If you are interested in the content of this blog then join us on Facebook and follow Radio Free Cornwall.

26.5.11

The Cornish Question on Blue Labour

The constitutional imbalance caused by devolution under the last Labour government is finally being recognised. But England itself is not a homogeneous nation.
The following suggestions are made based on the assumption that the Cornish are one of the naturally occurring nationalities - historic nations - found within the UK. It is a fact that within what is considered England, Cornwall is the only territory where significant numbers of people self-identify as other than English - as Cornish - for their nationality and/or ethnicity.

Cornwall already receives recognition via European groups such as the European Free Alliance and the Federal Union of European Nationalities, and - due to its poor economic position - benefits from convergence funding from the EU. We need to hear more from domestic politicians.

Of course, unless they can be worked into a larger package of UK-wide reforms, policies adopted by Labour that only target Cornwall clearly aren't going to win over the rest of the UK.

But why shouldn't Cornwall be part of the discussion if we're beginning to talk about devolution for England? With this in mind please find below my four suggestions for debate that could help Labour win back the region.

The coalition government has launched an assault on Cornwall's ancient territorial integrity via their reform of parliamentary constituencies which will result, for the first time, in a constituency that crosses the boundaries of Devon and Cornwall.

Apparently the territorial integrity of the Isle of Wight counts for much more than that of a historic nation, and the homeland of a national minority. Labour must promise to revoke this madness and ensure that all MPs for Cornwall are elected wholly within Cornwall.

Labour kicked off devolution but never got to finish the job. Whether we respond to the west Lothian question with an English parliament or not, England remains highly centralised. The artificial regions used by Labour have proved unpopular with the public, and the coalition has wasted no time in dismantling them.

For devolution to work, amongst other criteria, regions have to have a strong coherent identity. In 2002 Cornish campaigners gathered a petition of 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish assembly. This followed opinion polls putting support for a Cornish assembly at around 55%.

We want greater autonomy, so why not take the opportunity to push power down to a territory that wants it? Currently the Greens, Lib Dems, Mebyon Kernow and various independent councillors support devolution to Cornwall.

Why not join these progressives and help build the consensus for change? For some interesting reading that compares the campaigns for devolution in the north-east and Cornwall try The Dark Side of Devolution. Could Cornwall be worked into a package of devolution to England's natural regions?

Whilst in power Labour started the long overdue process of modernising the UK's human rights and equalities provision. As part of this the government worked alongside the Council of Europe on the ratification of their Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Labour gave recognition to the Cornish language under the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Why not now promise to complete this by recognising the Cornish as a national minority within the scope of the convention? This would ensure fair funding for Cornish culture and a place for a distinct Cornish curriculum in our schools.

Finally and most thorny of issues - there is something deeply undemocratic about the Duchy of Cornwall and the power it holds over people's lives. This original research by solicitor and Cornish law expert, John Kirkhope, should be enough to convince you that this feudal institution has outlived its purpose: A Mysterious, Arcane and Unique Corner of our Constitution (pdf).

As part of the modernisation of the UK's constitution, we ought to give the subjects of the Duchy a full and open investigation into the constitutional position of Cornwall, followed by a referendum on its future.

Unlike Wales, Scotland and the north of England, Labour has never found its feet in the far south-west. In part this has been due to a failure by Labour to engage with the Cornish, particularly in a positive, civic fashion. Is it not time for this to change?

Finding Labour's feet in Kernow: cross-posted from the Blue Labour blog. 

22.5.11

Take Back Parliament - Let’s Reform Local Elections

Take Back Parliament: Let’s Reform Local ElectionsWhile STV would be a poor reform choice for General Elections or for the House of Lords, in my opinion, it is clearly a strong choice for local elections. Firstly, we know it works; it is already used in Scotland and Northern Ireland for local elections. Secondly, it would break up the block votes and distribute the seats more evenly. Finally, it would encourage people to look at their candidates more as individuals than simply party representatives."

Following the AV flop democratic reformers have started to debate the direction of any future campaigning. One suggestion is proportional representation for local elections in England and the Duchy of Cornwall. Now surely this is an idea that we can all get behind.

21.5.11

Spain wants change. England wants to sleep. Cornwall wants...

Fascists try to murder Breton activist.


Some French fascists have tried to kill a Breton activists. This is one Cornishman who is 200% behind the Breton campaigners. The scum bag ran over an activist in his car. The condition of the victim is still unknown. 

Step out of your car boy. 

Fascists try to murder Breton activist.


Some French fascists have tried to kill a Breton activists. This is one Cornishman who is 200% behind the Breton campaigners. The scum bag ran over an activist in his car. The condition of the victim is still unknown. 

