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29.9.11

Cornish Quest

This is to highlight the work of the new Cornish Quest | Hats off to the past, coats off to the future. A charity that places an educational focus on the heritage, the present and the future of Cornwall. Cornish Quest was formed as a registered educational charity to further knowledge about: Cornish History, Cornish Culture, Cornish Law and Cornish Language. We have a responsibility together, to see that the unique history of Cornwall is passed to future generations, and that Cornwall’s children are given a true sense of place.

28.9.11

Scottish, Welsh and British republicans?

So there are Republic Wales and Republic Scotland campaign groups now as well as the UK wide Republic group, but why no Republic England (or Six Counties)? Or, from another angle, why the specific Welsh and Scottish groups? 

I'll see if I can get an answer from Republic because at the moment it looks like they are playing a two-faced game with national sentiment. Either you set up Republican groups for all the home nations - and I would of course include Cornwall in this - or you don't and you stick to one UK wide group.

Coming back to Cornwall. If there is one region (nation) of the UK that has a very specific and murky relationship with the Monarchy then it is Kernow. Hence the need for a dedicated Republic Cornwall group to shed light on the dirty dealings of the Duke and the feudal laws that can have such influence on the democratic decision making process.

As a footnote. A new Republican Party of Great Britain has been launched but they seem of little interest to Cornish campaigners. Their idea of devolution is to a massive South England region. 

27.9.11

Thoughts on direct action from Brittany

           

Thoughts on direct action from Brittany

           

19.9.11

Keep Cornwall Whole - what to do?

It's so important that it needs highlighting again here. Keep Cornwall Whole – The Fight Continues! - from the great breselyerkeltic blog is a must read. Please do read the blog post and then act. Equally please vist the Keep Cornwall Whole site to see what you can do.

For what it's worth - I've said it before and I'll say it again - a campaign of PEACEFUL yet spectacular and humoristic direct action should accompany any campaign to protect Cornwall. It would gain attention but not alienate the public. More likely, in making them smile, such a campaign would win the public over.

The Basque group DEMO is a good example. The site is in Basque, Spanish and French but have a look at the photos of what they do and you'll get the picture.

17.9.11

Cornish and Bretons unite!

This - Cornish and Bretons unite for energy plan - sounds like a very positive project indeed. Lets hope it provides employment for local Breton and Cornish residents rather than experts parachuted in for the task.

Of course given much more autonomy from London and Paris both Kernow (Cornwall) and  Breizh (Brittany) would be free to pursue all manner of projects together to the benefit of our economies, cultures and shared environment. Wouldn't it also be far better for Cornwall to have its own university, rather than the annex of Exeter Uni we have at the moment, working as a full partner in this and other projects.

Beware Devonwall and South West regionalism. For projects as above both these regional schemes would see Kernow totally bypassed in favour of cities, industries and jobs in Devon and beyond. Beware equally of equating Cornwall to just the Finistère département of Brittany. Cornwall and Brittany should stand together as equals - both Celtic nations. Cornwall is not the equivalent of merely a département (county) of Brittany. 

16.9.11

UKIP Confirming the trend

Confirming the trend yet one more group issued from the 'British' hard-right now supports the creation of an English Parliament. UKIP join the BNP and other more overt English nationalists, the English Democrats and England First, in calling for an English Parliament.

The aggressive English supremacist tendencies of UKIP, and certainly its grass-roots supporters, will come as no surprise to any Cornish activist unwise enough to have raised the Cornish question with them. With their support for an English parliment and hostility towards any kind of Cornish devolution or recognition it seems UKIP are now to become the majority face of a more overt English nationalism in Kernow. 

But why this recent conversion and need to play to English nationalist sentiments? 

Whilst England culturally, politically and economically dominated these isles sentiments of English patriotism found a happy home in British unionism. No one could be heard calling for an English parliament in years past as Parliament, and its surrounding civil service, were already 99% English. Couple this with the mass of English establishment bodies, Church of England, English Heritage, Bank of England etc, and you had more than enough to satisfy your average swivel eyed Anglo-supremacist.

