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16.12.12

The Icelandic example


"Small independent countries in northern Europe have fared well".

It's a refreshing message indeed when you consider that 'you're too small and too dependent to survive alone' is what we usually get from state governments and their establishments. Dominated by a majority national group - English, French, Spanish etc - is it any wonder that the concerns of a smaller national group within the same state are brushed aside or attacked without reason.

Firstly, there are plenty of independent states and autonomous regions that have a population, surface area or even both smaller than our mineral rich Cornwall. 

Secondly, what do they mean when they say alone? Is being part of an ever more integrated and federal European Union alone? Perhaps here we see one of the reasons why our current right-wing ConDem government is methodically severing our ties with the EU; and here's me thinking the LibDems were European federalists.

The Icelandic example certainly provides plenty of food for thought for other stateless nations in their quest for greater self-determination.

To follow the Icelandic experiment with democracy more closely you can find a section of articles at OpenDemocracy.

After the financial crash that wrecked the island's economy in 2008, Icelanders took to the streets with pots and pans to demand a new political and economic order. Their wish was granted in the form of a new, 'crowdsourced' constitution, drafted by a Constitutional Council whose members were ordinary citizens. In October 2008, Icelanders accepted the draft in a landslide referendum. What can we - and the European Union! - learn from the Icelandic constitutional experiment?

12.12.12

2011 Census results for Cornish

Nationalia: 57.5% state that Wales is their only nation, with highest proportions in the south east and lowest in the north east · Almost 14% of people in Cornwall declare a Cornish national identity · Englishness more than doubles Britishness in England · London emerges as the stronghold of the British national identity.

With no clear tick-box option for Cornish, and despite limited publicity that claiming such a national identity was even possible, the numbers have still doubled. Not enough some might be tempted to say but hasty comparisons with Scotland and Wales should be guarded against when considering these statistics.

For centuries now Cornwall has suffered Anglo-British propaganda. From all official government sources, establishment bodies, schools and mainstream media outlets we have heard only that we are English and that Cornwall is a simple shire county of England. Unlike Wales and Scotland our national identity has been given no official recognition as a 'home nation' via sports teams, arts bodies or other institutions. Quite the contrary in fact. The Duchy, our true constitutional status, has been swept under the UK's dusty moth-holed carpet. With this in mind is it not really quite miraculous that our Celtic identity has survived and a testimony to its strength. That over the decades dedicated individuals have given up so much to keep the flame alive should never be forgotten. Now for the 80,000 who claimed a Cornish identity to continue the struggle.

There can be no doubt now that for the 2021 UK census, alongside ones for English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish and British, a tick-box option for Cornish national identity must be included. When we note that in 2011 41% of Cornish school children (28,584 pupils out of 69,811) claimed a Cornish identity rather than English, British or other the contradiction with these latest results is evident. So that reliable statistics can at last be collected only one option remains for any responsible future government.

Equally clear is the existence of a sizeable minority population within Cornwall that has no recognition and therefore no provision for the promotion of its culture. The non-inclusion of the Cornish under the terms of the Council of Europe’s framework convention for the protection of national minorities (FCNM) has become an ever more glaring fault of the UK government.

5.12.12

It's got to be Gillingham!



2.12.12

Whose Europe? from the Wessex Regionalists

A guest blog here from the Wessex Regionalists that pretty much hits the nail on the head when it comes to my views on the Europe Union. The articles to be found on the Wessex Regionalists blog are of an excellent quality and well worth a read. All the more so considering their staunch support for Cornish self-determination.

"Every step forward is preceded by a suppression; every reform by the exposure of some abuse; every new idea is born because of the inadequacy of the old concepts." Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) 

Please don’t call us Europhiles. Please don’t call us Eurosceptics. We won’t be driven into any Manichaean pigeonholes. We might perhaps settle for ‘Euro-wary’, attentive to fresh possibilities to gut the British state from within but never fooled by warm, integrationist nonsense concealing a hard, neo-liberal agenda we can get at home. We love deeply our little bit of Europe but our attitude to the European Union could be characterised along the lines of ‘we wouldn’t have started from here’. The way to liberate the European consciousness is not to unite nation-states but to divide them. Division is what multiplies the cross-border issues and impels us towards their resolution at the regional and continental scales. (Trying to resolve them at the national scale just leads to war.) 

The Right in British politics knows what it doesn’t like but doesn’t often let on what it does like. So we have the Scots being warned off independence lest Spanish centralists, fearful of the Catalans, veto their application to (re-)join the EU. Yet the same broad Right can argue that being outside the EU is a good thing, for the UK, but somehow not for its constituent parts on their own. Implicit in this is the idea not only that the UK has critical mass in a global market but that the advantages this brings are for the good of all, and not just of London and its surroundings. An idea too easily disproved by self-evident facts to require further comment. 

UKIP’s results in this week’s three by-elections may have them believing that they are the new third force in British politics. A much more realistic view is that they are the new home of the protest vote and that normality will resume at the general election. UKIP, with their fanatical opposition to devolution, are just what the establishment ordered: a combination of safety-valve for the desperately disillusioned and attack dog against anyone suggesting meaningful reform of the creaking British constitution. 

Some meaningful reform of the creaking European constitution would be welcome too. The auditors’ qualifying of the EU accounts, now for the 18th year in succession, has become an empty annual ritual, like something out of Gormenghast. And it’s getting worse, though the cause owes more to faulty oversight nationally than in Brussels. The European Parliament’s merry-go-round between Brussels and Strasbourg continues, at vast financial and carbon cost. It will go on until MEPs do the obvious and boycott the Strasbourg sessions. Some face-saving formula can then be devised to allow the French Republic to let go. 

