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31.10.11

The Super Citizen Duke Charles

These two articles from the Guardian - Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation - and - Prince Charles has been offered a veto over 12 government bills since 2005 - might both come as quite a surprise to someone who has just read the new Cabinet Manual, which purportedly, "sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of Government".

Of course no mention is made in the Cabinet Manual of the feudal institution that is the Duchy of Cornwall and its wholly undemocratic powers to intervene in governance of the UK. Such revealing levels of honesty would be far too much for the public to handle, or so the establishments reasoning proceeds.

However none of this will come as any surprise at all to Cornish constitutional campaigners who have suspected the Duchy of acting against Cornish interests for centuries. 'Nasty' Cornish nationalists have been banging on for decades about the undemocratic nature of the Duchy its quite surprising that the English media has taken so long to take up the story. Still, it's not such a surprise considering the London clique only take themselves seriously.

So yet one more example making a mockery of British democracy. In fact the UK isn't fit to be a member of the European Union might be a touch closer to the truth.  Is this really how rational and authentic individuals want to be governed? Can't we chase these parasites from power?

Futher reading on the Duchy and its powers can be found here:

30.10.11

Celtic solidarity against fascism


Some inspirational images from a recent match between Stade Rennais and Celtic in one of the two Breton capitals Rennes (the other being Nantes of course).

Celtic solidarity against fascism


Some inspirational images from a recent match between Stade Rennais and Celtic in one of the two Breton capitals Rennes (the other being Nantes of course).

Breizh News

Reunification campaign

On 18th June 2011 protesters marched on the Breton city of Naoned/Nantes in a mass demonstration of solidarity in calling for the reunification of Brittany. A number of groups were behind the organisation of the protest, including Naoned e Breizh (Nantes in Brittany), Bretagne Reunie, 44=Breizh, Agence Culturelle Bretonne Morvan Lebesque and Kevre Breizh. However, some campaigners did not think that the reunification campaign is going so well as it may perhaps seem. One activist told the Celtic League that the demo was not successful, because a couple of years previously between 10 000 and 15 000 people had demonstrated in a similar demonstration.

Yann Fouere

One of the Celtic League founding members, Yann Fouéré, has been launching his autobiography internationally this year, firstly in Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland in July and last 12 week in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. Mr Fouéré, paased away on 21st October 2011 aged 101 years old. 

Bugaled Breizh 

Seven years on and no one has yet been convicted for the sinking of the Breton trawler in waters off the Cornish coast, although suspicions have fallen heavily on the Royal Navy. In August the Bugaled Breizh got into the press again after one of the submarine commanders, who was engaged in war games in the vicinity where the fishing boat sunk, wrote on his twitter account that he was "getting a bit irritated by the continuous press coverage of something I didn't do." 

Elections 

On 20 and 27 March 2011 Cantonal elections to elect half the membership of the general councils took place. The Cantonal elections use a two round system similar to that employed in the legislative elections and take place every 3 years. The March 2011 elections were the first Cantonal elections since 1992 not to be paired with another election, such as the regional elections or the Municipal elections. Cantonal councillors are electors for the senatorial elections and considering that the forces in the senate are, as of March 2011, balanced the results of this election could play a role in the September 2011 senatorial elections. In these elections political agreements were made between some nationalist parties and other parties, which meant that they campaigned alongside each other. These included the UDB campaigning alongside Europe Ecologie les Vertes and Breizhistance with the New Anti Capitalist Party. Parti Breton campaigned in the election its own right. Another new party that ran in these elections was the Mouvement Bretagne et Progres. 

ABP 

This year there has been a reorganisation at ABP and the founder, Philippe Argouarch is taking less of a prominent role, although he is still involved. Agence Bretagne Presse was redesigned and relaunched in October 2011. 

Per Denez 

Celtic League member and Breton language activist, Professor Per Denez, died on 3rd July 2011. 

Emgann visit Ireland 

In May and August 2011 a delegation from the Breton group Emgann visited Ireland on the invitation of Republican Sinn Fein to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the Hunger Strikers. A commemorative plaque was offered by the Breton delegation, which was led by Reun Diguerher. 

Ferry Link 

A proposed weekly ferry route between Brittany and Cornwall is currently being discussed and a feasibility study into the venture is being carried out. 13 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. 

