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Axe the Bedroom Tax in Falmouth


Breizh United - promoting Breton unity

Before the French presidential elections so much was promised to Brittany. Radical decentralisation to the regions and the ratification of the charter for minority languages were clearly stated as objectives by the to-be-victorious Socialist candidate. However, following 'advice' from an obscure constitutional committee, the president has decided not to ratify the charter and his radical decentralisation has turned to farce. 
Leaving aside the small circle of loons from the far-right, Brittany has many other organisations   campaigning for its democratic, cultural and social rights.

In an effort to address the governments broken promises, by mobilising Breton civic society, the Galv Pondi (facebook) - the Call from Pontivy in Breton - has been issued. Expressly excluding the far-right, Galv Pondi is open to all individuals and organisations to sign up to and support. So far the Union Démocratique Bretonne, Parti Breton, BreizhistanceMouvement Bretagne et progrès, Europe Ecologie les Verts, Bretagne Réunie, Ai'ta, 44=Breizh and Kevre Breizh have signed. What are the Celtic League, Celtic Congress and a whole list of others waiting for? Please visit the website of Galv Pondi, sign the manifesto, leave messages of support and then share with your friends.

The UDB has also created a petition on Avaaz.org to support the campaign. They write: Accordingly, the undersigned people urge the President François Hollande : - To ratify the European Charter for Minority Languages, as promised by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, his campaign pledge No. 56. - To make, without delay, the necessary arrangements for the reunification of Brittany. What is possible in Alsace should also be so in Brittany - To enable and support the creation in Brittany of a bilingual public television station following the example of Stella Via Corsica, transmitting to the five Breton departments. - To give Brittany, in the context of the future decentralization law, a special status that - inspired by those of Scotland, Wales and Catalonia. If special statuses are available for major cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille why not for Brittany? The signatories want to bring these claims to the State so that our basic democratic rights are finally met. For more information follow the link beside : www.breizh-united.net

The above Breizh United  / Galv Pondi is a continued effort at dialogue hoping to apply pressure on the government in Paris and politicians in Brittany. The campaign Yes Breizh (facebook) on the other hand is explicitly aimed at independence. Wishing to capitalise on developments in Scotland and Catalonia, Yes Breizh is a platform designed to promote public awareness and debate. They write: "Yes Breizh is an educational process that aims to unchain speech and thought on the issue of an independent Brittany. Because there are always several alternatives in the destiny of nations, it is urgent to keep the door open to other visions of the future for Brittany". Not a bad idea for Cornwall perhaps. Again you can help by signing their petition and circulating their website.
Both the former manage to avoid contamination by the far-right by, in the case of Galv Pondi, simply banning them from taking part or, as does Yes Breizh, only allowing people in their individual capacity to sign the petition. Unfortunately Kelc’h An Dael, (facebook) an association to promote the establishment of a Breton parliament - in itself a great idea -  has chosen neither option. KAD clearly display the support they receive from the far-right nationalist party Adsav. The result being that the vast majority of other Breton groups want nothing to do with them going as far as to exclude members of their organisations that have joined KAD.

Leaving aside the ethical arguments of giving any publicity to the far-right just imagine Mebyon Kernow openly standing beside a Cornish equivalent of the National Front or BNP and I think you'll understand the simple tactical error. Have various manifestations of the far-right brought Catalonia and Scotland to the brink of independence? Have the centre-left in Scotland or centre-right in Catalonia achieved so much by associating with racists, islamophobes, homophobes, eurosceptics and conspiracy theorists? A parliament for Brittany is such an important idea why tie a lead weight to its neck by association with fascists?

Only Cornwall should win here

The collated results from every division MK contested in the 2009 Cornwall Council election as a bar chart and a percentage, can we do better than third over all this time. If you want to make this happen, here's how you can help. Like and share this photo, get in to contact with us to help canvass or display a poster, tell your friends about MK, vote for change on the 2nd of May. 


The left-of-Labour vote in Cornwall

The Left Vote is a site dedicated to highlighting the election campaigns of those to the left of the stifling Westminster consensus. It is not affiliated to any left grouping, will no doubt promote flawed or controversial candidates alongside sound and solid ones. We’re not here to judge, although we shall discuss and evaluate the success, or otherwise, of the various campaigns. Set up in time for the 2013 English County elections we hope, of course, to play a fuller role in 2014′s Euro-elections and London’s local elections, as well as 2015′s vital General Election.  