Step out of your car boy. 

Scottish independence: a brave new world

Scottish independence: a brave new world | Politics | The Guardian: Scottish nationalists aren't the separatists of old, or in any sense "little Scotlanders". But the Westminster-focused class, on left and right, are "little Britishers" and "little Englanders", still hung up on defending the archaic rights of a political system that seems stuck in a timewarp.

And what of Cornwall, Wales and Man? Do we want to carry on as pointless peripheries or take up the challenge of creating a new democracy in these isles and across Europe?

British to English - the future of the radical right.

Cornish activists have long know the truth behind the claims of the UK's hard and far-right parties -UKIP, BNP and NF- to be 'British' nationalists. In their combined responses to Cornish political and cultural aspirations they have been aggressive imperialistic English nationalists in all but name. We can summarise their attitude as follows - Cornwall is England and the other Celtic nations are simply annexes of the great Anglo-British realm to be used and abused for the benefit of the centre.

This supremacist point of view took a serious blow when the very idea of a British nation was dispelled by devolution. Yes the British exist but perhaps in the same way as Scandinavians, Balts or Europeans do. As a larger regional grouping of similar smaller nations with common interests. The recent win by Wales for more power to be given to their parliament and the SNP landslide can have only reinforced the decline of British nationalism as the imagined British nation evaporates before our eyes.

So where now for the radical-right as British nationalism appears a lost cause? You don't really have to look too hard to find the answer. The British nationalism of the UK far-right has always very much been Anglo-British in nature. They vast majority of their support comes from England even when considered proportionally against the population of each home-nation. Drop the British element and the mask falls away. What was, to all intents and purposes, English nationalism from the very start can finally be seen in its true colours.


Barnbrook, who now sits as an independent on the London assembly, has written to leaders of four other far-right or nationalist organisations – including the English Defence League and the English Democrats – calling for the creation of "one strong, united, cohesive force".

The growing rebellion has seen a growing number of BNP organisers either leave the party or defect to join other rightwing groups. Searchlight says dozens of BNP members – including several key figures – have left and joined the English Democrats recently. Lowles said there appeared to be a "concerted and orchestrated attempt by many of the BNP's most effective and competent former organisers" to establish a foothold in the English Democrats.

So when the BNP finally mutates in some new far-right English nationalist party after, no doubt, fusing with the likes of England First, the English Democrats and the EDL, what place will be left for the couple of deluded Cornish nationalists who joined the BNP hoping it would protect them from England? Let me give them a piece of advice. Find a deep mineshaft and jump into it. No, seriously though, retire from politics. You chose the wrong boat and now its sinking. 

20.5.11

St.Dennis Anti Incinerator Group - Council Leader Letter to SOS

St.Dennis Anti Incinerator Group - Council Leader Letter to SOS. Press Release by Cornwall Councillor Dick Cole 19th.May 2011.

Reunification Now!

The 18th of June 2011: Another mass meeting to be held in Nantes for the reunification of Brittany. Putting Brittany's reunification on the political agenda. Two Breton groups are intent on putting the issue of Breton reunification on the political agenda next June, by organising a mass meeting in the city of Nantes.

Read more at the link above. Lets make sure there is a Cornish contingent at the meeting. 

Reunification Now!

The 18th of June 2011: Another mass meeting to be held in Nantes for the reunification of Brittany. Putting Brittany's reunification on the political agenda. Two Breton groups are intent on putting the issue of Breton reunification on the political agenda next June, by organising a mass meeting in the city of Nantes.

Read more at the link above. Lets make sure there is a Cornish contingent at the meeting. 

19.5.11

Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany

Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany : Independence and national identity are emotive issues, but the arguments in favour of a greater level of autonomy for Brittany are very strong and rest upon historical, geographic, cultural, and economic considerations.

Economic Arguments

The myth that has been taught to schoolchildren for the past one hundred years is that Brittany is an intrinsically poor country, hampered by poor soil and bad weather. The real truth, however, is that for most of its history Brittany has been extremely prosperous, and that it only started to go into economic decline once it became united with France.

During the Middle Ages Brittany was one of the wealthiest areas of Europe: the interior was home to a thriving textile industry, and the coastal areas maintained a merchant fleet that was one of the most successful of the age, trading salt, textiles, fish and agricultural products across Northern Europe and down to Spain and Portugal.

The wealth accumulated by these activities attracted the jealousy of neighbouring countries, which is the reason why the King of France forced Anne of Brittany to marry him in 1491, a marriage which eventually led to a union of the two states. Brittany remained semi-autonomous and reasonably prosperous until the Revolution, when it was finally amalgamated into the rest of France. The next hundred years of its history were marked by famines and widespread destitution – giving rise to the short-sighted idea that Brittany has always been impoverished.

