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28.2.11

Pipers unite against white supremacists

Pipers unite against white supremacists - Europe, World News - Independent.ie: Pipe players of Brittany on Sunday united against a group of US based white supremacists who are campaigning to discredit the French region's top piper, who happens to be a black man.

It should be added that ALL Breton parties of any note have totally condemned this racism.

Pipers unite against white supremacists

Pipers unite against white supremacists - Europe, World News - Independent.ie: Pipe players of Brittany on Sunday united against a group of US based white supremacists who are campaigning to discredit the French region's top piper, who happens to be a black man.

It should be added that ALL Breton parties of any note have totally condemned this racism.

27.2.11

Compass votes to open membership to centre-left progressives from all parties | Compass

Compass votes to open membership to centre-left progressives from all parties | Compass: Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass said of the result: 'From today anyone who shares our vision of the good society can join Compass. Labour, Greens, Liberal Democrats and people of no party.

No doubt members of UK European Free Alliance parties -Plaid, Mebyon Kernow, SNP- will be equally welcomed in Compass as will English Regionalists. Could this be the place to build a left and green democratic alliance?

Tebbit talks Cornish

Rebuilding ‘Broken Britain’: A Question of Priorities « A Blog for All Seasons

26.2.11

A commercial rebellion

Any Cornish activists looking for ideas for T-shirts and other such rebellious bunting, so good at bring in the coffers, would be wise to have a gander at Emsaver.

A commercial rebellion

Any Cornish activists looking for ideas for T-shirts and other such rebellious bunting, so good at bring in the coffers, would be wise to have a gander at Emsaver.

25.2.11

The BBC - being Cornish is bad!

Following the recent efforts to inform people that they can now record themselves as Cornish on the forthcoming 2011 census a local blogger wrote an article called - Tick here for the Cornish Jedi option.

In the article, by association, the author tries to liken people writing Cornish on the census to the spoof of 2001 that saw thousands of people across the UK recording their religion as Jedi. Collecting data on a long-standing minority group and a humorous wind-up of the authorities - are they the same? Clearly the author is trying sell them as such. Clearly he his trying to ridicule the collection of data on Cornish identity and downgrade its importance.

You may think that there is nothing extraordinary about any of this - a quick tour of the blogosphere will confirm that far worse can be found. That's true enough. What's more striking in this instance is the origin of the blog. The author is a paid employee of the BBC and his blog hosted on the BBC website. Read the article for yourself here: Tick here for the Cornish Jedi option

Two more blog articles quickly followed from the same writer: George Orwell on Celtic Nationalism and Nationalism - quote unquote. The gist of both being that 'nationalism' (undefined) is bad. Keeping in mind the writers previous post and the forthcoming census the inference is obvious. Recording ones ethnic and/or national identity as Cornish is nationalism and nationalism is bad. Of course the state sponsored British and English nationalism rampant in Cornwall fails to draw the ire of the writer. Equally, that a minion of a state controlled media corporation should be quoting Orwell to a small minority group in order to dissuade them from horrible Cornish nationalism - i.e recording their heartfelt ethnic and/or national identity on a state census - is not without humour value.

I wonder if any other minority group comes in for the same treatment from BBC employees?

24.2.11

No more royal secrecy - write to your MP today!

From Republic - the campaigning for a democratic alternative to the monarchy: No more royal secrecy - write to your MP todayA very worthy campaign for all those interested in bringing the Duchy of Cornwall within the Freedom on Information Act.

22.2.11

More to Cornwall than the content of our pasties

So the Cornish pasty wins protected status . That'll mean good news for Cornish jobs I hope. Well done to the Cornish Pasty Association for the work they have done on this.

Please note though that whilst our inoffensive crimped pies get recognition our 1000 year old frontier with England is on the verge of getting trashed by the two-faced LibConDems.

Equally, whilst Cornish Pasties are worthy of European recognition the government currently thinks that our Cornish culture is not. To date the UK government has refused to recognise the Cornish under the Council of Europe's framework convention of the protection of national minorities (FCNM). A treaty specifically designed to protect and promote the culture of long-standing minority groups like the Cornish.

This is our revolution, too | openDemocracy

This is our revolution, too | openDemocracy: What they are most afraid of is that, having slept through the last 60 years of democracy, their own citizens/subjects may be about to wake up again to their own power: that, having seen what it is like when a people dictate to their government what it should do for them, rather than the reverse, we might start to take our own rights back, wholesale, rather than waiting for our rulers to grant us them in homeopathic doses – or fob us off with a placebo.