Anti-racism spelled out in black and white

Sue Bowen claims she was "duped into joing the BNP" and yet somehow still thought that she had what it took to be an elected representative for her community. Stunning! Simply stunning.

It makes depressing reading to see she passed by Mebyon Kernow before arriving in the BNP and UKIP. Can I suggest, just so that those with far-right inclinations aren't tempted to try MK in the future, the party makes a clear statement of being opposed to all forms of racism and intolerance. After reading MK's policy overview I'm sure that to be the case so why not spell it out in black and white.


The UK's ambiguous attitude towards unions

Why is Cornwall always forgotten. What are our nationalist and autonomist politicians doing wrong?


The People's Assembly

This is a call to all those millions of people in Britain who face an impoverished and uncertain year as their wages, jobs, conditions and welfare provision come under renewed attack by the government. 

With some 80% of austerity measures still to come, and with the government lengthening the time they expect cuts to last, we are calling a People’s Assembly Against Austerity to bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice. We aim to develop a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people against the Con Dem government.

The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament. A People’s Assembly can play a key role in ensuring that this uncaring government faces a movement of opposition broad enough and powerful enough to generate successful co-ordinated action, including strike action. The assembly will be ready to support co-ordinated industrial action and national demonstrations against austerity, if possible synchronising with mobilisations across Europe. The People’s Assembly Against Austerity will meet at Central Hall, Westminster, on 22 June.

Plenty of opportunity for Cornish organisations and campaigns to sign up and get involved. 


Labour attempts to misrepresent Mebyon Kernow

How should an election be fought? When a candidate knocks on your door do you want to hear facts or do you prefer good old mudslinging?

Of course nobody wants to stand on their doorstep and hear a long list of of facts and figures that are often of questionable origins and if you are unfortunately anything like me with a low attention span when someone starts quoting 'facts', you end up grinning like an an idiot nodding your head vigorously and hoping that you're not going to be asked any questions afterwards.

This gets more complicated when the candidate starts dropping hints and accusations about another candidate.I was contacted by a friend last week from Penzance who had a canvasser representing Tim Dwelly (Twitter) the Labour candidate for Penzance East knock at his door,during the brief conversation my friend mentioned that he was thinking of voting Mebyon Kernow but he hadn't made up his mind, he was then reliably informed by the Labour canvasser that MK were a right wing party with views closer to the EDL or BNP.

Now of course that is complete and utter nonsense and to be fair many candidates from all parties across Cornwall would complain of similar tricks by their rivals, in fact its probably one of the oldest political games ,but it does illustrate if a candidate can stand on your doorstep look you in the face and lie confidently about another candidate how do we know they won't be standing in the council chamber one day lying about the impact of a housing development or a cut in public services?

Political integrity does not start once a candidate is elected ,if a party or independents policies are strong enough they should not feel the need to resort to low tricks,most people want to hear a candidates policies and what makes them different to their rivals put as succinctly and honestly as possible.

Provided by Kernow Calling


Left Unity in the Duchy

The Left Unity movement, blogged about here, now has a contact point in Cornwall. They ask you to contact Lowenna Lawry: cornwall@leftunity.org. Could Mebyon Kernow find a place in such a project?

A Cornish Non-FIFA football team?

I was wondering if anybody in Cornwall ever considered trying to form a Cornish representative team to take part in non-FIFA football games

I personally believe it would be a great way to promote the idea of 'putting Conrwall first' and an interesting extension of Cornish identity . A team could perhaps be drawn from the Cornish players currently playing in the football league at teams such as Stoke City, Southampton, Peterborough and Plymouth Argyle or from non-league sides like Truro City and Bodmin. 

I work with and organise games/tournaments with different non-FIFA teams in the UK such as the Chagos Islands, the Isle of Man and Alderney, as well as sides from Europe like Brittany, Greenland etc. I would be more than happy to help any Cornish team with some games. There is a 6-team tournament happening on the Isle of Man this summer and it would be great if Cornwall could be involved in the future. For a brief explanation of non-FIFA football please read [click here]. 