And the budget negotiations? Who needs UKIP when other European leaders might be happy to see the back of the British delegation? Of course the European budget should be cut, first, ahead of national ones. But national budgets in turn should be cut ahead of regional and local ones. We despise Britain’s government for its cherry-picking attitude to subsidiarity. Imagine how things SHOULD be. Regional representatives gather for talks, somewhere central within the UK. Carlisle, say. Wessex demands massive cuts in the UK budget in order to protect its own spending plans, which are under pressure from shires keen to safeguard the most essential local services. Eventually a deal is struck. Several common policies are jettisoned, with jurisdiction passing to the regional governments. The bloated Whitehall bureaucracy is forced to tighten its belt at last. Its international budget, for interfering in the affairs of other countries and generally throwing its weight around, is pared back. A transition package is agreed for regions worst hit by the contraction of UK Government spending. In the background, diplomats agree new protocols on inter-regional transport, trade and tourism. 

We might even imagine the slogan. In Britain, but not run by Britain. Sounds fair?

28.11.12

Will it be Scottish nationalists that damn Cornwall's border?

Are the SNP ready to support the Tories over boundry change in 'England' for the option of devo max?


Alarm bells should now be ringing at MK, the EFA, the Celtic League and the Celtic Congress! 

Time to get in touch with our friends (?) in Scotland perhaps.

Battle lines drawn over new airport for Nantes

Battle lines drawn over new airport for Nantes

25.11.12

Mebyon Kernow conference 2012 on Audioboo

17.11.12

A better world

Is there really no alternative? Is the current economic system the only possible option? Since the collapse of the Soviet Union it seems that one could be forgiven for thinking that the debate was closed. 

The dominant narrative today is of the absolute victory of global capitalism. Any alternative economic systems are seen as utopic and poorly adapted to the less than perfect human condition. 

No one can deny that capitalism has dragged millions out of poverty whilst other systems have fallen into the worst of totalitarianisms. However, from here must we concede that capitalism is the best - the only - possibility left for us to organise human life on the surface of the Earth?


Around 100km east of Seville in Spain lies a small town of 2,700 people called Marinaleda. It's one of many agriculture-based towns and villages in the province of Seville, surrounded by mile upon mile of flat, agricultural plains.

What makes Marinaleda different, indeed from anywhere else in Spain and possibly Europe too, is that for the past 30 years it has been a centre of continuing labour struggle and a place where a living, developing and actual form of socialism has emerged.

In the 1970s and '80s, in a struggle for jobs, workers in Marinaleda were involved in occupations and expropriations of land from local landowners.

They were led by a charismatic trade unionist called Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo of the Sindicato de Obreros del Campo (Agricultural Workers' Union). 

In 1979 the union activists established the Colectivo de Unidad de los Trabajadores - Bloque Andaluz de Izquierdas (Collective for the Unity of Workers - Andalusian Left Block, or CUT) and stood in the local elections on a radical socialist platform of agricultural reform. They were immediately elected and Sanchez Gordillo became mayor.

Since that day the party has held a majority on the local council.

In 1986 CUT became part of Izquierda Unida (United Left, or IU), the main political grouping of socialist, communist and green parties in Spain. Marinaleda Council currently has seven IU councillors and four from the reformist Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party).

Sanchez, who typically wears a Palestinian scarf given to him on a visit to the occupied country, is a history teacher, mayor, IU member of the Andalusian parliament, national spokesman of CUT and secretary for housing on the IU federal executive committee.

Marinaleda hit the news when its workers successfully expropriated a 3,000-acre estate from the Duke of Infantado in 1991. El Humoso, as the estate is known, was turned over to local people and now comprises eight agricultural co-operatives where the majority of local people work.

The co-operatives concentrate on labour intensive crop production such as artichokes, peppers, beans and also wheat and olives. Every worker gets paid the same wage - 47 Euros for a six-and-a-half-hour working day.

According to official statistics there are 130 registered unemployed in the town of 2,700, which, during a time of deep economic crisis and unemployment in Spain, must be the lowest in the country.

Marinaleda has also developed an utterly unique form of truly socialist housing provision. In contrast to the rampant speculation that has ruined the Spanish housing market, much of the high-quality housing in Marinaleda has been built on municipal land by local people themselves.

They subsequently become the owners of the houses paying just 15 Euros a month while contributing an agreed number of working hours each month to constructing more.

There's a clear agreement that they cannot sell the houses at any time in the future. The system means that house owners do not have mortgages and there is no possibility of financial speculation.

As an example of Marinaleda's socialist principles and believing that power has to be in the hands of local people, the local council has created general assemblies where around 400 to 600 local people meet 25 to 30 times a year to voice their concerns and vote on issues from festivals, town planning and sport to ecology and peace.

A further example of the council's form of local democracy is the use of "participatory budgets" whereby each year the council's proposed investments and expenditures are taken to local areas for discussion.On "Red Sundays" local people do voluntary work in the community.

Another example of the town's radical socialist policies is that they have disbanded the local police force, saving 260,000 Euros (£214,000) per year. This must be unique not only in Spain but also the rest of Europe.

On my admittedly brief visit to Marinaleda, the social and educational provision in the town seem impressive.

There are modern schools, a health centre that is comprehensively resourced so that people don't have to travel to get standard treatment, an active ayuntamiento (council building), a modern and well-equipped sports centre, home services for the elderly, a pensioners' centre, a large cultural centre, a swimming pool, a football stadium and an immaculate nature park and gardens.

Perhaps most impressive is the town's nursery, which opens from 7am to 4pm and costs just 12 euros (£9.90) per month per child. The social provision is outstanding.

The town also has its own radio and television broadcasts, recognising the need to oppose the mainstream and conservative media.

