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30.3.13

Fascist Alert! - The Breton far-right

Below is a list of Breton far-right organisations and websites. These groups have well documented links to fascists and violent criminals from around Europe. 

After careful consideration it has been decided to blog about them here following the logic of the wise adage forewarned is forearmed. Equally I have noted that members of these organisations, posing as simple Celtic patriots on Facebook, have been trying to make contact with Cornish activists. One such individual is Claude Guillemain member of Jeune Bretagne an organisation that has well documented links with the far right in France, Flanders, Italy [1][2] and elsewhere.

As a Cornishman who lives in Brittany, and who speaks both Breton and French, I have discovered the true nature of these groups. It is now hoped that others who follow can benefit from my insights. Paths that are not worth following are here signposted as such. These groups undermine the cause of Breton national recognition and self-determination. Their ideology belongs in a different age so help them become history and steer well clear. 

Kadarn / Adsav youth wing
War Raok (The publication of Adsav) 
Bloc Identitaire Bretagne 
 Breizh Identitaire Facebook
Jeune Bretagne
Breizh Atao
Feiz ha Breizh - Bretagne nous avons foi en tois
Breizh2004
 Breizh Novopress 
 L'Idee Bretonne 
Ti Breizh 

So that readers can judge just what these groups stand for and how they are perceived by the Breton movement  then let me give you a few pointers. Most notably Diwan, the Breton language schools by immersion, have made it quite clear that support from the above groups is wholly unwelcome and that they are not wanted at any of Diwan's public events. Jeune Bretagne recently organised a meeting in Brittany inviting various far-right formations one of which was Reposte Laique known for being extremely hostile towards the ratification of the charter for minority languages by the French government. So much for supporting the Breton language then. Finally when one of the leaders of Jeune Bretagne visited the UK his only political engagement was to attend a rally by the English Defence League and claim to be a representative of the French anti-Islam movement. So much for his interest in Celtic solidarity and Breton patriotism. 

For confirmation of what I have claimed you can contact Mebyon Kernow's sister party the Union Démocratique Bretonne. Equally you could ask the Parti Breton, Breizhistance, Celtic League, Ofis ar Brezhoneg or any other Breton organisation.

Other far-right regionalist groupings from around Europe include: Alsace d'abord (Alsace), Ligue du Nord (Nothern Italy), Vague Normande (Normandy), Vlaams Belang (Flanders), Nissa Rebella (Nice), Génération Identitaire (France), Bloc Identitaire (France), Plataforma per Catalunya (Catalonia), Citizens' Union (South Tyrol).

Currently, in the UK, far-right nationalism seems to be reserved to being of the British or English type. NF, BNP, England First, EDL and English Democrats this telling list goes on and on. In Celtic nationalist and English regionalist circles you'd be hard push to find anything of significance. Perhaps the illusive Scotland First or the one man show that is the Cornish Democrats could be mentioned. A hand full of National Anarchists, including the amusingly strange Berrocscir's Banner blog, argue for racially/culturally pure autonomous tribal groups - a recipe for Hill Billy hell if ever there was one - but nothing to compare to France's Bloc Identitaire for the moment.

Again not wanting to give any more publicity to these groups than they deserve the idea is that Cornish activists are forewarned when they venture onto the Internet.

The far-right in Brittany

Below is a list of Breton far-right organisations and websites. These groups have well documented links to fascists and violent criminals from around Europe. 

After careful consideration it has been decided to blog about them here following the logic of the wise adage forewarned is forearmed. Equally I have noted that members of these organisations, posing as simple Celtic patriots on Facebook, have been trying to make contact with Cornish activists. One such individual - Claude Guillemain - is member of Jeune Bretagne an organisation that has well documented links with the far-right in France, Flanders, Italy [1][2] and elsewhere.

As a Cornishman who lives in Brittany, and who speaks both Breton and French, I have discovered the true nature of these groups. It is now hoped that others who follow can benefit from my insights. Paths that are not worth following are here signposted as such. These groups undermine the cause of Breton national recognition and self-determination. Their ideology belongs in a different age so help them become history and steer well clear. 

