and across the globe and lets get St Pirans Day celebrated Proper.

Get involved and lets make the 5th of March for all who love Cornwall a day of drunken oblivion.

Another Green World

Another Green World: A Green Party pact for electoral power

I've been featured on the blog Another Green World. All comments are welcome. I'll add here a link to Ecosocialists Unite. An interesting opportunity to network with other like minds.

8.1.11

The Celtic League reviews 2010 for Brittany

The Celtic League has produced its review -full version here- of 2010 for the Celtic nations. The section relevant to Brittany is reproduced here.

Linguistically 2010 was an exciting time for the Celtic nations, especially during the second half of the year. In December 2010 alone, the Cornish and Manx languages were reclassified by UNESCO, the Welsh Assembly voted unanimously in favour of a new Welsh Language law creating a new system of placing duties on bodies to provide services in Welsh, the Irish government launched their ambitious 20 year strategy for the Irish language and the introduction of the `Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) in France, which will bring the French state in line with European legal norms, potentially having a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language.

Linked to the revival of Breton, protesters demanded that post offices in Brittany use the language in their working practice, with a much publicised sit-in at Landerne/Landerneau Post Office - a town that has been traditionally applauded for its use of the language in the public sphere. Police were brought in to break the peaceful protest up, but the message is clear – the Breton language needs much more support if it is to survive into the future. With estimates in 2010 showing that approximately 10 000 speakers are lost on an annual basis, something desperately need to be done.

Creating a political alliance with the Greens (Europe Ecologie Bretagne) in the French regional elections in March 2010 - which decided who was to be the Regional President for the Breton Regional Council - provided the Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB) with one more regional councilor taking their number up to 4 representatives (the same as MK in Cornwall). Parti Breton also stood in the regional elections in their own right, but didn't win a regional council seat. Another nationalist Breton political party, Mouvement Bretagne Progres, was formed in December 2010 by Christian Troadec, who was once closely allied with the UDB.

Before the March 2010 elections, people travelled from all over Breizh/Brittany to take part in a `Freque Humaine' to show Breton politicians that the issue of Breton reunification should be firmly on the political agenda. The organisations responsible for the organisation of the peaceful event were Bretagne Réunie and 44=BZH, but reunification hasn't featured much on the political scene in Brittany over the last 12 months with the exception of the arrest, verbal assault and prolonged detention of a Breton youth for spraying pro reunification graffiti in the town of Le Mans in Loire-Atlantique. There are no major elections or political developments planned in Brittany in 2011.

The Celtic League reviews 2010 for Brittany

The Celtic League has produced its review -full version here- of 2010 for the Celtic nations. The section relevant to Brittany is reproduced here.

Linguistically 2010 was an exciting time for the Celtic nations, especially during the second half of the year. In December 2010 alone, the Cornish and Manx languages were reclassified by UNESCO, the Welsh Assembly voted unanimously in favour of a new Welsh Language law creating a new system of placing duties on bodies to provide services in Welsh, the Irish government launched their ambitious 20 year strategy for the Irish language and the introduction of the `Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) in France, which will bring the French state in line with European legal norms, potentially having a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language.

Linked to the revival of Breton, protesters demanded that post offices in Brittany use the language in their working practice, with a much publicised sit-in at Landerne/Landerneau Post Office - a town that has been traditionally applauded for its use of the language in the public sphere. Police were brought in to break the peaceful protest up, but the message is clear – the Breton language needs much more support if it is to survive into the future. With estimates in 2010 showing that approximately 10 000 speakers are lost on an annual basis, something desperately need to be done.

Creating a political alliance with the Greens (Europe Ecologie Bretagne) in the French regional elections in March 2010 - which decided who was to be the Regional President for the Breton Regional Council - provided the Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB) with one more regional councilor taking their number up to 4 representatives (the same as MK in Cornwall). Parti Breton also stood in the regional elections in their own right, but didn't win a regional council seat. Another nationalist Breton political party, Mouvement Bretagne Progres, was formed in December 2010 by Christian Troadec, who was once closely allied with the UDB.

Before the March 2010 elections, people travelled from all over Breizh/Brittany to take part in a `Freque Humaine' to show Breton politicians that the issue of Breton reunification should be firmly on the political agenda. The organisations responsible for the organisation of the peaceful event were Bretagne Réunie and 44=BZH, but reunification hasn't featured much on the political scene in Brittany over the last 12 months with the exception of the arrest, verbal assault and prolonged detention of a Breton youth for spraying pro reunification graffiti in the town of Le Mans in Loire-Atlantique. There are no major elections or political developments planned in Brittany in 2011.

The Celtic League reviews 2010

With the start of a New Year it is useful to reflect on some of the more political developments that have taken place in the Celtic countries over the course of the last twelve months, but more importantly it is essential to look ahead so that we can be better prepared for what is to come.