While providing a wide range of music, chat, news and cultural programmes, Radio/TV Marinaleda promotes an alternative ideology based on solidarity, generosity and collective spirit.

Radio and television are important aspects of the council's policy towards the diffusion of alternative political philosophies based on radical socialist thinking and solidarity activities in support of struggles in Palestine, Western Sahara and parts of Latin America.

There are streets in the town named after Che Guevara and Salvador Allende and others named Solidarity, Fraternity and Hope.

Together with many political murals and graffiti, these all play their part in raising political consciousness and providing alternative values to those promoted by capitalism.

On the town's official coat of arms it states: "Marinaleda - Una Utopia Hacia La Paz" (a utopia towards peace). One fascinating aspect of the town is that there is next to no commercial advertising in the streets.

The small local shops have no advertising outside or in their windows and even the bars have few beer adverts outside. It might not be a deliberate policy, but it stands in stark contrast with the rest of Spain.

In an era of rampant global neoliberalism and economic crisis, Marinaleda and the radical political path it has followed is a wonderful example of what can be done when people struggle together to pursue truly radical socialist policies.

The people of Marinaleda deserve the highest praise and support for what they have achieved over the past 30 years.

At a time when cynicism is endemic in politics, Marinaleda provides a refreshing example of what can still be done.

Another, better world is indeed possible 

14.11.12

Still looking for the best beach in Cornwall?


Want to find Porth Emmet beach? Click here


9.11.12

Gordon Brown’s Pro-union speech should leave Cornish in no doubt

Gordon Brown’s Pro-union speech should leave the Cornish in no doubt. He states: "We have guaranteed that no matter whether you are Scottish English Welsh or Irish you will have not just the same political rights but the same economic and social rights- to health care, to the same level of child benefit, to minimum wage, and to pensions".

It should be as clear as day to all in Cornwall now. For the Labour hierarchy the Cornish do not exist. We have no rights other than to be a subset of English. Our collective cultural rights as a national minority within the UK are ignored and our economy and environment are ruined for the benefit of the home counties and their residents. The only right we do seem to have is that to be exploited by one of the UK's feudal relics.

None of this comes as a surprise though. Cornwall doesn't vote Labour and so they have little interest in flattering our national identity.

7.11.12

The Bretons that protect their land

Bretons resist the land grab of multinational company VINCI.


First Plogoff now Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

The below is from the Celtic League.
 
Just days after the Celtic League criticised the lack of accountability of special police in the Celtic countries and we post links showing one such force in action trying to suppress peaceful protest against the construction of a new airport near Nantes in Brittany. 

There is considerable opposition to the site of this airport by local people whose rights are being trampled on. 

In one of the videos we post French Police (CRS) are shown utilising the same brutal tactics we have seen against protesters in other Celtic countries. Indeed the scenes are reminiscent of the treatment of the local community in North Mayo who oppose Shell and have seen similar brutal suppression of their legitimate right to protest. 

The Celtic League will be identifying what practical steps it can take to assist the anti airport protest in Brittany. 




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 

Internet site here and Yahoo news group here.


The Bretons that protect their land

Bretons resist the land grab of multinational company VINCI.


First Plogoff now Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

The below is from the Celtic League.
 
Just days after the Celtic League criticised the lack of accountability of special police in the Celtic countries and we post links showing one such force in action trying to suppress peaceful protest against the construction of a new airport near Nantes in Brittany. 

There is considerable opposition to the site of this airport by local people whose rights are being trampled on. 

In one of the videos we post French Police (CRS) are shown utilising the same brutal tactics we have seen against protesters in other Celtic countries. Indeed the scenes are reminiscent of the treatment of the local community in North Mayo who oppose Shell and have seen similar brutal suppression of their legitimate right to protest. 

The Celtic League will be identifying what practical steps it can take to assist the anti airport protest in Brittany. 




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 

Internet site here and Yahoo news group here.


1.11.12

A Google map of where Breton is spoken

Lec'hioù ma vez komzet brezhoneg - Google Maps - Ar soñj gant ar gartenn-mañ a zo renabliñ stalioù, embregerezhioù, ti touristed ha kement zo tout e-lec'h ma vez komzet brezhoneg.

The idea of this map is to locate shops, companies, tourist information offices and more where Breton is spoken.  An idea for a language like Cornish which needs to advertise its presence.

A Google map of where Breton is spoken

Lec'hioù ma vez komzet brezhoneg - Google Maps - Ar soñj gant ar gartenn-mañ a zo renabliñ stalioù, embregerezhioù, ti touristed ha kement zo tout e-lec'h ma vez komzet brezhoneg.

The idea of this map is to locate shops, companies, tourist information offices and more where Breton is spoken.  An idea for a language like Cornish which needs to advertise its presence.

31.10.12

Independence and federalism?

Federalism is traditionally understood as being opposed to nationalism, but the idea that Scotland should be a member state of the EU in its own right rather than part of the member state called the UK is hardly an example of the kind of nationalism to which federalism is opposed. Scottish independence is better understood as a debate about the application of subsidiarity: what is the appropriate level for taking certain political decisions? There is no particular reason for federalists to take sides. 

Federal Union | The forthcoming referendum in Scotland

Mebyon Kernow have the respectable and reasonable goal of an assembly for Cornwall along similar lines to the one which is enjoyed in our sister nation Wales.

As an individual however, whilst supporting the objective of an assembly, I prefer to look beyond at what could follow. Am I a Cornish autonomist anymore than a federalist? Anymore than a republican for that matter? The Cornish Federalist would be an equally fitting name for this blog if it weren't for the feudal nonsense that is the Duchy. 