Language 

On 7th December 2010 a new language Bill was introduced into the French National Assembly that aims to give greater rights to the languages of the French state, including Breton. The 'Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) aims to establish a greater level of linguistic rights for speakers of 'regional' languages and will bring the French state in line with European legal norms. The Bill, if successful, will include a state guarantee for the teaching of Breton to children and could could potentially have a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language, which according to some predictions is losing an estimated 10 000 speakers a year. In November 2010 language activists demanded that more Breton language signs are erected at post offices and a peaceful protest was staged in Landerne/Landerneau. However, the manager of the post office called the police and the activists were arrested." 

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact: Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League: Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912 M: 0044 (0)7787318666 gensec@celticleague.net. The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query 

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.

Breizh News

Reunification campaign

On 18th June 2011 protesters marched on the Breton city of Naoned/Nantes in a mass demonstration of solidarity in calling for the reunification of Brittany. A number of groups were behind the organisation of the protest, including Naoned e Breizh (Nantes in Brittany), Bretagne Reunie, 44=Breizh, Agence Culturelle Bretonne Morvan Lebesque and Kevre Breizh. However, some campaigners did not think that the reunification campaign is going so well as it may perhaps seem. One activist told the Celtic League that the demo was not successful, because a couple of years previously between 10 000 and 15 000 people had demonstrated in a similar demonstration.

Yann Fouere

One of the Celtic League founding members, Yann Fouéré, has been launching his autobiography internationally this year, firstly in Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland in July and last 12 week in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. Mr Fouéré, paased away on 21st October 2011 aged 101 years old. 

Bugaled Breizh 

Seven years on and no one has yet been convicted for the sinking of the Breton trawler in waters off the Cornish coast, although suspicions have fallen heavily on the Royal Navy. In August the Bugaled Breizh got into the press again after one of the submarine commanders, who was engaged in war games in the vicinity where the fishing boat sunk, wrote on his twitter account that he was "getting a bit irritated by the continuous press coverage of something I didn't do." 

Elections 

On 20 and 27 March 2011 Cantonal elections to elect half the membership of the general councils took place. The Cantonal elections use a two round system similar to that employed in the legislative elections and take place every 3 years. The March 2011 elections were the first Cantonal elections since 1992 not to be paired with another election, such as the regional elections or the Municipal elections. Cantonal councillors are electors for the senatorial elections and considering that the forces in the senate are, as of March 2011, balanced the results of this election could play a role in the September 2011 senatorial elections. In these elections political agreements were made between some nationalist parties and other parties, which meant that they campaigned alongside each other. These included the UDB campaigning alongside Europe Ecologie les Vertes and Breizhistance with the New Anti Capitalist Party. Parti Breton campaigned in the election its own right. Another new party that ran in these elections was the Mouvement Bretagne et Progres. 

ABP 

This year there has been a reorganisation at ABP and the founder, Philippe Argouarch is taking less of a prominent role, although he is still involved. Agence Bretagne Presse was redesigned and relaunched in October 2011. 

Per Denez 

Celtic League member and Breton language activist, Professor Per Denez, died on 3rd July 2011. 

Emgann visit Ireland 

In May and August 2011 a delegation from the Breton group Emgann visited Ireland on the invitation of Republican Sinn Fein to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the Hunger Strikers. A commemorative plaque was offered by the Breton delegation, which was led by Reun Diguerher. 

Ferry Link 

A proposed weekly ferry route between Brittany and Cornwall is currently being discussed and a feasibility study into the venture is being carried out. 13 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. 

Language 

On 7th December 2010 a new language Bill was introduced into the French National Assembly that aims to give greater rights to the languages of the French state, including Breton. The 'Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) aims to establish a greater level of linguistic rights for speakers of 'regional' languages and will bring the French state in line with European legal norms. The Bill, if successful, will include a state guarantee for the teaching of Breton to children and could could potentially have a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language, which according to some predictions is losing an estimated 10 000 speakers a year. In November 2010 language activists demanded that more Breton language signs are erected at post offices and a peaceful protest was staged in Landerne/Landerneau. However, the manager of the post office called the police and the activists were arrested." 

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact: Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League: Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912 M: 0044 (0)7787318666 gensec@celticleague.net. The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query 

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.

26.10.11

Mebyon Kernow Annual Conference

It is only four weeks to Mebyon Kernow’s 2011 Conference, which will take place at Bodmin’s Shire House Suite on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November. All members and supporters are welcome to attend and we hope to see you there.