The cost of such a team would be little. Teams would travel to Cornwall and at the same time plenty of sides play elsewhere in the UK and are reachable. Tournaments such as Europeada (which features European minorities) and the VIVA World Cup, with teams like Zanzibar, Kurdistan and Monaco, would become open for Cornwall to compete in. It would certainly not be out the question for Cornwall to host a tournament and even a team featuring South West Peninsula League players would be competitive. The main thing though is the players and people wanting such a team. I've attached a hypothetical list of players who'd could play, based on place of birth, time spent in Cornwall etc [see below].

The above message comes from the non-FIFA Football Updates blog 
 I've previously blogged about Cornish national sports teams here.


Gender Imbalances in European Regions

From the ESPON 2013 Programme, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion. You'll need to visit the original article here to read the stats.


Mebyon Kernow's manifesto for 2013

Mebyon Kernow's manifesto for 2013 pdf.

To help with MK's campaigning contact them here. A brief policy overview for MK is included below.
Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall is a modern and progressive political party, campaigning for a better deal for Cornwall and a fairer, more equitable World.

It is our belief that the historic nation of Cornwall, with its own distinct identity, language and heritage, has the same right to self-determination as Scotland and Wales. Mebyon Kernow is leading the campaign for the self-government of Cornwall, through the establishment of a legislative Assembly.

We will play our part in building a confident and outward-looking Cornwall, that has the power to take decisions for itself. To achieve this, our detailed policies are founded on the core values of prosperity for all, social justice and environmental protection.


Mebyon Kernow is committed to a society based on real equality of opportunity, helping people to achieve their full potential in life. We want Cornwall and its communities to be successful, with all residents sharing equally in that success through thriving businesses, worthwhile and secure employment, decent wages, access to genuinely affordable housing and good quality public services.


The Party for Cornwall is committed to a just and fair society. We believe that effective public intervention is needed to combat poverty, tackle social deprivation and fight for the disadvantaged. We will strive to build strong inclusive communities with free and equal access to well-funded education, healthcare and welfare services, run for the benefit of everyone.


Safeguarding the environment is central to Mebyon Kernow's policies. The World faces severe environmental crises, which require radical action on a worldwide basis to promote real sustainability. Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall will not shirk from difficult decisions to protect and enhance the environment for future generations.


Anarchists and republicans: bedfellows?

Should Colin Brewer be put down?

Disabled children "should be put down" ex-councillor Collin Brewer will stand for May elections: A councillor who resigned after a public backlash after he admitted to saying disabled children should be "put down" will stand for re-election in May.

Please, to the Cornish electorate, do not vote for this man and his repugnant ideas. Send a clear message to Mr Brewer and people who share his views on election day. Let democracy be our justice.


Duchy of Cornwall overhauled or overthrown?

BBC News - Cornish Peer calls for Duchy of Cornwall overhaul: The Duchy of Cornwall should be radically overhauled, according to a Cornish Labour peer. 

Well done to Lord Berkeley and - not wanting to take away from his actions - it should still be pointed out that he is following a track well beaten by our Cornish constitutionalists. Activists who have tirelessly tried to expose the constitutional con that is the Duchy of Cornwall. I wonder if a certain anonymous Labour blog, that refuses the right of reply, will now stop trying to tell us all that the Duchy is not a problem? 

Lord Berkeley, rather timidly, calls for the Duchy to be 'overhauled'. Why stop there? I want the dam thing overthrown! This Cornish Republican wants the Duchy abolished. Of course the incomes from the Duchy should be invested for the benefit of the inhabitants of Kernow but equally all the constitutional rights and powers of the Duchy should be handed over to a democratically elected Cornish parliament. 

When will the people of Cornwall get a true democracy? 


Of English elephants and Cornish mice

We can’t have a repetition of the situation 12 years ago whereby 10% of the people of Cornwall called for their own assembly, only for it to be rebuffed out of hand by the political establishment because it was inconvenient for them.

England the Elephant in the Room | Unlock Democracy

Well done and thanks to Unlock Democracy for not forgetting our right to self-determination. If we can't have a Cornish assembly for the moment and a UK constitutional convention seems unlikely in the near future then perhaps MK and others should consider the potential of a peoples assembly (pdf).