Anyway, I make no bones of hiding my point of view. An assembly within the UK is for me but a stepping stone to an independent Cornwall within a federal Europe. A vision I'd be happy to debate with anybody interested.

Keeping some perspective

If like me you've been totally underwhelmed by the Visit Cornwall and Cornwall Council websites to give any recognition to our culture, language and national identity then rest assured, you are not being a pessimist.

Even in the centralised Jacobin French state the council for the administrative region of Brittany has managed this: Lec'hienn Rannvro Briezh. Then compare Visit Cornwall's bland and uninspiring website, which some how is supposed to respect Cornishness by omitting the word county, to Tourism Bretagne's efforts here: Lec’hienn ofisiel Poellgor an Touristerezh e Breizh. There really is no photo.

24.10.12

The truth will out

Freedom of information campaigner and journalist Heather Brooke says the decision by the government to veto the release of letters from Prince Charles is almost feudal and an affront to democracy. Brooke says that while the coalition government has made the workings of the state more transparent, a 'ruling elite' is still defending secrecy.

30.9.12

Our Cornwall

Cornwall Council are planning another huge jump in the population of Cornwall over the next 20 years. Join us and oppose their plans to re-shape our land.. 

It's Our Cornwall is a site dedicated to safeguarding Cornwall's environment and defending its Cornishness. It stems from the dismay and frustration felt at the suburbanisation of Cornwall that has steamrollered over us since the 1960s. Its first aim is to encourage as many Cornish residents as possible to make their views known in Cornwall Council's Core Strategy/Local Plan consultation. (This page has been initiated by one of the authors of Cornwall at the Crossroads, published by the Cornish Social and Economic Research Group in 1989.)

 General information Twenty years ago in Cornwall at the Crossroads we called for a breathing space so that Cornwall and its communities could take stock and plan for a properly sustainable future. Yet high rates of housing and population growth carried on and since 2009 growth pressures in Cornwall have moved up a gear. Local groups have been fighting plans for large building projects from Camborne to Saltash. 

Now, even though the rate of population growth has slowed down since the 1980s, Cornwall Council want to push it back up again. Since the 1960s the population of Cornwall has grown by 56%. Yet the Council is planning another 48,000 to 60,000 houses dotted around Cornwall. In just 20 years. Over two thirds of these new houses are not needed for local people but will go to in-migrants or be bought as second homes. 

This will increase the built-up area of Cornwall by over 20% in just 20 years. A stable population policy aimed at local needs while still permitting 80% of current in-migration would require less than 13,000 new houses. 

The long-term consequences of such a rate of growth are nothing short of catastrophic. Acres of countryside will be lost, traffic congestion will get even worse, our natural resources will be irresponsibly consumed. And the current population of 532,000 - up from 340,000 in 1961 - will be verging on a million by the end of the century. Twice the current numbers and more than twice the present built-up area! This is the bleak future our Council is planning for us. 

This insane agenda has to be halted. A policy of population-led growth has been pursued since the 1960s. It has failed - economically, environmentally and culturally. But our politicians only promise more of the same inappropriate and unsustainable growth. 

It's surely time to say we've had enough. Local people feel they have little say in the future of Cornwall. The Council is committed to a strategy of housing growth that mortgages our future to serve the interests of up-country developers, large construction companies, landowners and supermarkets. Developer-led growth has to be replaced by democratic development, restoring to the people of Cornwall a sense of ownership over the future of our land. 

Click here for the Our Cornwall Facebook page. 

22.9.12

To keep your Human Rights and obtain Cornish Rights!


Click on the link above and you'll have the chance support Human Rights in the UK as well as a space to call for Cornish rights. 

18.9.12

When the Cornish pound?

16.9.12

All Catalan now.

We are Catalan and we want independence!


Here's another image of multiculturalism in action that will have both far-right thugs and cynical state-nationalists choking on their cereal I hope.

Stateless nations, in this instance Catalonia, can welcome immigrants and their descendants as parts of their diverse societies. This is an image that simply will not compute in the minds of various 'anti-fascist' organisations so intimately bound as they are to the state-nationalisms (imperialisms) of previous centuries.  

Our Cornish, Scottish and Welsh societies and identities can be as welcoming and open as Britishness or Englishness, tainted as they are by previous centuries of imperialism and cultural supremacism. It's our choice. Don't let anybody, certainly not British state-nationalists, try and tell you otherwise. They are playing a cynical game of faux anti-racism fuelled by British nationalism.

Below is a blog on a similar theme from the Breton Connection.




Now that's multicultural for you. An interview in a national minority language (Breton) about a traditional music event with a couple of black musicians wiping the floor with the competition in the background. 

Not the kind of thing you'd find on the websites of the various anti-fascist state-nationalist organisations that seem to be two-a-penny in the UK, France, Spain etc. 

In their defence of the old imperialist states - institutionally intolerant of their original national minorities as well as any other minority group that menaces the establishments hold on power - these anti-racist organisations seem at times more part of the problem than any kind of solution.

14.9.12

Learning Breton

For anybody interested in hearing some spoken Breton (Brezhoneg) then below you'll find a pretty dam good example. 


Breton is the closet relative of the Cornish language and equally shares much with Welsh. I believe 80% of basic vocabulary is shared between Cornish and Breton. 

If you'd like to learn Breton then this blog has plenty of links to useful sites. Of course speaking French will help in accessing the vast majority of learning materials. However, that being said, some organisations have translated their websites into English. Equally, in my experience, the level of spoken English amongst Breton language trainers is above that of the 'French' average.

Finally, if you are an anglophone and you want to learn some Breton don't hesitate to contact me for some advice.