Although outwardly prosperous, the modern Breton economy is now dependent on agricultural subsidies and funding from central government – which, in economic terms, is disastrous.

A clear argument can be made that Brittany would be more successful in diversifying its economy and creating wealth, if its people had a greater level of control over their own affairs.

Cultural Arguments

The Breton language has survived to the present time; there is still a tradition of Breton music; and there is a wealth of stories and traditions which are specific to this part of the world. These are the sorts of cultural ingredients which are required to support the sense of identity and common purpose required for a successful unit of government. The idea of an autonomous Brittany makes a lot more sense than many other administrative regions that have been created in Europe and around the world in recent times.

Geographical Arguments

People disagree as to where the eastern border of Brittany ought to lie – for most of the past thousand years Nantes and the ‘Loire Atlantique’ have been part of Brittany – but even a cursory glance of a map of Europe marks the Breton peninsular out as a distinctive geographical area, easily distinguished from the rest of France. Many aspects of life in Brittany are dictated by the weather and the sea, which makes it have more in common with places such as Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall than with mainland Europe.

Historical Arguments

It is, perhaps, history that provides the strongest reasons in favour of a change in the way that Brittany governs itself.

Over the years the people of this region have had many different relationships with the rest of Europe, and there is no reason to suppose that the present arrangement should be regarded as permanent.

In ‘pre-historical’ times, Brittany was inhabited by people about whom we know very little except that they erected the menhirs, dolmens, and covered alleyways that are so common in the Breton countryside. These monuments are quite distinct from remains found in other parts of mainland Europe, but do bear a resemblance to sites in the UK, in India, and in China. This would suggest that, in those days, Brittany was an outward-looking country, more closely allied to countries across the ocean than to its neighbours on the mainland.

Immediately prior to the Roman occupation, Brittany was inhabited by Gallic tribes, each of which was autonomous but loosely linked to other Gallic people by Druids who travelled freely throughout France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and northern Italy. The Druids did not constitute a form of government, (or a religion in today’s sense of the word) but do seem to have provided training and spiritual guidance which knitted the Gauls together into a unified nation: it seems unlikely that a tribal chief could have maintained power without the support of the Druids.

Julius Caesar ruthlessly suppressed this civilisation – in modern parlance his ‘campaigns’ would be termed genocide – and Brittany, along with the rest of Gaul, was incorporated into the Roman Empire.

All sense of self-determination was lost over the course of the next four centuries, and, when the Western Empire finally collapsed, the people living in this area had no more idea of how to govern themselves than anyone else in Rome’s former dominions.

But, whereas most of the continent was overrun by tribes from the east (Visigoths, Ostragoths, Huns, Franks, etc.) something unusual happened in Brittany. The Romans had left Britain a few years previously, and it had been settled by people from Saxony: the Saxons. For a time, harmony was established between the native Celts and the newcomers and, consequently, Britain could enjoy a time of peace and prosperity just as chaos was engulfing the rest of Europe. (It is to this period that the legends of King Arthur and Merlin are often dated.)

‘Saints’, or wise men, crossed over from Britain to Brittany and set up sanctuaries in which they taught and helped the local people. The names of some of these men have become legendary and include the ‘Seven Founding Saints’ of Brittany – Malo, Samson, Brieuc, Tugdual, Pol Aurélien, Corentin and Patern.

Towns built up around where they settled (St Brieuc, St Pol de Leon, St Malo, etc.), composed of local people, plus Britons who came to join them. It is only since this time that this region has been known as Brittany and that its people have spoken Breton. It would seem that it is to these founding saints that Brittany owes its traditional love of freedom and independence: Brittany was the only part of modern France which did not fall under the control of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently Brittany succeeded in resisting a Norman invasion of the type that overwhelmed Britain.

For several centuries Brittany had the status of an independent Duchy, recognised by the Pope in Rome but not allied to any particular kingdom. This independence was lost when Brittany was united with France in 1532. Some modern historians blame this union on the greed of Breton nobles who preferred to accept gifts from the French court than to defending their independence; others have maintained that some form of union was inevitable given the state of European politics at the time. Whatever the case, the young heiress to the Duchy, Anne of Brittany, found herself helpless and besieged by a French army in Rennes and was forced to agree to marry the French king, which signalled the end of Breton independence.

Brittany retained separate institutions (in much the same way as Scotland retained its own legal system after it was united with England), but these were swept away in the French Revolution. Since then Brittany has, administratively, simply been part of France.