Adsav (party)
Kadarn (Adsav youth wing)
War Raok (Adsav's publication) 
Bloc Identitaire Bretagne (party)
 Breizh Identitaire (Facebook page)
Jeune Bretagne (party)
Breizh Atao (website)
Feiz ha Breizh - Bretagne nous avons foi en tois (electoral campaign)
Breizh2004 (blog)
 Breizh Novopress (news website)
 L'Idee Bretonne (website)
Ti Breizh ('cultural' centre)

So that readers can judge just what these groups stand for and how they are perceived by the Breton movement  then let me give you a few pointers. Most notably Diwan, the Breton language schools by immersion, have made it quite clear that support from the above groups is wholly unwelcome and that they are not wanted at any of Diwan's public events. Jeune Bretagne recently organised a meeting in Brittany inviting various far-right formations one of which was Reposte Laique known for being extremely hostile towards the ratification of the charter for minority languages by the French government. So much for supporting the Breton language then. Finally when one of the leaders of Jeune Bretagne visited the UK his only political engagement was to attend a rally by the English Defence League and claim to be a representative of the French anti-Islam movement. So much for his interest in Celtic solidarity and Breton patriotism. 

For confirmation of what I have claimed you can contact Mebyon Kernow's sister party the Union Démocratique Bretonne. Equally you could ask the Parti Breton, Breizhistance, Celtic League, Ofis ar Brezhoneg or any other Breton organisation.

Other far-right regionalist groupings from around Europe include: Alsace d'abord (Alsace), Ligue du Nord (Nothern Italy), Vague Normande (Normandy), Vlaams Belang (Flanders), Nissa Rebella (Nice), Génération Identitaire (France), Bloc Identitaire (France), Plataforma per Catalunya (Catalonia), Citizens' Union (South Tyrol).

Currently, in the UK, far-right nationalism seems to be reserved to being of the British or English type. NF, BNP, England First, EDL and English Democrats this telling list goes on and on. In Celtic nationalist and English regionalist circles you'd be hard push to find anything of significance. Perhaps the illusive Scotland First or the one man show that are the Cornish Democrats could be mentioned. A hand full of National Anarchists, including the amusingly strange Berrocscir's Banner blog, argue for racially/culturally pure autonomous tribal groups - a recipe for hill billy hell if ever there was one - but nothing to compare to France's Bloc Identitaire for the moment.

Again not wanting to give any more publicity to these groups than they deserve the idea is that Cornish activists are forewarned when they venture onto the Internet.

Council of Europe urges more ratifications of Regional or Minority Languages Charter

Council of Europe urges more ratifications of Regional or Minority Languages Charter
 
Sadly despite the promises made by the socialist presidential candidate François Hollande before the elections the charter for minority languages has not be ratified and the new laws on decentralisation within the French state offer next to nothing to Brittany. 

Yet again it has been made quite clear that national minorities should expect very little from the state-nationalist parties - left, centre or right - based in Paris, London or Madrid.

In the long run there is only one real solution. Independence! Click on the logo and sign the petition if you agree.


 LOGO SUPPORT YES BREIZH

29.3.13

Stop the Bedroom Tax in Cornwall


Can we empower Cornwall with the Sustainable Communities Act?

On 16th April, Cornwall Council will be voting on the future of the Sustainable Communities Act in Cornwall. The Act radically changes the way local people can relate to central government, allowing us to address community decline through a bottom-up process. The Act can make local ideas for how to reverse community decline in Cornwall a reality.

This can only happen if Cornwall Council uses the Act though. If the motion fails, people in Cornwall would be prevented from using the Act and would not be able to use its considerable powers to fight community decline. On 16th April, they will be voting to decide whether to use the Act. Can you spare five minutes to write to the leaders of all party groups in Cornwall Council asking that they vote in favour?


It is vitally important that Cornwall Council use the Sustainable Communities Act. This has to happen in order to enable local people to propose measures to central government which could help address--and reverse--social, economic, community and environmental decline in Cornwall. Central government cannot just ignore these proposals. They have a duty to negotiate to make your proposals happen. There has never been a mechanism in law like this but it only gets unlocked for local people if the council vote in favour.

Using the Sustainable Communities Act can only benefit Cornwall. We’re asking for a few minutes of your time to help make sure this happens. Please can you help us today?


We appreciate your help.
 
Many thanks,
Steve Shaw,
National coordinator, Local Works

27.3.13

A new left party or just another left party?