Learning Breton

For anybody interested in hearing some spoken Breton (Brezhoneg) then below you'll find a pretty dam good example. 


Breton is the closet relative of the Cornish language and equally shares much with Welsh. I believe 80% of basic vocabulary is shared between Cornish and Breton. 

If you'd like to learn Breton then this blog has plenty of links to useful sites. Of course speaking French will help in accessing the vast majority of learning materials. However, that being said, some organisations have translated their websites into English. Equally, in my experience, the level of spoken English amongst Breton language trainers is above that of the 'French' average.

Finally, if you are an anglophone and you want to learn some Breton don't hesitate to contact me for some advice.

2.9.12

Cornwall's MP's 1812 - 2012 compared


30.8.12

Common Rights from Peter Tatchell

This is just to promote the new website of a friend of Cornwall, Peter Tatchell, and one of his foundations very worthy campaigns.

Common Rights: Despite the Commonwealth's formal commitment to democracy, human rights, equality and individual freedom, human rights abuses are widespread throughout most member states. These abuses variously include state executions, censorship, torture, detention without trial and restrictions on free speech and the right to protest. There is also frequent state-sanctioned discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion or belief. 

If only the UK could be a paragon of human rights and democracy to lead the way for the others.

25.8.12

Breton Arrested After Visit to Arts Council of Wales Stand at Inter-Celtic Festival

Breton Arrested After Visit to Arts Council of Wales Stand at Inter-Celtic Festival « The Celtic League

Breton Arrested After Visit to Arts Council of Wales Stand at Inter-Celtic Festival

Breton Arrested After Visit to Arts Council of Wales Stand at Inter-Celtic Festival « The Celtic League

24.8.12

What do the Tories and the BBC have in common?

The desire to manipulate people in the name of Anglo-British nationalism could be the unfortunate answer. When it comes to quashing Cornish national identity, along with hopes of any real devolution, then these two others-wise-enemies are quick to combine their efforts.

The Tories in Cornwall have recently announced that the campaign for a Cornish assembly is a divisive and inward looking failure. They described the campaign as a form of separatism from the United Kingdom. At this point most Cornish campaigners must have wondered if the Tories where talking about the Cornwall we all know and love or one that exists in a parallel universe. 

I can't speak for all but the vast majority of the Cornish movement do not want Cornwall separated from the United Kingdom. Speaking as one who does want a Cornish republic I know what a small minority I'm in. What is sought is recognition of Cornwall's national identity. That we are not a county of England but rather one of the Celtic home nations of Great Britain and therefore deserving of an assembly. This in no way can be seen as separation from the United Kingdom. Is Wales now separate from the UK because it has an assembly? If anything it would be a step towards a more democratic and federal UK.  

At this point let's not forget the rabid europhobia that infects the Conservative party amply demonstrated by ever increasing calls from their hard-right to pull out of the European Union.  Separatism if ever there was.

I assume the Tories in Cornwall know the difference between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the internationally recognised sovereign state) and the traditional home nation that is England. Equally they are aware that the campaign for a Cornish assembly is not about separation from the UK. Why then these glaring errors?

The rather predictable answer is that the Tories are treating us all like chumps. They are fully aware of a rise in British patriotism following the Olympics. Conscious of this wave of pride in the UK they want to portray Cornish nationalists and assembly campaigners as wanting to tear Cornwall away from the United Kingdom. They assume that most citizens won't know that much about the Cornish assembly campaign or Cornish nationalism and, moreover, that we don't really know the difference between England and they United Kingdom. It's manipulative spin riding on a wave of British nationalism designed to misrepresent the aims of a political enemy, Cornish assembly campaigners, in order to dismiss them all the more easily. 

Why mention the BBC then? Well it must have been around the 20th of August that I watched an article on Spotlight which was based on the Tory spin discussed above. Did the BBC take the opportunity to remind the Conservatives that the campaign for a Cornish assembly is not about separation from the UK but rather the creation of a devolved assembly for Cornwall similar to the one in Wales? Of course they didn't. In fact the story was introduced by a graphic showing a Cornish flag being separated form a Union Jack and not, as would have been far closer to the truth, a St George Cross. They gave a stage to a Tory MP to peddle misrepresentations of the assembly campaign and then backed it up with some swish graphics.

Now for our Cornish assembly campaigners, including our three Lib Dem MP's, to lobby the BBC to be allowed to respond to the Tories on a future edition of Spotlight.

22.8.12

Olympics – Breton Flags Confiscated

Olympics – Breton Flags Confiscated « Celtic League

Olympics – Breton Flags Confiscated

Olympics – Breton Flags Confiscated « Celtic League

3.8.12

Now that's multicultural for you




Now that's multicultural for you. An interview in a national minority language (Breton) about a traditional music event with a couple of black musicians wiping the floor with the competition in the background. 

Not the kind of thing you'd find on the websites of the various antifascist yet state-nationalist organisations that seem to be two-a-penny in the UK, France, Spain etc. 

In their defence of the old imperialist states - institutionally intolerant of their original national minorities as well as any other minority group that menaces the establishments hold on power - these anti-racist organisations seem at times more part of the problem than any kind of solution.

Now that's multicultural for you




Now that's multicultural for you. An interview in a national minority language (Breton) about a traditional music event with a couple of black musicians wiping the floor with the competition in the background. 

Not the kind of thing you'd find on the websites of the various antifascist yet state-nationalist organisations that seem to be two-a-penny in the UK, France, Spain etc. 

In their defence of the old imperialist states - institutionally intolerant of their original national minorities as well as any other minority group that menaces the establishments hold on power - these anti-racist organisations seem at times more part of the problem than any kind of solution.

2.8.12

The Daily Mail wants your feedback!