It was disappointing to read in September 2010 that the Scottish Executive decided to withdraw their plan for a referendum on independence before the 2011 Scottish elections. The Referendum Bill 2010 is still a centerpiece of the governing Scottish National Party's legislative programme, but we will now have to wait for the results of the 2011 Scottish elections to see if it has any chance of being passed into law. Even though the Bill lacked support from the major opposition parties in the current Scottish Government, the 5th May 2011 Scottish elections could change all of that with the election of a strong Scottish National Party (SNP) government.

Scotland, including Cornwall and Wales, will nevertheless get other referendums this year, which is highly unusual for the UK. All three nations will vote on changing from the first-past-the-post to the alternative vote (AV) system on 5th May 2011. Like in Scotland, 5th May 2011 is also the date for elections in Wales. Scotland and Wales therefore will have a double vote on the same day, which is not ideal and was campaigned strongly against by nationalists. The AV Referendum is linked to the UK Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, which became law in November 2010. This new law will controversially reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 at the next (UK) general election and equalise the number of constituents in each seat at around 75,000. This in effect will potentially create at least one cross border parliamentary constituency between Cornwall and England – an issue that was fought hard against by a single issue campaign organisation in Cornwall, Keep Cornwall Whole. The territorial integrity of Scotland and Wales however will remain.

Wales will have an additional referendum in 2011 on extending the law making powers to the National Assembly. This referendum will be held on March 3rd 2011 and will be part of the One Wales Agreement made on 27th June 2007 between the coalition government that was formed in that year between Plaid Cymru and the UK Labour Party. Welsh Assembly Members had originally asked for the referendum to take place in autumn 2010, but the newly elected Prime Minister David Cameron announced without warning that the referendum will take place in 2011. This will be the third Welsh devolution referendum in 32 years, after 1979 and 1997. First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said in September 2010 that:

"A positive outcome for the referendum will mean the assembly can make laws for the people of Wales more efficiently and in a more cost effective manner."

Further powers for the Welsh Assembly are supported by a cross section of political parties in Wales, including some UK Conservatives. (The Conservatives have found that campaigning on an openly Unionist ticket in Wales has left them with poor results electorally). The campaign for a yes vote is being spearheaded by `Le dros Gymru/Yes for Wales', which was officially launched on 4th January 2011. The no campaign is headed up by the `True Wales' group, which is funded by a Jersey business man.

In August 2010 a long standing independent politician joined Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall, raising the number of representatives from the Party in Konsel Kernow/Cornwall Council from 3 to 4 members. In their 2010 Conference in Bodmin an ambitious five-year plan to better promote MK and the values it espouses was decided upon. As part of the plan it was agreed that MK should set itself the target of fighting at least 50 seats (40%) at the 2013 Cornwall Council Elections, put up a full slate of candidates at the European Parliamentary Election in 2014 and then contest all Cornish seats at the 2015 General Election. In 2011 MK will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a commemorative publication and a celebratory event held on 22nd January 2011 at the Lowenac Hotel in Camborne.

The economic downturn has meant that the despised South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) will be scrapped and replaced by a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Economic Partnership, which was approved by the Westminster government in October 2010. The SWRDA covered an area stretching from Swindon in Wiltshire to Penzance and the new Partnership Konsel kernow/Cornwall Council say will involve councils, businesses, colleges and communities working together to boost the economy, employment and the standard of living of residents. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the SWRDA "didn't work". This is good news for nationalists and business alike.

At the start of 2010, nationalists in the Isle of Man were still being harassed by police following a graffiti campaign on the Island, which began in 2009. The Celtic League were being contacted by people who were being randomly stopped and searched as the Manx police continued to look for the culprits in an exercise that the League said was politically motivated. The Chief Constable on the Island wrongly accused the League of failing to condemn the graffiti and dismissed claims that his officers were involved in a politically motivated crackdown.

Since the conviction of a Manx language teacher for the part he played in the graffiti campaign and the subsequent removal of the graffiti, nationalist activity has petered out in the second half of 2010. However the graffiti campaign brought the issue of the political independence of Man to the fore, with Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Tony Brown, telling the Tynwald last February that the wishes of the people on seeking independence as a sovereign state would be established by a referendum. Minister Brown added that the Island was moving towards greater influence and greater responsibilities for its own affairs and that ' the people of the Isle of Man have to have the right to determine' adding:

'Whether we go down the road of greater independence, I suppose the answer to that is time will tell.'

Other Manx Ministers, like the nationalist Phil Gawne, said in 2010 that even though he supports such a referendum he did not think the time was right to move towards full independence, saying:

'I believe you have to work towards your goals – politics is more about shuffling forward than great leaps forward.'