The late 1800s and early 1900s were a difficult time for Brittany because the government in Paris had little understanding of the region and no empathy with its history and culture: a legacy with which people are still trying to come to terms today.

The Future

The arguments in favour of Breton devolution are so overwhelming that it is almost inevitable that the region will acquire a greater level of control over it own affairs at some point in the future. The question is when and in what form? Many people are fearful of the phrase ‘Breton independence’ because it conjures up an image of militancy, but, if it is true that Brittany does need a greater degree of autonomy before it can move forward, then it would be those people who defend the status quo that posed the greatest threat to its future.

Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany

Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany : Independence and national identity are emotive issues, but the arguments in favour of a greater level of autonomy for Brittany are very strong and rest upon historical, geographic, cultural, and economic considerations.

Economic Arguments

The myth that has been taught to schoolchildren for the past one hundred years is that Brittany is an intrinsically poor country, hampered by poor soil and bad weather. The real truth, however, is that for most of its history Brittany has been extremely prosperous, and that it only started to go into economic decline once it became united with France.

During the Middle Ages Brittany was one of the wealthiest areas of Europe: the interior was home to a thriving textile industry, and the coastal areas maintained a merchant fleet that was one of the most successful of the age, trading salt, textiles, fish and agricultural products across Northern Europe and down to Spain and Portugal.

The wealth accumulated by these activities attracted the jealousy of neighbouring countries, which is the reason why the King of France forced Anne of Brittany to marry him in 1491, a marriage which eventually led to a union of the two states. Brittany remained semi-autonomous and reasonably prosperous until the Revolution, when it was finally amalgamated into the rest of France. The next hundred years of its history were marked by famines and widespread destitution – giving rise to the short-sighted idea that Brittany has always been impoverished.

Although outwardly prosperous, the modern Breton economy is now dependent on agricultural subsidies and funding from central government – which, in economic terms, is disastrous.

A clear argument can be made that Brittany would be more successful in diversifying its economy and creating wealth, if its people had a greater level of control over their own affairs.

Cultural Arguments

The Breton language has survived to the present time; there is still a tradition of Breton music; and there is a wealth of stories and traditions which are specific to this part of the world. These are the sorts of cultural ingredients which are required to support the sense of identity and common purpose required for a successful unit of government. The idea of an autonomous Brittany makes a lot more sense than many other administrative regions that have been created in Europe and around the world in recent times.

Geographical Arguments

People disagree as to where the eastern border of Brittany ought to lie – for most of the past thousand years Nantes and the ‘Loire Atlantique’ have been part of Brittany – but even a cursory glance of a map of Europe marks the Breton peninsular out as a distinctive geographical area, easily distinguished from the rest of France. Many aspects of life in Brittany are dictated by the weather and the sea, which makes it have more in common with places such as Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall than with mainland Europe.

Historical Arguments

It is, perhaps, history that provides the strongest reasons in favour of a change in the way that Brittany governs itself.

Over the years the people of this region have had many different relationships with the rest of Europe, and there is no reason to suppose that the present arrangement should be regarded as permanent.

In ‘pre-historical’ times, Brittany was inhabited by people about whom we know very little except that they erected the menhirs, dolmens, and covered alleyways that are so common in the Breton countryside. These monuments are quite distinct from remains found in other parts of mainland Europe, but do bear a resemblance to sites in the UK, in India, and in China. This would suggest that, in those days, Brittany was an outward-looking country, more closely allied to countries across the ocean than to its neighbours on the mainland.

Immediately prior to the Roman occupation, Brittany was inhabited by Gallic tribes, each of which was autonomous but loosely linked to other Gallic people by Druids who travelled freely throughout France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and northern Italy. The Druids did not constitute a form of government, (or a religion in today’s sense of the word) but do seem to have provided training and spiritual guidance which knitted the Gauls together into a unified nation: it seems unlikely that a tribal chief could have maintained power without the support of the Druids.

Julius Caesar ruthlessly suppressed this civilisation – in modern parlance his ‘campaigns’ would be termed genocide – and Brittany, along with the rest of Gaul, was incorporated into the Roman Empire.

All sense of self-determination was lost over the course of the next four centuries, and, when the Western Empire finally collapsed, the people living in this area had no more idea of how to govern themselves than anyone else in Rome’s former dominions.

But, whereas most of the continent was overrun by tribes from the east (Visigoths, Ostragoths, Huns, Franks, etc.) something unusual happened in Brittany. The Romans had left Britain a few years previously, and it had been settled by people from Saxony: the Saxons. For a time, harmony was established between the native Celts and the newcomers and, consequently, Britain could enjoy a time of peace and prosperity just as chaos was engulfing the rest of Europe. (It is to this period that the legends of King Arthur and Merlin are often dated.)