Then came devolution giving limited power back to a limited selection of natives upsetting forever the image of Britain ruling the waves and England ruling Britain. Never before had we heard of people calling for an English parliament or describing themselves as English nationalists. Evidently the national self-determination of England didn't figure on anybodies radar until the last pieces of empire, the Celtic nations, started to slip through their fingers. This left an irritating question to answer and some Anglo-Brits with a feeling similar to that of the school bully knocked on his arse for the first time. Simple UK unionism would never really recover.

The mask of British unionism is slipping from the face of what has always been imperialistic English nationalism, UKIP confirming the trend. UKIP wish yet another centralised state with its parliment in London. What wonders that would do for Cornwall. 

14.9.11

Labour discovered to their surprise...


Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour): I know a lot more about Cornwall. Some years ago, I sat on the Trade and Industry Committee. We discovered to our surprise that one of the poorest areas in the country was Cornwall. Like the highlands and islands, Cornwall relies on the tourist trade, as everybody knows; a lot of its jobs depend on the tourist trade and a lot of them depend on public transport. That has an impact on public transport and bus fares. That is bound to affect the poorest areas in Britain, whether we are talking about the islands, the south or the south-west.

Why was it such a surprise? Perhaps because the Labour vote in Kernow is so low, it's not one of their heartlands, they ignore us. 

13.9.11

To be or not to be Devonwallians?

Anger over Commons boundary changes. Is our future to be part of a Devonwall region? It's up to the people of Cornwall to decide that but at the moment, acknowledging the low level of political pro-Cornish engagement, I have to admit that I'm struggling to be optimistic.

Whether we admit a clear Devonwall agenda amongst the decision makers in London it cannot be denied that over the years there has been a tendency to fuse administration and services from Cornwall and Devon, often to the benefit of the latter i.e skilled jobs exiting Kernow for the benefit of Devonshire's cities. A brief history of Devonwall can be found here

Cornwall's police force was fused with that of Devon's seeing policing jobs cross the Tamar - that story is far from over. Many Cornish postcodes are now based around Plymouth and Exeter. Today we see the Boundary Commission for 'England' creating a Cornwall and Devon sub region (pdf) for the purposes of allocating MP constituencies to the Duchy and England's most southwesterly county resulting in a cross Tamar Devonwall constituency. Our millennial border with England, along with our Cornish identity, counts for little in Westminster. All this adds up to a progressive administrative fusioning of Cornwall with Devon resulting in Kernow becoming little more than a territory administered from cities in England.

And what of our Cornish MPs all now in the heart of government? All of them swore to protect our border until that is, with one exception, they voted for a Devonwall constituency. The exception, Andrew George, effectively abstained by voting for and against.

Do we want skilled and qualified jobs in Cornwall or, rather, in Exeter and Plymouth? Do we want Cornwall to have a greater say over its own affairs? Do we want Cornwall's territory, identity and culture respected and protected? Only you, the residents of our little Celtic nation, can decide these things but I'll say that you need to decide soon before its far to late.

For what its worth we can let the Boundary Commission know what we think about Devonwall. Details of how to contact them can be found here on Dick Coles blog. Please do write/email them but I can't help feeling much stronger actions will be required to stop Westminster from erasing Kernow. Where are Cornish Solidarity when you need them with their vow "to return to fight any attempt to attack or alter Cornwalls ethnic diversity, boundaries or status"?

12.9.11

Who supported Cornish Devolution Now?

On the Digital Democracy website you can now find a map showing the distribution of support around the UK for the Cornish Devolution Now campaign. In fact perhaps more interesting is the map showing the location of those who opposed. On a positive note we clearly have friends outside the Duchy. 


There is also now a button that allows you, simply and easily, to tell your MP that you support Cornish devolution. I hope one and all use it. DD have produced a flyer in PDF format to go with the campaign but, as yet, no MP's have responded

6.9.11

The return of Agence Bretagne Presse

Many visitors to this blog will be aware of the Brittany based independent news website Agence Bretagne Presse. Indeed, in the past, I've blogged about ABP, shared their articles via social media and placed their news feeds on my blogs.

Last year the UDB, and others, requested that their press releases not be featured on ABP. This greatly surprised me until I discovered their motivation. In fact, as well as a multitude of interesting articles in Breton, French and English from a wealth of sources, ABP also regularly published press releases from far-right and fascist Breton organisations such as Adsav, Jeune Bretagne and Ti Breizh (both parts of the Bloc Indentitaire). Their philosophy seemed to be that if you were a Breton political or cultural organisation, no matter of what political persuasion, you could use their site to publish press releases and promote your ideals. The UDB felt that they didn't want their material on the same site as, or in anyway connected to, the Breton far-right and so asked not to be published on ABP.