Ken Loach has called for the creation of a new party to unify the various factions of the UK's radical left. You can read about the project here on the Left Unity blog: Sign up to support Ken Loach’s appeal

When you look at the list of left-wing parties and groups in the UK then you'll quickly understand that there's work to be done. Various tiny groups and individuals squabbling over arid ideological differences - dogmatically loyal to this or that socialist theorist - they strike me as captains who'd rather go down with their little boats rather than accept any form of compromise that might (wake up!) get them somewhere.

On a more superficial level the trend for the symbolic of 19th and 20th century revolutionary movements does them no favours either. If you want to take power in the 21st century - it's not a fancy dress party - dressing up as Lenin or the Che is not going to convince anybody.

That being said however, when Labour continues lurching to the right, what choice is left? Fortunately in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland alternative left-wing parties exist. Mebyon Kernow is there and waiting for all those who wish to build the alternative left in the Duchy. In England however everything remains to be created. 

I've blogged about unity in the past. My efforts can be found here: To reform the UK state we need a democratic green alliance.

25.3.13

Council of Europe urges more ratifications of Regional or Minority Languages Charter

Council of Europe urges more ratifications of Regional or Minority Languages Charter
 
Sadly despite the promises made by the socialist presidential candidate François Hollande before the elections the charter for minority languages has not be ratified and the new laws on decentralisation within the French state offer next to nothing to Brittany. 

Yet again it has been made quite clear that national minorities should expect very little from the state-nationalist parties - left, centre or right - based in Paris, London or Madrid.

In the long run there is only one real solution. Independence! Click on the logo and sign the petition if you agree.


 LOGO SUPPORT YES BREIZH

22.3.13

A new world is emerging under the rusted structures of the nation-state

Catalonia, Scotland, Quebec, Flanders, the Basque Country may soon be sovereign and independent states. 

The process of breaking up the large Western states into ecologically and socially meaningful political communities may have just started and could lead to a more democratic and sustainable world system. 

In Habitat: The Ecopolitical Nation, the Catalan author Ignasi Ribó develops a new and original theory of the nation, in order to show that there is indeed a real alternative to the model of the nation-state and to the modern project of building increasingly larger states. 

The habitat-nation, founded on the inhabitants' deliberate choice of living together and on the ecoliberal principles of justice, could well be the theoretical framework for this new world that is just starting to emerge, both in Europe and in America.

Find the book here: Habitat the ecopolitical nation

Some others books of interest that can be found free of charge on Google books are:

Internal Colonialism - The Celtic fringe in British national development, 1536 - 1966, Michael Hechter.

The Dynamic of Secession, Viva Ona Bartkus.

The English Greens on Cornish devolution

The Green Party is committed to supporting devolution of power to Cornwall including a full Cornish Assembly with regional powers.  

You can read the rest of their largely sensible policies for Cornwall here: Cornwall Green Party Manifesto 2013 (opens pdf). Tactically the Greens might be a competitor for votes but as far as their policies are concerned I can't accept that they are the enemy of Cornish empowerment.

Just stumbled across this blog - South West of England and Cornwall Green Left - which certainly seems to give clear recognition to the Cornish question.

16.3.13

Europe of a hundred flags


Here is the soon-to-be-released map of European nations, peoples and regions. Notice that England and some English regions have now been included. This map and others are available from the Breton company Geobreizh.

12.3.13

Shout Kernow

This Shout Kernow blog is part of a project that aims to record and sustain the living tradition of pub singing in Cornwall. By: 
  • Visiting and recording singers in pubs across Cornwall- to map who is singing what, where and why, which will provide a snapshot of current activity.
  • Collating a written, pictoral and sound archive of the singing; background to the songs; history of pub or/and area; and connections of songs to place.
  • Producing a book and CD from the archive including song-words; transcribed music and harmony, pictures and info; live performance of each song in situ; recording of each part for learning
  • Developing online presence for access to material, info and networking- visit our facebook site
We’re sure this project will really benefit pubs and communities alike: Cornwall has one of the richest communal singing cultures in Western Europe. Shout Kernow will go a long way to revitalising this heritage by increasing awareness of Cornish culture; enhancing a sense of place; increasing the number of singing events; strengthening links between pubs and communities and contributing towards a positive real ale and pub culture which is already having such success here in Cornwall. We will be recording our pub crawl adventures here as we travel from Paul to Padstow and Cadgwith to Calstock!

11.3.13

Developments in English regionalism

Following an original post  - The Wonderful Chaos that is English Regionalism - here is a quick look at some recent developments.