‘Saints’, or wise men, crossed over from Britain to Brittany and set up sanctuaries in which they taught and helped the local people. The names of some of these men have become legendary and include the ‘Seven Founding Saints’ of Brittany – Malo, Samson, Brieuc, Tugdual, Pol Aurélien, Corentin and Patern.

Towns built up around where they settled (St Brieuc, St Pol de Leon, St Malo, etc.), composed of local people, plus Britons who came to join them. It is only since this time that this region has been known as Brittany and that its people have spoken Breton. It would seem that it is to these founding saints that Brittany owes its traditional love of freedom and independence: Brittany was the only part of modern France which did not fall under the control of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently Brittany succeeded in resisting a Norman invasion of the type that overwhelmed Britain.

For several centuries Brittany had the status of an independent Duchy, recognised by the Pope in Rome but not allied to any particular kingdom. This independence was lost when Brittany was united with France in 1532. Some modern historians blame this union on the greed of Breton nobles who preferred to accept gifts from the French court than to defending their independence; others have maintained that some form of union was inevitable given the state of European politics at the time. Whatever the case, the young heiress to the Duchy, Anne of Brittany, found herself helpless and besieged by a French army in Rennes and was forced to agree to marry the French king, which signalled the end of Breton independence.

Brittany retained separate institutions (in much the same way as Scotland retained its own legal system after it was united with England), but these were swept away in the French Revolution. Since then Brittany has, administratively, simply been part of France.

The late 1800s and early 1900s were a difficult time for Brittany because the government in Paris had little understanding of the region and no empathy with its history and culture: a legacy with which people are still trying to come to terms today.

The Future

The arguments in favour of Breton devolution are so overwhelming that it is almost inevitable that the region will acquire a greater level of control over it own affairs at some point in the future. The question is when and in what form? Many people are fearful of the phrase ‘Breton independence’ because it conjures up an image of militancy, but, if it is true that Brittany does need a greater degree of autonomy before it can move forward, then it would be those people who defend the status quo that posed the greatest threat to its future.

Why theatre needs a Cornu-copia of regional dialects | Stage | guardian.co.uk

Why theatre needs a Cornu-copia of regional dialects | Stage | guardian.co.uk

18.5.11

Surfing Tommies


Surfing Tommies Trailer from Ian Bucknole on Vimeo.

16.5.11

St George's Day and St David's Day Bill

BBC - Democracy Live - St George's Day and St David's Day Bill : A public holiday to mark St George's Day would bolster national unity, a Tory MP has said. Presenting his St George's Day and St David's Day Bill to the Commons on 13 May 2011, Nadhim Zahawi said: "To many, St George's Day is a celebration of all that is great about the nation".

Cornish campaigners need to get on top of this one before a St Georges day holiday is pushed on Kernow instead of one for St Pirans day. Is this yet another chance for Cornwall to be erased? Another campaign we are prepared to loose? Taken in isolation it's not the most important issue of the moment but the long term erosion of our identity is, nonetheless, what we are facing.

Devonwall parliamentary constituencies, a St Georges day English national bank holiday, Devonshire post codes in Kernow, the deliberate replacing of the adjective 'Cornish' with the incorrect 'Cornwall', the denial of our true constitutional position in the UK, the centralising of Cornish services and jobs out of the Duchy, Cornish heritage claimed as English, English cultural bodies given free reign in Cornwall, locals priced out of the housing market - little by little, step by step - a people is destroyed.

15.5.11

Lies, dam lies and the Duchy of Cornwall


Lord Laird (Crossbench) To ask Her Majesty's Government, in a legal context, what is the status of stannary law in Cornwall.

Lord McNally (Minister of State, Justice; Liberal Democrat) Cornwall is subject to UK legislation. While the body of stannary customary law has not been systematically repealed, it is likely that such customary law has been superseded by modern legislation.


Lord Laird (Crossbench) To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the constitutional position of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Lord McNally (Minister of State, Justice; Liberal Democrat) The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate that funds the public, charitable and private activities of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

All of which seems to disagree with the results of the research undertaken by solicitor and Cornish law expert John Kirkhope. Read more here: A Mysterious, Arcane and Unique Corner of our Constitution”: The Laws Relating to the Duchy of Cornwall (pdf). So who is lying to who and why? 

10.5.11

A weekly ferry route between Cornwall and Brittany?

A proposed weekly ferry route between Brittany and Cornwall is currently being discussed and a feasibility study into the venture is being carried out.