In agreement with the UDB, but not wanting to make much fuss, I simply and quietly removed my links to  Agence Bretagne Presse from my blogs. There was no way I wanted people, in a couple of clicks, navigating to the website of Jeune Bretagne. Equally press releases from fascists were not welcome in feeds on my blogs.

After an exchange of emails with someone from ABP I've been assured that the majority of directors that control the site have decided against featuring the far-right on ABP for the foreseeable future. It is with some satisfaction then that I will once again link to their usually superb news website.

The return of Agence Bretagne Presse

Many visitors to this blog will be aware of the Brittany based independent news website Agence Bretagne Presse. Indeed, in the past, I've blogged about ABP, shared their articles via social media and placed their news feeds on my blogs.

Last year the UDB, and others, requested that their press releases not be featured on ABP. This greatly surprised me until I discovered their motivation. In fact, as well as a multitude of interesting articles in Breton, French and English from a wealth of sources, ABP also regularly published press releases from far-right and fascist Breton organisations such as Adsav, Jeune Bretagne and Ti Breizh (both parts of the Bloc Indentitaire). Their philosophy seemed to be that if you were a Breton political or cultural organisation, no matter of what political persuasion, you could use their site to publish press releases and promote your ideals. The UDB felt that they didn't want their material on the same site as, or in anyway connected to, the Breton far-right and so asked not to be published on ABP.

In agreement with the UDB, but not wanting to make much fuss, I simply and quietly removed my links to  Agence Bretagne Presse from my blogs. There was no way I wanted people, in a couple of clicks, navigating to the website of Jeune Bretagne. Equally press releases from fascists were not welcome in feeds on my blogs.

After an exchange of emails with someone from ABP I've been assured that the majority of directors that control the site have decided against featuring the far-right on ABP for the foreseeable future. It is with some satisfaction then that I will once again link to their usually superb news website.

4.9.11

EDL blight Cornish fora.

For those that don't know Cornwall 24, by default, is the only pro-Cornish debate forum on the Internet. Love it or hate it (and I've had my ups and downs with the place) it is now a well established part of the greater Cornish movement.

Not surprisingly then it is often plagued by people hostile to greater Cornish self-determination. These trolls and sockpuppet users can be found trying to disrupt positive debate and cause division.

Well, low and behold, one of these individuals turns out to be a bus driver from Plymouth and member of the English Defence League. Not content with bullying the UK's Muslim communities it seems some of them have taken a dislike to any expressions of Cornish pride too. Don't you just love English nationalism.

NB: The Cornwall 24 forum is only very loosly connected to the excellent, if much under used, Cornwall 24 news website. Which reminds me! The Cornish movement should be making much more use of the cooperative and fully independent Cornwall 24 site.  

2.9.11

Cornwall Respect

Don't forget the Cornwall Respect Festival will be held tomorrow (September 3rd 2011) from 11am – 9pm at Victoria gardens and waterfall gardens, Truro.

1.9.11

Guernsey government may be model for Cornwall

BBC News - Guernsey government may be model for Cornwall. Well done to the Cornish Constitutional Convention for keeping the debate about Cornish autonomy in the media and, most importantly, in peoples minds.

It has been noted by our constitutionalists that if the Duke rebooted his duchy as the government for Cornwall then we would have a constitutional position approaching that of a Crown dependency. Would we want to become another tax haven though? One more parasite on the world economy of interest only to the rich. 

Anyway, I'm sure that the Convention isn't considering tax haven status and offshore banking for Cornwall's future but rather simply studying governmental practises in a small autonomous community looking for good ideas for Cornwall.

In the BBC article linked to above it was good to see the following stated: The former Cornwall county council commissioned a Mori poll in 2003 which showed 55% of Cornish people were in favour of a democratically-elected, fully devolved regional assembly for Cornwall. If we want to see Duchy issues tackled or greater autonomy brought to Cornwall then we are going to need to see this 55% of the population motivated and voting for a Cornish future.