21.2.11

Revolution, Arabs and Amazighs

Nationalia - Protests against Bouteflika launched in Kabylia. With revolution spreading across the Arab world spare a thought for the Amazighs. Sometimes, sadly, revolutions have a way of turning against national minority groups. The Copts of Egypt are another groups that springs to mind.

20.2.11

Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance

The new Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance page on Facebook

A tall order for the Cornish movement

The creator of the diagram above and -The difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England (and a whole lot more)- is asking, perhaps, the impossible of us:

If you had to sum up the whole, complicated issue of Cornwall in a single sentence, what would it be? (Bonus points if it’s funny)

A short humorous sentence to go into this YouTube presentation of the UK that describes the Cornish question. I've tried with -England’s near abroad, the Duchy, county, country of Cornwall- but it falls a bit flat. There's is many a greater wit in the Cornish movement than me so lets be having some ideas then. You can leave comments at the end of this blog -United Kingdom Venn Diagram.

19.2.11

Piss coloured politics

What do I mean by this? Got something to get of my chest? How about the following? Personally I've had enough of:

Lib Dems, comfortably in bed with the Tories in Westminster, but who show up to sleep-ins to protest at cuts to Cornish homeless services. These cuts having been decided by the LibConDems at a UK level and administered by their Tory allies in Kernow. What kind of opposition do they think they are providing?

Lib Dems, the self-proclaimed champions of radical electoral reform and PR, who sell out their principles for the non-reform of the Alternative Vote. Don't be fooled! This is a veneer of political reform from the establishment in its efforts to scrape back some credibility after the expenses scandal.

Lib DemsMP's who swear blind that they will vote against their government to protect Cornwall's territorial integrity, and who do so, just until it becomes a danger for their cushy careers in the party. When push comes to shove, they all toe the party line, and they'll continue doing so until Devonwall is a reality.

Lib Dems who call for Cornish devolution only for the vast majority of their party -MP's and Peers alike- to be indifferent at best, hostile Devonwallers at worst. The party allows a couple of Cornish MP's a long leash in Kernow to co-opt Cornish national sentiments, but that's all. THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DO NOT SUPPORT CORNISH DEVOLUTION!

I was followed by a fascist British Nationalist on twitter a few days ago. Tell me what's worse? A simple-minded BNP supporter or the Lib Dems that makes his bed? The two-faced behaviour and lies of politicians -of all colours- disgusts the public and plays into the hands of extremists.

When you are called to vote on the AV referendum use the opportunity to express your disgust and spoil your ballot paper. Go to the polls but let them know what you think of them. I'll leave you with the words of Cornish Zetetics from the article - The Lib Dem legacy: deference and Devonwall:

So there’s only one thing left to do. Join me and spoil your paper. This would seem to call for a Facebook campaign. The experience of the last six months has shown that we don’t need leaders, and certainly not Lib Dem leaders. MK has decided to throw away the chance to channel the general disgust at this tawdry measure. So who’s going to kick it off? And what do we write on our voting papers?

Cut Benefits to Bankers, Not Public Services (One Good Cut)

18.2.11

Fòrum Social Mundial de Dakar



Once again John Cutliff of the Cornish Stannary Parliament attended the World Social Forum organised this year in Dakar. I thinks that's three years on the trot that the Stannary has sent someone to WSF as part of the Space for Collective Rights of Peoples project. Being of the Cornish people I'd be interested to read a report from John on what he has learnt and achieved from going to these events.

17.2.11

The Duchy - a mesne lordships

Following this short blog a Cornish campaigner wrote to the Crown Estate to ask if Queen had sovereignty over Cornwall. The response of their solicitor is below.

Thank you for your website enquiry referred to below to The Crown Estate of 8 February 2011 which has been passed to ourselves by The Crown Estate. We act on behalf of The Crown Estate in respect of property which is subject to escheat, except for property which is subject to escheat in Cornwall and the County Palantine of Lancaster.


Her Majesty the Queen , as head of the state, owns the superior interest in all land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Property which is subject to escheat in Cornwall and the County Palatine of Lancaster is dealt with by the Duchies within their mesne lordships, not by The Crown Estate. Mesne lordships are intermediate lordships which lie between the freehold and the Crown. Accordingly in these areas the freehold of a property becomes subject to escheat to the Duchies instead of to the Crown.

To answer your question, Her Majesty the Queen remains the monarch of both Cornwall and Lancaster. I hope this email is of assistance in explaining this complex and archaic area of our constitutional and property law and in answering your query.