A and P Falmouth, the company which runs the docks in the town, is leading a consortium to run a route between Falmouth and St Malo, but so far no ferry company has shown an interest in taking up the idea. In addition to the ferry service there are plans to create an international partnership between University College Falmouth and Rennes 2 University to develop cultural and artistic links.

On 27th April 2011 the French General-Consul in London, Edouard Braine, was invited to visit Falmouth by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce International Development Officer Pierre Cuignet. Mr Braine was supportive of the project during discussions at Tremough University campus and said he was moved by the hospitality and positivity he had experienced.

The Operations Director at Falmouth Docks, Mike Reynolds, told the BBC that:

"There's no link from this far west and yet there is a lot of traffic coming out of France which has to go a long way up the channel and then has to come all the way back down in order to get to Cornwall."

Mr Reynolds warned people not to get too excited yet about the development, because the project was still in its initial stages and pointed out that the service was unlikely to be a car ferry. Tim Light, who runs Cornwall Ferries, told the BBC:

"I think it would be absolutely fantastic, both for Brittany but also for Cornwall to have a physical link, which would also tie-in in with all the many festivals, the local food and drink production and of course the great Universities at Tremough and also the University in Rennes."

Currently the closest ferry route to Brittany from Cornwall is in Plymouth, England and is operated by Brittany Ferries. In the 1970's before Brittany Ferries first began operating, the company purportedly approached Cornwall Council about creating the first link between Brittany and Cornwall, only for the Council to turn down the offer arguing that the road infrastructure in Cornwall would not be able to cope with the increased number of cars on the road. Over the last few years a number of festivals have developed in Falmouth with Breton links, such as the inter-Celtic Aberfest festival, Cornwall International Film Festival and the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.

Links: Aberfest

From the Celtic League.

A weekly ferry route between Cornwall and Brittany?

A proposed weekly ferry route between Brittany and Cornwall is currently being discussed and a feasibility study into the venture is being carried out.

A and P Falmouth, the company which runs the docks in the town, is leading a consortium to run a route between Falmouth and St Malo, but so far no ferry company has shown an interest in taking up the idea. In addition to the ferry service there are plans to create an international partnership between University College Falmouth and Rennes 2 University to develop cultural and artistic links.

On 27th April 2011 the French General-Consul in London, Edouard Braine, was invited to visit Falmouth by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce International Development Officer Pierre Cuignet. Mr Braine was supportive of the project during discussions at Tremough University campus and said he was moved by the hospitality and positivity he had experienced.

The Operations Director at Falmouth Docks, Mike Reynolds, told the BBC that:

"There's no link from this far west and yet there is a lot of traffic coming out of France which has to go a long way up the channel and then has to come all the way back down in order to get to Cornwall."

Mr Reynolds warned people not to get too excited yet about the development, because the project was still in its initial stages and pointed out that the service was unlikely to be a car ferry. Tim Light, who runs Cornwall Ferries, told the BBC:

"I think it would be absolutely fantastic, both for Brittany but also for Cornwall to have a physical link, which would also tie-in in with all the many festivals, the local food and drink production and of course the great Universities at Tremough and also the University in Rennes."

Currently the closest ferry route to Brittany from Cornwall is in Plymouth, England and is operated by Brittany Ferries. In the 1970's before Brittany Ferries first began operating, the company purportedly approached Cornwall Council about creating the first link between Brittany and Cornwall, only for the Council to turn down the offer arguing that the road infrastructure in Cornwall would not be able to cope with the increased number of cars on the road. Over the last few years a number of festivals have developed in Falmouth with Breton links, such as the inter-Celtic Aberfest festival, Cornwall International Film Festival and the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.

Links: Aberfest

From the Celtic League.

9.5.11

Hwerow Hweg - Bitter Sweet

Lets get the bitter out of the way first. Plaid Cymru loosing AM's to British nationalist Labour is regrettable but this has to be seen in the perspective of the self same nation voting for greater devolved powers on the 3rd of March. Wales is awake and on the move even if the party responsible for this, Plaid Cymru, has been snubbed by a section of the electorate.

In the English local elections even it was gratifying to see the Lib Dems get righteously stuffed - just deserts for their two-faced behaviour some might say - this was largely to the benefit of Labour and the Tories. It's a shame fourth parties couldn't have made more of this opportunity. Congratulations must got to the Greens in Brighton for coming in as the biggest group on the council but we need this repeated on mass across England. Equally why are there so many minor left-wing parties and groups who seem more interested in fighting amongst themselves over ideological issues than coming together to form a relevant force on the left of Labour?