The Saturday will feature leading members of MK and a range of guest speakers including Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwrm and Kenneth Gibson, SNP member of the Scottish Parliament for Cunninghame North.

In the evening there will be a buffet, bar and entertainment, with the cost of tickets set at £10 per person. 

MK’s formal AGM will be on Sunday, when there will also be a series of debates on party policy and sessions on campaign strategy. 

For tickets to the concert, contact Stephen Richardson at 39 Chariot Road, Illogan Highway, Redruth or 07711 587905 or via: stephen.richardsonATmebyonkernow.org.

22.10.11

The Basque Experience in language recovery

For all those interested in language recovery and promoting Cornish let me direct you towards this fascinating document called The Basque Experience. Read, learn and then pass on to others.

Radio Free Cornwall

Please come and join (like) the Radio Free Cornwall page on Facebook. We are always looking for articles and blogs of interest to bring to the attention of members. Equally we are ready to consider new editors for the page so please do ask if it interest you.

19.10.11

41% of kids in Kernow identify as Cornish rather than English or British.

From the great Cornwall 24 news websitesite: To ‘the three Rs’, add ‘I’ for identity. 41% of kids in Kernow identify as Cornish rather than English or British according to the latest PLASC schools ethnicity survey.

17.10.11

Devonwalls friends in Brittany

Néanmoins, les corniques hurlent au massacre culturel quant à une réunion des comtés du Devon et de Cornwall (The new Devonwall !), mais là ils ne comprennent pas encore le potentiel culturel et autonomiste d'une Nation Devonwall, regroupant deux cultures identiques britoniques, avec un Dewnansek (Devon language, très proche du Cornique commun) retrouvé (à l'avenir !).

The translation of which reads: Nevertheless the Cornish hurl cultural massacre with regards a 'reunion' of the counties of Devon and Cornwall (The new Devonwall!), but here they don't understand, yet, the cultural and autonomist potential of a Devonwall nation, regrouping two identical brythonic cultures with Dewnansek (Devon language, very close to common Cornish).

The quote is taken from comments left by Yves Le Gonidec at the bottom of this Agence Bretagne Presse article - Les Britanniques ne veulent plus être britanniques. More alarming perhaps than the comments themselves is the position of influence Yves Le Gonidec has in a Breton university. Of course if I were to point out to Yves that half of Brittany was traditionally Gallo speaking, a latin language, and therefore, following his logic, better linked to latin langue d'oil speaking regions of France rather than the Celtic speaking west of Brittany, I'm sure he would object. Or perhaps if I were to remind him that a very large part of France, and French culture, has Celtic Gaulish roots this being enough of a reason for maintaining Brittany joined to France, run from Paris, again I'm sure he would object once more. He would be right to do so in both instances.

This comes hot on the heals of an article featured in the Celtic Leagues, usually fantastic, Carn magazine written by the Breton Gi Keltik. His artcle Armoric Breizh spectacular contains:

"The links and agreements between Clovis and the Breton-British army helped a lot during this second migration with the aid of King Riwal of Domnonea in 511. As you may know this small kingdom is now “Devon”. At the time this kingdom also controlled the northern part of “Armorica-Breizh” (Leon and Treger). Therefore, this is the first time it is possible and correct to use the word “Breizh”, because these people came from Great Britain"

Not once are Cornwall or the Cornish mentioned in the article! Gi, the Kingdom, and polity, that was Domnonea was pushed back to the now territory of Cornwall which alone to this day has maintained its own sense of national identity. Todays Cornish national identity is the direct descendant of the Kingdom of Domnonea. Devon has merely inherited elements of its name.

Celtic Devon, one face of the Devonwall project, seems to have recruited at least a couple of influential individuals in Brittany. What are our Cornish academics doing to counter this nonsense?

Devonwalls friends in Brittany

Néanmoins, les corniques hurlent au massacre culturel quant à une réunion des comtés du Devon et de Cornwall (The new Devonwall !), mais là ils ne comprennent pas encore le potentiel culturel et autonomiste d'une Nation Devonwall, regroupant deux cultures identiques britoniques, avec un Dewnansek (Devon language, très proche du Cornique commun) retrouvé (à l'avenir !).

The translation of which reads: Nevertheless the Cornish hurl cultural massacre with regards a 'reunion' of the counties of Devon and Cornwall (The new Devonwall!), but here they don't understand, yet, the cultural and autonomist potential of a Devonwall nation, regrouping two identical brythonic cultures with Dewnansek (Devon language, very close to common Cornish).