Your sincerely

Senior Associate

That's a new one on me. After having written to the Duchy, Crown Estate, Government and various other bodies on numerous occasions, I've never had the -mesne- explanation. It seems as if the establishment is constantly developing new ways to explain the unexplainable Duchy.

Their response still seems to suggest that Cornwall -the territory of- is the mesne Lordship or Duchy. This contradicting the Duchies claim that it is just a collection of private estates most of which being outside the territory of Cornwall.

16.2.11

Scotland, England and Britain: Gerry Hassan debates Nick Pearce


"The nature of the United Kingdom, the territorial dimensions of its politics, and the national questions of these isles are going to come to the fore of British politics in the next few years."

All very interesting reading and -having left my exploding pasty at home today- I'd just like to express my support for Gerry Hassan and his timely call for a post devolution, post imperialist, world vision and practice from Labour. Labour do need to address the national questions within these isles - this being an inevitable result of, not just devolution, but also the decolonisation of empire that preceded.

Perhaps the various Green parties are already well on their way to a post imperial politics for the Isles. Take for example the Green Islands Network. Far from perfect but still light-years ahead of Labour in its recognition of the distinct national questions. Labour must stop ignoring the Cornish question, a practice sadly common among English nationalists who now, of course, want the England question answered.

I leave you with a quote from a recent Wessex Regionalists blog:

"Labour once again bungled devolution, just as it did in 1979. This time it got Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London away but this was always the limit of its enthusiasm. It hitched itself to a set of unworkable regional boundaries inherited from the Tories, then deliberately obstructed grassroots movements in Cornwall, Mercia and Wessex pointing to a more promising way forward. In local government it refined the Tory policy of arrogant interference and dismantled public debate, substituting executive members and elected mayors for meaningful scrutiny and collective decision-making"

15.2.11

Cornwall and the radical left


A friend in the radical left Breton party -Breizhistance- sent me a policy statement (below) on Breton self-determination.

It came, after some badgering by Breton activists, from the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste (NPA), one of the parties from the French radical left. According to one of their spokespersons the NPA are "the left that fights, anticapitalist, internationalist, antiracist, ecologist, feminist, opposing all forms of discrimination". On Brittany they say:
"Nous affirmons aussi que le peuple et les travailleurs de Bretagne doivent pouvoir choisir, en se déterminant librement, un autre modèle institutionnel social et démocratique permettant d’imposer d’autres choix profitant à la majorité et non à une minorité privilégié".

Translated (I'm open to suggested improvements here) we have:

We also affirm that the people and workers of Brittany should have the power to choose -freely and democratically- another institutional, social and democratic model, permitting the imposition of other choices benefiting the majority and not a small privileged minority.

It should be noted that the NPA are much more open in their support for Corsican self-determination. There is much less mincing of words. Nevertheless, how refreshing it would be if the UK's radical left were as open-minded towards Kernow. How gratifying it would be indeed if the plethora of left-wing micro-parties in the UK actually got their acts together and organised themselves into one single and modern force like the NPA. They couldn't pretend to join the big LibLabCon three, but, like the Greens, they could still be a voice that is heard and has influence.

14.2.11

State monoculturalism and diversity | Blog Mabon

State monoculturalism and diversity | Blog Mabon: "Multiculturalism has always been a part of the fabric of our society. Just think of the various communities that grew in Wales during the height of the industrial revolution, English, Scottish, Cornish, Jewish, Romany, Irish, Chinese, Somali, Italian, and Polish. These varied cultures have enriched Welsh life and contributed to modern Wales. Our songs, dance, languages, sport, have all been influenced by  these cultures. Or look at the growth of London with its various communities."

13.2.11

Cantonal elections 2011

For the forthcoming cantonal elections in the Breton administrative department of Ille et Vilaine: The UDB will be campaigning alongside the newly re-branded greens Europe Ecologie les Verts; Breizhistance has formed an electoral pact with the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA); and the Parti Breton will be running alone.

In Vannes an electoral alliance called En Avant Bretagne / Breizh War Roak has obtained the support of the newly formed party Mouvement Bretagne et Progrès [MBP].

Cantonal elections 2011

For the forthcoming cantonal elections in the Breton administrative department of Ille et Vilaine: The UDB will be campaigning alongside the newly re-branded greens Europe Ecologie les Verts; Breizhistance has formed an electoral pact with the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA); and the Parti Breton will be running alone.

In Vannes an electoral alliance called En Avant Bretagne / Breizh War Roak has obtained the support of the newly formed party Mouvement Bretagne et Progrès [MBP].