Linguistically 2010 was an exciting time for the Celtic nations, especially during the second half of the year. In December 2010 alone, the Cornish and Manx languages were reclassified by UNESCO, the Welsh Assembly voted unanimously in favour of a new Welsh Language law creating a new system of placing duties on bodies to provide services in Welsh, the Irish government launched their ambitious 20 year strategy for the Irish language and the introduction of the `Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) in France, which will bring the French state in line with European legal norms, potentially having a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language.

Linked to the revival of Breton, protesters demanded that post offices in Brittany use the language in their working practice, with a much publicised sit-in at Landerne/Landerneau Post Office - a town that has been traditionally applauded for its use of the language in the public sphere. Police were brought in to break the peaceful protest up, but the message is clear – the Breton language needs much more support if it is to survive into the future. With estimates in 2010 showing that approximately 10 000 speakers are lost on an annual basis, something desperately need to be done.

Creating a political alliance with the Greens (Europe Ecologie Bretagne) in the French regional elections in March 2010 - which decided who was to be the Regional President for the Breton Regional Council - provided the Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB) with one more regional councilor taking their number up to 4 representatives (the same as MK in Cornwall). Parti Breton also stood in the regional elections in their own right, but didn't win a regional council seat. Another nationalist Breton political party, Mouvement Bretagne Progres, was formed in December 2010 by Christian Troadec, who was once closely allied with the UDB.

Before the March 2010 elections, people travelled from all over Breizh/Brittany to take part in a `Freque Humaine' to show Breton politicians that the issue of Breton reunification should be firmly on the political agenda. The organisations responsible for the organisation of the peaceful event were Bretagne Réunie and 44=BZH, but reunification hasn't featured much on the political scene in Brittany over the last 12 months with the exception of the arrest, verbal assault and prolonged detention of a Breton youth for spraying pro reunification graffiti in the town of Le Mans in Loire-Atlantique. There are no major elections or political developments planned in Brittany in 2011.

Republican activity has been growing in the north of Ireland over the last 12 months and this trend looks set to continue into 2011. Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), Real IRA and Continuity IRA have all been active, with UK Home Secretary Theresa May issuing a warning in September 2010 that possible dissident attacks in Great Britain were a "strong possibility". Sinn Fein and the Stormont Government in general have been losing credibility with the Unionist First Minister Peter Robinson and the still high profile Sinn Fein representative Gerry Adams both suffering personally. Both resigned their seats in the north for different reasons, but it is Gerry Adams who could make a comeback in 2011following the decision to stand for the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in the elections, which will be held in 2011. Sinn Fein has five MPs in the north, including Mr Adams, and four TDs in the Irish parliament. Mr Adams said he would remain as an MP for West Belfast until the Irish general election is called in 2011.

A few months ago, Mr Adams decision to stand for election in the south of Ireland seemed unlikely, but the drastic economic downturn in the south and the large scale protests that followed has meant that the 30th Dáil will be dissolved, assigning the unpopular Taoiseach Cowen and his Fianna Fáil government to the political dustbin. This has left the Greens, who were in a coalition government with Fianna Fáil, scrabbling for political credibility in the latter half of 2010 and will no doubt continue to suffer in the 2011 general election. This is where Sinn Fein may pick up more parliamentary representatives in the south, as was witnessed in the November 2010 Donegal South West by election win, which was the first win in a by election for the Party in the south in 80 years.

The December 2010 budget, which made a €6 billion package of cuts and tax increases, was the harshest in the history of Ireland and will have deep political and economic repercussions over the next few years, hitting many low and middle income families hard. Fine Gael claimed that the budget was the work of a "puppet Government", following the involvement of the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund in Irish affairs. The Fine Gael Finance spokesperson, Michael Noonan, said:

"This Budget is the budget of a puppet Government, who are doing what they have been told to do by the IMF, the EU Commission and the European Central Bank, so that the State can draw down the bail-out funds now that the country is insolvent."

The European Commission and Irish Government strongly rejected the claim, but Fine Gael has every right to be critical, because it is they who is likely to succeed the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition government in 2011 and have to enforce the budget.

Of the six Celtic countries, three are due to hold elections this year. Unusually there will also be a referendum held across the UK and two referendums in Wales. Unfortunately there will not be a referendum held in Scotland on the issue of independence in 2011 as planned and whether this will occur in the near future at all will depend on the results of Scottish elections in May. 2011 will nevertheless still be an interesting year politically for the Celtic nations. Brittany and Cornwall are still lagging behind in terms of political autonomy and their assimilation into and neglect by the respective states of France and UK, is rapid and often shocking.

Scotland and Wales are holding their own and clawing back control of their respective nations. The reunification of Ireland doesn't look like it will happen any time soon and is likely to be the last thing on people's minds in the south as economic hardship sets in. The Isle of Man looks set to maintain its political position as a British protectorate at least for the near future, despite forceful calls from the Celtic League to review its position.