Of course we could add 99% of Cornish papers - Wester Morning News, Cornwall Today, Cornish Guardian, The Cornishman, The West Briton as well as the network of 'Local People' websites to the above as they are all owned by the same Northcliffe Media group.

31.7.12

Breton flag not welcome at the Olympics

It seems the control freaks responsible for security at the Games have decided to ban the national flag of Brittany.

If you are going to the Games consider showing a little solidarity with our sister nation and take along a Gwen ha Du.

Breton flag not welcome at the Olympics

It seems the control freaks responsible for security at the Games have decided to ban the national flag of Brittany.

If you are going to the Games consider showing a little solidarity with our sister nation and take along a Gwen ha Du.

30.7.12

Proud to be British?

Hope not hate are looking for your feedback again following the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. You can send then you thoughts here: HOPE not hate | Proud to be British? 

Ty Gwyr Gweryn sent back the following. I hope it inspires others to comment.

Dear Nick, 

Many thanks for your latest email and I must certainly confess to supporting the concept of Hope not Hate. However, I have to do this from a position where my own identity is officially suppressed by lies and propaganda, by the Crown, and State, as to where I fit into the scheme of things.

I consider myself to be first and foremost a Cornishman. It is a historical identity, and nationality, that I have to constantly defend against those that arrogantly deny as existing, or ever existing. This is because of a clear case of collusion between past Monarchs and Dukes of Cornwall that have suppressed the true constitutional status of Cornwall as a Royal Duchy and by some illegal chicanery reduced the status of Cornwall to a de facto administrative English county. Whilst instituted in the past. it is a process, which can only be equated to a process of Cornish Genocide, that is being perpetrated today by the two people that are currently holding those constitutional positions and institutionalised by the actions of 'The State'. 

Am I proud to be British? NO! I am proud to be Cornish. 'British' is not a national identity, it is a citizenship of a multi-national State. An Imperial political construct that by its very nature seeks to undermine the indigenous nations of this Island. Its existing constitution is hegemonic and flawed and requires re-addressing to make it fair and equitable to all in an open and transparent way. Let me reinforce my position that I do not Hate, but the actions of 'the State' towards the Cornish people and nation, do not lead me to think of it kindly. 

There is a lot that I could say, but would serve no useful purpose, but there were a number of references that exposed the Anglocentric outpourings of the event to reflect more this Sceptred Isle than Britain. With regard to the Olympics as an event: I have every regard for sports people and athletes and what they can offer the world and I wish that everyone of the participants may achieve the best that they are able. All the hype I find quite disingenuous, but probably necessary. 

I wish you and Hope not Hate well, but there is a lot of ground to cover.

28.7.12

Trelawney Alliance new website

The Trelawney Alliance is administered by a Committee under the Chairmanship of Jean Charman to forward democratic opinions about intended developments with the ultimate aim of getting unnecessary plans overturned. We say NO to the proposed mass build of 48,200 new homes in Cornwall, but YES to affordable homes and social housing for local people. It is time to tell the developers that!

26.7.12

The 2012 Human Rights Tour coming to Kernow

The 2012 Human Rights Tour organised by the British Institute of Human Rights is coming to Cornwall. The event will be held on the 20th of September, Truro Town Hall, Municipal Buildings, Boscawen Street, Truro, TR1 2NE. 

Human Rights are for everyone.

Human Rights are the result of centuries of struggle, by groups and individuals who suffered persecution or neglect at the hands of an often all too powerful state. 

Human Rights became international law after the horrors of World War II when, thanks to the advocacy of civil society, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Human Rights are under attack. Too many of our political leaders and some sections of the media want to go backwards, not forwards. 

Join the fight back at the BIHR 2012 Human Rights Tour – coming soon to a city near you! 

Human Rights go to the heart of the kind of society we want to be. Learn more, and get involved, at the 2012 Human Rights Tour.

Places are limited so please book early! We may need to limit the number of representatives from one organisation if demand is high and we would also ask that you contact us if you are booked on and find you are unable to attend. This will allow us to admit people on the waiting list.  

Please note that you will not be able to attend without having booked on in advance. Please contact Sophie Howes at showes@bihr.org.uk if you have any questions about the Human Rights Tour.

22.7.12

How Democratic is the UK?

How Democratic is the UK? The 2012 Audit produced by the Democratic Audit is now out. Sadly next to no mention is made of the Cornish autonomy movement, national identity or constitutional position.

Equally the '3 Celtic nations' - Scotland, Wales and the British controlled bit of Ireland - are often mentioned when any impartial observer provided with all information could only conclude that there is a fourth 'Celtic' national identity in the UK. 

The only reference I've found so far is: "It should also be noted that, within England, support exists within some areas - in particular Cornwall - for the introduction of devolved arrangements of some kind". Which it must be said is 100% better than the last audit. 


Has the Cornish movement failed to communicate its, and the Cornish questions, existence to yet another well meaning but poorly informed organisation or has the Democratic Audit chosen to gloss over inconvenient Cornwall?

19.7.12

A British Future but without the Cornish?

British Future describe themselves as "a new independent, non-partisan think-tank seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration, migration and opportunity, so that we feel confident about Britain’s Future.

"We want to ensure that we engage those who are anxious about cultural identity and economic opportunity in Britain today, as well as those who already feel confident about our society, so that we can together identify workable solutions to make Britain the country we want to live in".

Non-partisan? Is the default position of British nationalism non-partisan? Anyway, under the heading 'what we do' they claim a belief in "building a modern British identity which helps us to build an inclusive citizenship, where we can all be confident about who we are, and which recognises the national and local identities we hold in Britain today too". 