The quote is taken from comments left by Yves Le Gonidec at the bottom of this Agence Bretagne Presse article - Les Britanniques ne veulent plus être britanniques. More alarming perhaps than the comments themselves is the position of influence Yves Le Gonidec has in a Breton university. Of course if I were to point out to Yves that half of Brittany was traditionally Gallo speaking, a latin language, and therefore, following his logic, better linked to latin langue d'oil speaking regions of France rather than the Celtic speaking west of Brittany, I'm sure he would object. Or perhaps if I were to remind him that a very large part of France, and French culture, has Celtic Gaulish roots this being enough of a reason for maintaining Brittany joined to France, run from Paris, again I'm sure he would object once more. He would be right to do so in both instances.

This comes hot on the heals of an article featured in the Celtic Leagues, usually fantastic, Carn magazine written by the Breton Gi Keltik. His artcle Armoric Breizh spectacular contains:

"The links and agreements between Clovis and the Breton-British army helped a lot during this second migration with the aid of King Riwal of Domnonea in 511. As you may know this small kingdom is now “Devon”. At the time this kingdom also controlled the northern part of “Armorica-Breizh” (Leon and Treger). Therefore, this is the first time it is possible and correct to use the word “Breizh”, because these people came from Great Britain"

Not once are Cornwall or the Cornish mentioned in the article! Gi, the Kingdom, and polity, that was Domnonea was pushed back to the now territory of Cornwall which alone to this day has maintained its own sense of national identity. Todays Cornish national identity is the direct descendant of the Kingdom of Domnonea. Devon has merely inherited elements of its name.

Celtic Devon, one face of the Devonwall project, seems to have recruited at least a couple of influential individuals in Brittany. What are our Cornish academics doing to counter this nonsense?

16.10.11

Clearly Cornish


15.10.11

The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy

The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy by Tom Nairn “Dazzling, cliché-nailing ... The first serious study for more than a hundred years to take a coldly analytical look at this most emotion-charged part of our heritage, it reflects a growing sense of the peculiarity of it all.”—The Observer

In this acclaimed meditation on the British state, its identity and culture, Tom Nairn sees the monarchy both as its apex and its essence, the symbol of a national backwardness. This powerful, analytical, and bitterly funny book lays bare Britain’s peculiar, pseudo-modern, national identity, one that remains fixated on the Crown and its constitutional framework, the “parliamentary sovereignty” of Westminster.

Lets hope Tom Nairn was well informed about the Cornish question and the Duchy of Cornwall before he wrote this book. Even if this is not the case then Nairn is still one of the most interesting writers to tackle the centralised and terribly outdated British state. More of his highly recommended writings can be found here at Our Kingdom.

Just some random thoughts on the Duchy of Cornwall. 

When in debate with those opposed to any kind of Cornish recognition a frequent arguments encountered is that Cornwall has no particular constitutional status and that Cornish nationalists are lying if they say otherwise. Notably this argument has been most vehemently proffered by a handful of individuals interested in promoting a Celtic Devonshire - along with selling the newly invented Devon flag and bumper stickers of course. Perhaps readers will remember how the BBC helped them in promoting 'Celtic Devonshire' and the new flag. I wonder who got a kickback from merchandise sales? Anyway their constitutional argument often takes two perspectives: 1) That Duchy of Cornwall (DoC) estates and lands are mostly outside of Cornwall and therefore the Duke doesn't own Kernow. 2) The Duchy of Cornwall is almost the same as the Duchy of Lancaster (DoL). 

Bearing this in mind, why is it then that the territorial extent of the Duchy of Lancaster is no big secret? Why is it so easy to clearly differentiate the lands and estates the DoL owns from its actual constitutional territory? Have a look at the map -Properties and Estates-  from their website if you need convincing. Equally the territorial extent of the DoL is clearly displayed on Wikipedia.  

Good grief! Why is it so hard for the DoC to place a similar map on its website showing that, in a constitutional sense, it covers the territory of Cornwall in the same way the DoL covers the County Palatine of Lancaster? Why can't the DoC admit, like the DoL seems so ready to do, that the estates and lands it owns outside Kernow are just its private investments, quite different from its actual constitutional territory - Cornwall. Even getting a map on Wikipedia showing the territorial extent of the DoC's constitutional powers (ie Bona Vacantia) seems to be an impossibility. 