2011 is also the 50th anniversary of the Celtic League, which was founded in Rhosllannerchrugog, Cymru/Wales in 1961. It remains a politically active organisation and even though it is not affiliated to any political party, it nevertheless sits comfortably in the nationalist community due to the nature of its constitution. Over the next year the League will be reflecting further on the progress of the Celtic countries towards greater autonomy and its own progress over the last 50 years.

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

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

03/01/11

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.

The Celtic League.
The Celtic League News Group.

6.1.11

Consultation on the cabinet manual

Consultation on the cabinet manual: have your say on a document being described as the first step to a British written constitution | openDemocracy

An opportunity above for our Cornish constitutionalists to contribute information and suggestions concerning the Duchy of Cornwall.

4.1.11

Who's the separatists and who's the unionist?

I've been given the dubious honour of being listed in a blog role of Nationalist Insugency on the blog A Pint of Unionist Lite.

Whilst always being grateful for people linking to the CRB I can't help but feel that in this case I'm playing the token Cornish nationalists for want of a better blogger. Anyway there are some very good blogs in the list of insurgents with some great opinion piece writers -something sadly lacking here- and it's still good to be counted amongst their number.

Now as to this label of nationalist insurgent. Is it deserved?

I think that within the collective conciousness of Cornwall (and further afield) a Cornish national identity exists that should be given the same level of respect as the other national identities found within the UK. If that a nationalist me makes then so be it. I support this grass-roots and outlaw Cornish national identity against the disapprobation of the Anglo-British centre, its establishment rubber stamped British identity and UK state-nationalism. If that makes me an insurgent then I'll wear the label with pride. After all what authority does any establishment have to force upon its people one identity at the expense of other naturally occurring identities?

However if by being called a nationalist I'm being portrayed as xenophobic, supremacist and isolationist then I utterly refute the label. Let all national identities have the same rights that I would have for mine. Accept that identities overlap and coexist and do so even within individuals. Thinking on polyculturalism probably comes closest to my position at the moment.

Not wishing to speak for all 'nationalists' in other parts of these isles -or even on behalf of the Cornish movement- but it seems evident that new federal structures would be needed post independence. The very idea of totally independent nation-states seems dated to me in this interconnected and interdependent world of ours. The most rational and productive path of cooperation necessarily leads via democratically accountable internationalist governmental structures. To govern relations between the nations and regions of this Atlantic archipelago, the rest of Europe and further afield, federalism is the way.

So what is the blog author of APOUL saying when he calls himself a unionist and me an insurgent nationalist? Be sure to understand that it's only one type of union with one form of government that interests him. A British union with only one parliament in London. I think I'm safe in saying that any form of federal union with our European neighbours is not at all this bloggers pint of lite either. So, an insurgent British nationalist determined to create division amongst the peoples of Europe?

Is this a big -unionist- coming out then? Well yes if you see unionism in federalism then I suppose so. The people are sovereign not parliaments or monarchs in distant capitals. From the grass-roots up, running from neighbourhood to continent, we should decide together at each level the most appropriate form of government. That's my pint federalist lite.


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3.1.11

Colganology: Not just about pasties and piskies ...

Colganology: Not just about pasties and piskies ...Henhwedhlow, a book of Cornish folktales for the 21st century. 

‘All power to Stevyn Colgan and his project to preserve Cornish myth, legend and song. Who knows; as a result some Penzance Wagner may write the Cornish Ring Cycle and won’t the world be pleased? There’s more to Cornwall than Padstow, pasties and ‘P*** off you grockles’ and Colgan is doing the ancient kingdom a great service.’ - Stephen Fry

Cornish Film Culture


Cornish Film Culture from Chris Harrison on Vimeo.

2.1.11

Telling our own story.

A very worthwhile project here to bring to your attention called Bish Bash Bosh Productions.

They write about themselves: BishBashBosh Productions are a new production company from Cornwall dedicated to commissioning, developing and producing Cornu-centric theatre, film and media – new work that offers a response to Cornish issues, trends and events. We find our inspiration in landscape, community, multi-culturalism, Celticity, and literature and theatre across frontiers. In this way we hope to develop a National Theatre for Cornwall [Gwaryjy Kenedhlek rag Kernow].

I'll take this opportunity to throw in another plug for Awen, a media production social enterprise based in West Cornwall, as well as Tyskennow Kernow, their series of short films made in and about cornwall and the Cornish language. This series of DVD's is new, just at No2, so get and buy them.

Both the above ventures are part of the essential re-appropriation of Cornwall's identity by the people of Cornwall themselves. Romanticised to produce kitsch for tourists consumption or denigrated as poor and backward, too long voiceless and too long portrayed by others, Cornwall must now start to tell its own story.