Great! So British Future is interested in the actual national identities people hold in their hearts in the UK today. This must surely include the Cornish national identity then? At last a think-tank actually curious about the real grass-roots national identities people perceive themselves to have rather than just the state sanctioned ones.

Well no actually. Even though they have been reminded of the Cornish question on a number of occasions nothing can be found on their website.

A significant number of people in Cornwall and further afield consider themselves to be of Cornish nationality and/or ethnicity. British Future, like any number of other well meaning organisations in the UK, is complicit with the Anglo-British establishment in denying the Cornish recognition as a legitimate national group. Why should this be? I'd be interested to have a candid response from British Future as to why Cornish nationality is not welcomed as part of their British cultural tapestry.

Suggested reading:

The Cornish National Minority Report 2 - Including the Cornish – a unique case for recognition - Synsyans an Gernowyon – kas unnik rag aswonnvos

Ethnic Minorities: Concept and Meaning - Philip Payton Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter ‘Inconvenient Peripheries: Ethnic Identity and the “United Kingdom Estate” – The cases of “Protestant Ulster” and Cornwall’

17.7.12

Cornwall is not England T-shirts

For all those who wish to show their support for the Cornish nation. £7.99+ £2.00 postage and packing from MK Merchandise, 14 Pendarves St, Troon nr Camborne, CORNWALL TR14 9EG.

14.7.12

Making our Cornish society richer, fairer, stronger, brighter

You can read here a recent article, No One Is Free Until Everyone Is Free by Mark Wilson, which started out, frankly, being pretty defamatory of the Cornish cause in general but then, with a little help and good-will, was re-written as a much more balanced and thought provoking piece on the possible inter-relations of nationalism, anti-racism and racist abuse in Cornwall. The title, by the way, quotes Fannie Lou Hamer of the US civil rights movement.

In a chilling coincidence, while this article was being debated, the very same long-suffering institution in Cornwall which the article discussed, which seems to have been made a scapegoat or lightning rod over recent years, was again targeted by cowardly runts spraying absurd hostile graffiti. God knows those targeted deserve some peace and quiet to pass traditions on from grandmother to daughter, grandfather to son, just the same as every one of the rest of us. 

So what is the situation regarding racist incidents in Cornwall ? Looking at statistics of reported racist incidents by police force in England, Wales and Cornwall, and the population within each force's jurisdiction, we can calculate the ratio of incidents per capita population in each police force's area. Then we can rank them in order, where "good" is the least number of reported incidents per capita. If we do that, Cornwall and Devon comes 18th out of 43, worse than Lancashire or Greater Manchester, better than Gwent or Kent (Leicestershire coming out best, City of London worst). It'd be daft to rely on statistics to assess the real decency of everyday conduct, but clearly 18th is not good enough for Cornwall. Without wanting to slope shoulders from a position of ignorance and dump the blame elsewhere (cos we Cornish have already had enough of that sort of slander ourselves from outside Cornwall), although Cornwall & Devon police have not broken down stats by county (sic), evidence suggests that large urban centres outside Cornwall may be hot spots, such as Plymouth. Recent figures about racist incidents reported in schools imply something similar - and underline the importance of helping young people learn how to deal fairly with diversity in their minds and actions. 

These figures probably ignore the elephant in the Cornish room, namely racism based not on colour but culture, but in any case there's no room for complacency in Cornwall. Justice demands that everyone in the Cornish movement do as they would be done by, at home or abroad, and encourage in their own and others' hearts the smelting of intolerance, moulding it into the will to engage with the differences of others in ways which will make our Cornish society richer, fairer, stronger, brighter.

The above contributed by a CRB reader.

Interesting to note that following the large scale condemnation by the Cornish movement of the first round of racist incidents at Quenchwell  the thin façade of Cornish nationalism has been dropped by the eloquently described 'cowardly runts'. Their true colours, white anglo-supremacist and British nationalist, can now be seen by all. I call on the all those in the Cornish nationalist movement to maintain and strengthen the unity against fascism.

11.7.12

Abolish the Duchy Campaign

Republic are holding a meeting in Kernow to discuss their Abolish the Duchy of Cornwall campaign. The details of the meeting are here.  

Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith will be there to discuss the campaign. The meeting will be asked to make some decisions about the issues involved and what the aims of the Duchy campaign should be (for example, what should happen to the Duchy’s land? What should happen with Cornwall’s constitutional status?).

Can I invite all those interested in Cornish constitutional issues to go along with an open mind and the will to debate.

If, as is claimed by our constitutionalists, the Duchy is an all powerful legal entity that exists outside the UK's legal framework then I don't think it will have much to worry about from Republic. What the campaign will do however is draw the public’s attention toward the Duchy. It will give greater credence to the fact that the DoC is anything but a simple collection of private estates.

This wave of publicity could be used by a wise and well coordinated Cornish movement to forward its arguments in the public domain. Does such a movement exist? Already voices have been raised in protest on the Cornwall 24 forum at Republics "external interference" in Cornish affairs. From reading some of the comments on C24 you get the impression that some contributors think they can stop Republic or at least ignore them until they go away.

At the end of the day the campaign will go ahead whether the Cornish movement engages with it or not. We shouldn't shun Republic but rather pursue a polite yet firm dialogue with them that stresses Cornwall's right to constitutional recognition.

9.7.12

Scotland could compete in new Celtic Nations Cup in Brittany

Even if Kernow doesn't get to compete we still a mention: Brittany is one of the six Celtic regions in Western Europe, the others being Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Cornwall.

Scotland could compete in new Celtic Nations Cup in Brittany

Even if Kernow doesn't get to compete we still a mention: Brittany is one of the six Celtic regions in Western Europe, the others being Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Cornwall.