Bewnans Kernow 2011 - Cornish Culture - Good for Business

Listen!

Stop the sale of Cornish woodland

Cardinham Woods, Bodmin. Stop the sale of Cornish woodland

12.2.11

A message from the central scrutiniser

Consumers of South West England. It has come to our attention that a recalcitrant few in your region are continuing to cling to a redundant identity.

These people are sick and suffering from identity confusion. The ex-identity -Cornish- is an outdated impediment to progress and has been scheduled for deletion. Those consumers that refuse to let it go are standing in the way of our long and illustrious march towards consumer homogeneity. Remember! Less difference means simpler marketing and easier consumption.

Let us all pray together for the day when Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Witherspoons, McDonalds and other temples of homogeneous consumption can be found in every consumer cluster. 

The process of erasing the Cornish identity is well under way now and has been proceeding via various paths. For example: The promotion of Devonwall, South West Region, West Country and other zones of central scrutinisation. The inclusion of Cornwall within the South West Euro-zone of central scrutinisation. The re-branding of older constitutional arrangements -Duchy / Stannaries- as having never really existed. The removal of the adjective -Cornish- to be replaced with nothing or, if necessary, just Cornwall. No more Cornish people just Cornwall people. This being promoted at all possible opportunities by the BBC and other servants of central scrutiny. We understand that the removal of your redundant identity, like the removal of an infected appendix, is not without pain, but always remember- difference breeds dissent!

Recently we have seen misguided consumers objecting to the latest steps towards Devonwall- the plans to create a Devonwall parliamentary constituency. Your identity is not your concern. Your political representation is not your concern. Your range of choice is NOT YOUR CONCERN. In the modern world we have consultants to deal with such inconveniences. Leave these difficult and troubling questions to our multitude of well paid experts. Similarity leads to simpler scrutiny for us, simpler marketing for companies and a quieter life for you.

To all ex-Cornish people. Get with the programme! You are now consumers of England (that is to say Great Britain). Join with us and rejoice. Soon people across the UK (that is to say England) will all be one and the difficulties of difference will have come to an end.

Brought to you by LibLabCon -the establishment party- currently having cheap sex with a trader in the toilet of a swanky City wine bar somewhere.

Labour must trust the [Cornish] people | openDemocracy


Trust the people of Cornwall when they show an interest in having an assembly or being recognised as a national minority. If Labour committed themselves to respecting our border and a referendum on devolution it's my prediction that they'd win in the Duchy.

Come on Labour! Lead the way. We want a plural social, ecological and democratic alliance to take back power and rebuild the UK from top to bottom.

11.2.11

95% of Conservative / Liberal Democrat peers oppose amendment to Keep Cornwall Whole


Yes, of course, more important things are happening in the world right now. Even without the democratic revolutions in the Arab world we could still quickly find something somewhere of far greater importance than the future of Cornwall's territorial integrity.

Is this a legitimate excuse for not standing up for Kernow though? It's certainly used as such by many a disingenuous opponent of Cornish rights to dismiss activists that fight for them. Never mind that one could easily turn the argument around to attack all but the most Earth shatteringly important issues beloved of ones opponent.

It's all relative and depends on the scale used I guess is the answer. Compared to planetary environmental and social issues - yes, go right ahead and forget Cornwall- but from a Cornish perspective, for those duty bound to care for the future of Cornwall (i.e her sons and daughters / born and adopted), this is important! Why can't we campaign on many different levels for issues of varying importance? I don't want social justice rather than Cornish rights or Middles East democracy instead of Cornish self-determination. I want them all!

This is about Cornwall's representation in Parliament. It's about Lib Dem and Conservative politicians who promised so much for Cornwall only to stab us in the back. This is about the continuing and state sponsored erosion of an inconvenient minority identity. Goodbye Kernow and hello Devonwall, West Country, South West or whatever other preferred brand dreamt up by bureaucrats and marketing men in London.

9.2.11

ePetition for St Piran

The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League contacted Konsel Kernow/Cornwall Council on 2nd February 2010 to request that the Council considers making the 5th March an annual holiday for its staff.

The letter argued that “as the main council in Cornwall, Cornwall Council should lead the way for other councils on this issue”, taking into consideration that a growing number of parish and town councils in Cornwall (eight so far) and Cornwall’s only city council have previously agreed to make the 5th March a public holiday.

In addition, it was pointed out that the Celtic League has been campaigning on this issue for about six years and that during that time we have been contacted by a number of councils who have said that after debating the request, they were supportive of the measure, but wanted to wait to see what support the campaign received from the other councils in Cornwall before committing themselves to making a positive decision.