What exactly is the difference between the DoL and the DoC that makes it so unsavoury for the latter to be honest? 

14.10.11

Cornish Zetetics: Cornish terrify Guardian





Lies can only last so long before the truth will out. We must not give an inch and continue to fight with every ounce of strength we have. Such an honorable struggle - what more does one want in life.


13.10.11

The Reunited Nations

UK citizens reject 'British' label, Guardian survey finds: Another 1,309 people chose other, particularly in Cornwall, where there is a home rule and Cornish language movement principally led by the pro-devolution group Mebyon Kernow, which has 22 local councillors across the county.The eastern edge of the "other" dots in the south-west of England closely follows the line of the Tamar river, the historic boundary between Cornwall and the rest of England.

Not county but Celtic nation, constitutional Duchy and most certainly next to England not part of it. Ho hum, much work still to be done. 

Above is the result, with relevant Cornish quotation, from the Guardians survey on national identity blogged about here. The original title of the Guardian series that this survey is part of is 'Disunited Kingdom'. Of course I see the reason for their choice of title but aren't they being overwhelmingly negative about the increase in democracy and freedom that our Celtic push for national self-determination has brought and will continue to deliver? 

Instead why not 'The Reunited Nations' as a title to represent the hope of one day seeing all the nations of these isles independent yet side by side, partners, in a social, ecological  and federal Europe.

11.10.11

Disunited Kingdom?

More from the Guardian: Disunited Kingdom? | UK news | The Guardian. Plenty of interesting reading to be found here as well as a wealth of opportunities for Cornish comment.

Sadly the Guardian has so far decided to ignore the Cornish question in all of its articles and surveys in this Disunited Kingdom series. To help them back on the track of well informed and unbiased journalism I strongly suggest you contact them and let them know what you think. Their contact details can be found here.

8.10.11

Electoral performance of regionalist parties and perspectives on regional identity in French regions

Electoral performance of regionalist parties and perspectives on regional identity in French regions

A case concerning status of Duchy of Cornwall

One to watch: 11kbw - Latest cases: 11KBW acts for all parties in case concerning status of Duchy of Cornwall. Although I have a funny feeling the Duke will manage to stitch-up justice and democracy once again. 

How 'other' does Cornwall feel?

Please visit this page -Would you describe yourself as British?- to help the Guardian build a map of national identity in the UK. Regrettably there is no 'Cornish' option but you can choose 'other' to make the Duchy stand out from English counties. To take things further, the Guardian is looking for readers videos here.

Lets cover Cornwall in other.

1.10.11

A response from Republic

As with many national UK-wide organisations we have set up branches in Scotland and Wales in order for us to better campaign within the devolved political and media communities there. We are not campaigning for a Scottish or Welsh republic separate to the UK, we are simply responding to a strategic need to have branches that can specifically target politicians and media in Cardiff and Edinburgh. Those groups are there to assist us in campaigning around the UK for the abolition of the monarchy – they are there to campaign in Wales and Scotland, not for Wales and Scotland.

England has no devolved political and media set-up, on the whole that which serves England is the same as that which serves the UK, whether that’s the parliament, government or the BBC and national press. To many people that’s an unfortunate feature of our constitution but it is nevertheless a fact. We do encourage (and will do so much more in the coming months) local activity within England (and elsewhere) but in broad terms this is a national issue and it is best dealt with by everyone supporting a national campaign – there would certainly be no strategic advantage in establishing a separate Republic England. The Scotland and Wales groups are an exception aimed at targeting devolved media and politics.

I agree that Cornwall is in a different position because of its relationship with the Duchy and we’ve often considered some pro-active work there. As with Wales and Scotland that does rely on local supporters coming forward and helping us campaign in the area (and of course as the Duchy spreads far beyond the borders of Cornwall a corresponding campaign would do likewise). With all these sub-sections of our national campaign it does depend on how we can prioritise our limited resources.

I’d be happy to discuss with anyone interested the possibility of setting something up in Cornwall and perhaps staging an event there in due course. As with our position in Scotland and Wales we would of course take no view on Cornish nationalism but would simply campaign on the issues uniquely relevant to the area of the Duchy.

The above is a response received from Republic to my blog post here. For Cornish campaigners interested in tackling the Duke to contact Republic and see what can be done.