Cornwall failed to take advantage of the AV referendum and make a bold statement against Devonwall via the mass spoiling of ballot papers. I can't say I'm that surprised. Only one blogger was actively promoting this option. For such a campaign to have been successful it would have need the combined efforts of a united Cornish movement (oh for the day) and at least the support of one of the big three.

With its clear rejection of even the most pitiful of electoral reform and the increase in Tory councillors England seems to be slumping into a reactionary paralysis where any reform of its creaking political system will have to be imposed from outside. Such a sad contrast with the Arab Spring. This brings me to the sweet.

The Scottish National Parties massive victory over the UK's sclerotic unionist parties will have a far greater effect on democracy in the UK than AV could ever have. Whilst the electoral system does need urgent reform - ie some form of proportional representation - the real issue is Westminster. With its monopoly on power, hyper-centralisation and mandarin classes shy of loosing any ounce of their influence, the seat of power in London is the real nut that needs to be cracked open so that its sweet contents can be re-distributed across the UK. The SNP  could well be on the verge of smashing the first cracks in the shell. 

Whether the Scots vote for independence or not the UK will still have to change. A continued re-distribution of power from the centre is inevitable. Some form of federalism appears the only option and already voices can be heard calling for an English parliament as the next logical direction for reformers to take. Surprisingly even from within the ranks of the arch-conservatives UKIP can be heard calls for a federal UK including parliaments for Scotland, Wales, England, the Six Counties and even Cornwall [1][2][3].

A decade of radical change lies ahead and now more than ever Cornwall needs to decide where it wants to go. Whether to strike out on a bold and empowering path or acquiesce as the toe-end of an uncaring centralised England. Equally all who are serious about Cornish self-determination - by whatever path - need to think long and hard about their current political allegiances, what they have obtained so far and what now needs to be done. 

Happy Europe Day

EUROPA - The symbols of the EU - Europe day, 9 May - What is Europe Day?

8.5.11

Diomhair prt1- a must watch for Cornish campaigners

Welcome to The Kernow X Blog - Blog Kernow X a'gas Dynnargh

Welcome to The Kernow X Blog - Blog Kernow X a'gas Dynnargh

4.5.11

So what did the royal wedding tell us?

The state of the nation, 2011: So what did the royal wedding tell us? That we are ruled by a family whose leading members only really understand or care about the English, and only the English with money, at that; who know that a great change is happening in the culture and ethnicity of the kingdom but don't quite feel ready – or able – to react to it yet; and who think of the rest of us as background noise, viewing figures, subjects.

3.5.11

The Dangers of Corporate Influence and the Free-Market

Large corporations, for good or for bad, are major influences on UK and other governments, and customarily a greater one than large portions of the population. Neglectful regulations have allowed these big businesses to repudiate just actions and continue abusing free market privileges. In the today’s era of globalization, marginalized societies are becoming especially angry at the motives of multinational corporations.

In the US, the London-based billionaire Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to gain these political influences and change the country. Koch Supply and Trading companies have extensive operations across all aspects of crude oil, petroleum, and commodity trading all over the world. The expansive nature of their efforts makes it difficult to keep tabs on everything they have done that has caused harm. The Kochs are able to accomplish this goal by funding massive right wing front groups, think tanks, and other party efforts. This is all in an effort to develop a free marketed nation, and a country free of any environmental protections, as well as social safety for working Americans.

Most recently, Charles and David Koch have been spending millions of dollars with the goal of increasing their own profit through decreasing restrictions on carbon emissions, think-tank groups that promote efforts discrediting climate change, and they have even made attempts at trying to loosen regulations on poisonous substances like dioxins, benzene, and asbestos. Chemicals such as these can cause a multitude of health complications including chloracne, amenorrhea, leukemia, and even mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks cells in the tissues lining many of the body’s internal organs called the mesothelium. A lack of stiff regulations to these dangerous substances could have grave consequences.

The activities of Koch industries are a perfect example of the dangers of lax free market regulations. There is no basis, moral or economical, for any legal restrictions on what can be bought or sold, or the ethics used in the conducting of business, and the treatment of workers. What is guaranteed by a free market pairing with large, intrusive governments influenced heavily by the businesses is corruption. Companies have figured out that ten million dollars invested in keeping the government out of their pockets lets them keep more money than what would be made investing directly into the business, and creating a fundamental failure in big government and a free market system.

A guest article from Eric Stevenson.

1.5.11

Happy International Workers' Day

Workers' around the world are celebrating Sunday May 1, the international Labor Day marking the struggle for dignified work and the feeling of solidarity amongst laborers.