4.7.12

HOPE not hate can't see the Cornish

The HOPE not hate -Proud to be British?- survey results our out and can be found here

Sadly the organisers have not seen fit to give any recognition to the Cornish national identity expressed by respondents to their survey. 

How many of the 2,900 people who filled out they survey claimed to be Cornish and why are we not allowed to know? Isn't this just a little discriminatory against the Cornish national identity? 

Why not leave a comment on their blog asking for some details.

3.7.12

Kendal'ch Keltiek Gwengamp 2012 - The International Celtic Congress in Brittany


The International Celtic Congress will hold its anual event in Guingamp Brittany this year. Hope to see some of you there.

Kendal'ch Keltiek Gwengamp 2012 - The International Celtic Congress in Brittany


The International Celtic Congress will hold its anual event in Guingamp Brittany this year. Hope to see some of you there.

2.7.12

Is Cornish nationalism a joke?

As Mebyon Kernow party leader has pointed out Cornwall is to be totally ignored when the House of Lords is reformed. This follows hot on the heals of the Devonwall constituency, Devonwall police commissioner, a South West Euro-constituency and a long list of other assaults on our identity and territorial integrity. 

Whilst some nationalists get dewy eyed about the flying of a Cornish flag on the Queens barge, which might or might not have been some kind of recognition, in reality we are getting screwed in a way no nation should tolerate. Which begs the question....

None of this would have happened in Wales or Scotland. Why? The sobering response is because Cornish nationalism, and hence the Cornish nation, are ultimately ignorable. Not enough people from Cornwall are prepared to invest their time and efforts in fighting what's happening either via democratic or other means. 

All happy to put Kernow stickers on our cars, bellow out Trelawny and claim to be Cornish Celts but when it comes to making the hard decisions, to taking a stand, then watch as our 'strong identity' sheepishly walks away.

While the other nations in the UK are moving forward to greater autonomy we seem simply to be melting away into some amorphous South West or Devonwall region, and who is doing anything to stop it? I'd be interested to know.

27.6.12

Brittany and the English-speaking world



This looks to be of great interest and note that Cornwall is distinguished from the South West of England.  You can also follow the project on Facebook.

Brittany and the English-speaking world



This looks to be of great interest and note that Cornwall is distinguished from the South West of England.  You can also follow the project on Facebook.

24.6.12

Identity

Following some recent developments identity seems to be a subject worthy of comment. 

First off there is the news concerning the Cornish populations genetic heritage.  

Lets take genetic surveys of this sort with a pinch of salt please. Every year new data is released that seems to contradict what was previously held to be true. If next year new research 'proves' the opposite - no genetic difference between the Cornish and English - would it changed anything within the Cornish movement? Would dedicated autonomists throw their hands in the air and give up the cause? Of course not! I can't speak for everybody but the basis of my political life is not genetic.

The information is interesting in that it supports what Cornish historians have claimed for decades now i.e. until relatively recently Cornwall maintained a distinct society from Devonshire and the rest of England but that's about all. It's certainly no road map for the future. The Cornish identity that we wish to see perpetuated should not be based on bloodlines but rather on a love of culture and heritage. The Cornish society that we wish to see empowered should not be one based on erroneous concepts of racial purity but rather one based on a desire to live and construct our future together. My Cornish nationalism is a project for Kernow's future that I'm more than happy to share with any other inhabitant of plant earth. If Cornish culture and identity are to have any future then they must stretch out beyond any potential Cornish gene-pool.

Then we have Ed Miliband talking up England whilst extolling the multi-layered nature of identity. 

I don't think their are many in the Cornish movement who would wish to try and impose an identity on anybody else. Unlike the imperial powers of yesteryear meddling with the perceptions people have of themselves and their history is not Mebyon Kernow policy. If people see themselves as Cornish, English, British, European and citizens of planet earth then good for them. I hope each aspect of their identity leads to them having a fulfilling and happy life. 

For me after studying part of my history, Cornish history, the words 'English' and 'British' leave a bitter taste. Based on an understanding of the historic relationship between Cornwall and the Anglo-British imperial project (one telling example) I can't comfortably use 'English' or 'British' to describe my identity. It's my choice and one I wouldn't impose on anybody else. For the moment 'European' doesn't catch in my throat but if the European project continues to serve our outdated nation states and insane capitalism rather than the people's of Europe, their multiple cultures and languages then who knows.

Identity is such a profound and personal issue. Lets ensure rather that our children grow up to be authentic individuals and autonomous thinkers so that they might make informed decisions about who they are.

19.6.12

The UDB enters Parliament

Great news in from the French parliamentary elections with the victory of Paol Molac, UDB member and chairman of Div Yezh organisation.

Equally the Breton speaking Jean Luc Bleunven (Parti Socialist), who’s children attend Diwan schools, was elected for Brest whilst Jean-Jacques Urvoas (PS) who supports the official recognition of Breton, was elected deputy for Kemper. 

Breton have also gone to Paris to take up roles in the new socialist government. Marylise le Branchu (PS) comes in as Minister for Decentralisation, with the Breton regional president and language supporter, Jean Yves le Drian (PS), in as Minister for Defence. 

Autonomists Femu Corse were unlucky not to win seats with Angelini and Simeoni both coming a close second in Corsica. Alsacian Armand Jung, who has defended 'regional' languages in parliament, returns for Strasbourg. Martinique also returned two independentist deputies, Alfred Marie-Jeanne and Jean Phillippe Nilor. Two of the four seats in on the Island are now held by independentists!  

To give you an idea of the victory from a Cornish perspective imagine if, supported by Labour and the Greens, Dick Coles was elected MP whilst Andrew George was given responsibility for devolution in the UK.