Konsel Kernow/Cornwall Council acknowledged the receipt of our letter, which was passed on to the Department of the Chief Executive, who failed to respond to it.

Previous to the May 2010 elections all five of Cornwall’s Members of Parliament were supportive of St Piran’s day becoming a public holiday. In 2006 MP Dan Rogerson asked the UK Government to make St Piran’s Day a public holiday in Cornwall. The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has written again to all the town councils in Cornwall in 2011 asking them again to support the campaign. We have also written to all of Cornwall’s Members of Parliament asking them to reaffirm/confirm their support, after the May 2010 general election.

We now want Konsel Kernow/Cornwall Council to vote in favour of Dydh Sen Peran/St Piran’s Day (5th March) becoming an annual public holiday in Cornwall and to make a recommendation to the UK Government to do the same.

Dy’ gool sen Peran! St Piran’s Day Holiday! Sign ePetition here

7.2.11

We, The Crown Estate...

Escheats FAQ: "We, The Crown Estate, (through our solicitors Burges Salmon) deal with all cases of escheat throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, except for Cornwall and an area known as the County Palatine of Lancaster (which includes parts of Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria). In these cases, escheat is dealt with by the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster."

6.2.11

Vote Cornish ! Cornish Census Day 27th March 2011

For the 2011 UK census full instructions on how to register your Cornish national and/or ethnic identity along with the use of the Cornish language can be found here on the Cornwall Council website: 2011 Census: Cornish identity.

It's vitally important that people take this opportunity to register as Cornish as these statistics are used to inform government policy. If you think Cornwall deserves a stronger more distinctive voice then be part of the reason we obtain this. Use the census to put Kernow back on the map!

3.2.11

On race and nationality

Some thought provoking articles have been included at the bottom of this post. They're most definitely worth reading by Cornish campaigners interested in informed debate on identity and multiculturalism.

I can't speak for the whole Cornish movement but I think I'm safe in saying that the majority of nationalists want a culturally liberal society in which each citizen is free to celebrate his/her own identity without hindrance as long as this does not impinge on the freedom of others.

How could we want anything else in a world of such cultural fluidity where people and ideas are constantly crossing borders? How could I want anything different having mixed nationality parents, being in a mixed nationality couple myself and living outside the Duchy?

Even if it were possible, would anybody seriously want a mono-cultural Cornwall?

In parallel one of the Cornish movements primary aims must also be to ensure a secure future for indigenous Cornish culture. A fully devolved Cornish curriculum in schools for example is a must. From the last of the listed articles below I'll quote the following as pointer to the complexity of the situation before us:

It touches upon some of the big binaries in public policy and sociological analysis: universalism vs cultural relativism; individual vs collective rights; rights vs culture… and so on. This is often reduced to a question of how to ‘balance’ rights and culture

A situation in Cornwall even more complex due to the Cornish being a minority themselves. How best do you integrate new arrivals -new minorities- into a territory inhabited by an old -national- minority? Happy reading and all comments would be welcome.





Compass' vote on opening out its membership is a sign of the pluralist times | openDemocracy

Following the CRB blog post calling for unity on the ecological left this article -Compass' vote on opening out its membership is a sign of the pluralist times- may be of interest.

At Compass conference I have seen – on the same platform, disagreeing but thinking together – mainstream Labour Party people, Respect members, Green representatives and people from Plaid Cymru. That is a kind of political maturity that all should welcome. The right forms networks naturally – through schools, universities, clubs and workplaces – and coordinates actions collectively to further self-interests. The left is now forming strong and effective networks so that we may, individually, further collective interest.

Would Mebyon Kernow's voice, and that of Cornish devolution in general, get a better hearing from the UK left with a strong Cornish contingency in Compass?

2.2.11

The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Exp...



Even if the Cornish nation and its Duchy constitution are once more ignored, the above Youtube presentation -found here- is still of good educational value. How common is it for English people to continually confuse England, Great Britain and the UK? Do UK citizens have any idea of their relationship to places like the Isle of Man or Bermuda? The above will help. 

Something like the above, or the venn diagram found on the blog, but which show ALL territories based on actual constitutional law would be much more interesting. This would be a far more useful democratic tool than yet another presentation of the establishments rubber stamped vision of things.

It's not surprising the Duchy is ignored though considering the lengths to which the UK establishment has gone in order to sweep it -and consequently our national identity- under the carpet.