The history of the commemoration goes back to the 1886 Haymarket incident in Chicago, when a number of protesters - trade unionists and common workers of varying political beliefs - were massacred by police, or hanged after show trials.

Later, in 1890-1 the Socialist International recognized May 1 as an international day to celebrate the struggle for workers' rights.

Massively celebrated in the former Eastern Block, May 1 is also immensely popular with people across Western Europe, with workers traditionally gathering in large rallies on that day.

In Britain, May Day public holiday falls on the first Monday in May !

May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

Right-wing governments have traditionally sought to repress the message behind International Workers' Day, with fascist governments in Portugal, Italy, Germany and Spain abolishing the workers' holiday, and the Conservative party in the UK currently attempting to abolish the UK's annual May Day Bank Holiday.

Message to Cameron: (British Prime Minister)

Labour movement activists warned killjoy Prime Minister David Cameron today to "keep your hands off our May Day holiday."

They urged protests against the Tories' vindictive scheme to spoil the workers' extended weekend of celebrations by abolishing the May Day bank holiday.

Mr Cameron and his Cabinet of millionaires are hoping to make this Monday's May Day bank holiday one of the last.

Plans are afoot to abandon the holiday on the first Monday in May, and replace it with a holiday on St George's Day April 23, or the anniversary of the bloody Battle of Trafalgar on October 21.

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner urged the labour movement to band together "to ensure that we keep the May Day flags flying as they do across the world."

Mr Skinner warned: "In sharp contrast to the pomp and circumstance and organised happiness around the royal wedding, the Tory establishment is now turning its attention to ruining the workers' traditional May Day celebrations.

"True to type, Cameron wants to create more unhappiness for working class people who are struggling to keep a job.

"He wants to stop them from enjoying the May Day bank holiday and from celebrating International Workers' Day along with people across Europe and around the world."

Rail union RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The most important events this weekend are the annual May Day celebrations - not the bread and circuses that were rammed down people's throats."

Declared Mr Crow: "Forget all the diversions. The trade union and socialist focus is on marking International Workers' Day at a time when the working class is under unprecedented attack."

He warned that the Tories were not only attacking the workers, but were also gearing up for an assault on May Day itself.

"Send out the message to the Con-Dems and the bosses loud and clear - la lucha continua!" urged Mr Crow.

Left Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, who spent today tramping the streets of Luton delivering election leaflets, accused the government of blatant right-wing tactics in seeking to ditch the May Day holiday.

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The Tory attack on the May Day holiday is to be abhorred and it's another reminder that this government has scant regard for the working people of this country."

May Day was an accepted holiday in many countries to commemorate workers' struggles, said Mr McCluskey, who suggested an extra bank holiday in October during the "long stretch" between August and Christmas.

General union GMB general secretary Paul Kenny had a blunt message for the government of millionaires: "Keep your hands off our May Day. Keep your hands off workers' day."

Mr Kenny added: "May Day is an important celebration of the achievements of humanity. We have got to fight to save the bank holiday."

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said International Workers' Day celebrated "the commitment to solidarity, peace and socialism."

But a change to Trafalgar Day would be celebrating "the slaughter of seafarers in yet another battle in Britain's long and bloody history of imperialist wars."
.

One & All Radio Programme, Source FM

One and All broadcasts on the Source FM out of Falmouth and via Tremough University on Monday mornings from 9AM to 11AM.

The programme is produced and presented by Tony Leamon and Mike Chappell of the Celtic League and due to the enormous support it has received following less than a year of broadcasting it recently received a Radio Award for 'Most Innovative New Programme'.

The programme is broadcast on 96.1FM and for those out of range (there are a considerable number of overseas and faraway listeners) it can be heard on line here.

There are numerous ways to contact the programme:

You can ring us live during the show on 01326 219020, or email us at kernow@celticleague.net you can also leave comments on the aforementioned Source Website. If you are listening to us live why not text us on 07858 3678 43. One and All also has its own Facebook site.

The programme welcomes input on issues and material concerning Cornwall and the other Celtic Nations. Poetry, books, politics, music, local businesses, live interviews, opinions, news, events anything. We are not afraid to project the fact that Cornwall is a Country and the Cornish people are a National Minority with Celtic roots. We are prepared to interview any politician prepared to speak to us and have already broadcast tough questions asked of several of our MWPs. Contact us.

This Monday 2nd. our small research team have gathered outspoken comment from about the globe on the recent 'Royal' wedding, we hope to be interviewing that great Cornish speaker, author and historian, Craig Weatherhill as well as Kat Jackson a young Cornish businesswoman setting up business right here in this Country. This to be accompanied by the usual range of Cornish and Celtic music.