Yorkshire - After a promising start the Yorkshire Independence campaign (pro-devolution in reality) appears to have died a silent death. On the other hand a new Yorkshire Devolution Movement has sprung up and recuperated some of the former members of YI. YDM have produced a new blog, facebook page and twitter account that are all in need of a little tidying up but still seem promising.

Northumbria - The various facebook pages are long silent and, with its internet presence at zero, the Northumbrian Party seems to have vanished. Nothing but silence? Not quite. I've just stumbled across the New Northumbria blog. On the whole though no one seems to want to organise for Northumbria. The Wessex Regionalists describe the situation well in their blog post - Our Friends in the North.

While they seem hopelessly bound to the one nation (i.e British state-nationalists) Labour Party I will still give mention to the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. A Labour/socialist think-tank that supports devolution to the North of England. Sadly, when contacted concerning Cornish and grass-roots English devolution their responses was not just a little cold. Due to their proximity with Labour, perhaps the artificial government zones, including the South West region, are their preferred framework for devolution.

Both the UK Libertarian Party and European Federalist Party have given assurances that they support regionalism within the UK and England itself.

The original post can be found here.

5.3.13

51% of the Cornish


4.3.13

The BBC's sense of English fair play

So Mebyon Kernow, a long established left-of-centre green democratic nationalist party opposed to all forms of intolerance, won't have an electoral broadcast  because they don't meet the BBC's rather arbitrary criteria. On the other hand though a far-right English nationalist party, The English Democrats, (along with any number of other forms of pond life) will be getting a helping hand to promote English nationalism and intolerance in Kernow. 

Thanks Beeb!

Happy Pirantide to you all!

To mark St. Piran’s Day, the Patron Saint of Cornwall, 5th March 2013

Dhe Gernowyon yn pub le, Dy’ Goel Sen Piran da dhywgh-hwi oll! 

To Cornish people everywhere, a Happy Pirantide to you all! This year we have had many more requests than ever for the Grand Bard to support various activities, celebrating St. Piran throughout Kernow. This is wonderful news and good to see the events multiplying and being spread out over several days, so that I can travel the full length of Kernow. Even so, some events clash and we have sent out the past Grand Bards and the deputy Grand Bard to help and join in with these extra events. If we carry on growing, then St. Piran’s Day MUST become a public holiday, a chance for everyone to celebrate! 

We are lucky to have a saint who enjoyed feasting, so celebrating his life by having a good time seems appropriate and enjoyable. He was also a man of the land, living amongst the dunes, collecting firewood for the fire that ended up smelting tin and living on fish from the sea. It is also said he decorated his cell with crystals that he found whilst out walking in our historic landscape. 

But most importantly, St. Piran was a man who had values. He stuck to what he believed to be right and was prepared to die for his beliefs. He connected well with everyone, earning their respect. He was courteous, self-effacing, witty, inventive and thoughtful for other people, community minded. In these respects, he is a good role model for Cornish children. 

Life has always been hard for Cornish people; they are survivors and the difficulties have formed their characters. Cornish scientists, inventors and others have made their mark not only on Cornwall, but the world. Men like Humphry Davy and Richard Trevithick have changed people’s lives for the good. Materially, Cornish people had little in life, but the most important thing they had was their creativity, the will to improve their lot in life. 

In these present times of austerity, it is important that we keep our confidence up, so celebrating St. Piran’s Day is incredibly important. We will survive through our creativity, by using what is within us and costs nothing. We will invent and create NEW ways of survival , which is what we have ALWAYS done and history proves it WORKS. 

In the latest Census, Cornish people have shown themselves to be present all over the UK and more school children identified themselves as Cornish in this year’s PLASC survey, Junior section. This augurs well. We also remember today all those people throughout the world who had to leave Kernow to earn a crust of bread and took their skills worldwide. Their descendants remain in the Diaspora, but their homes will be forever Cornish. To you all, wherever you live, “Be Proud to be Cornish; stand up and be counted.” 

I wish you all a very Happy St.Pirantide, enjoy all these events happening throughout Kernow and in the Diaspora, in memory of our much loved saint. Make sure our children know about St.Piran and how we celebrate his life every year and that Kernow is a unique and special place, one that we cherish and must keep safe for future generations, the inheritors of our Earth.

Dy’Goel Sen Peran Da dhywgh-hwi oll arta, Kernow bys vykken.

The above was found on the Cornwall 24 forum and comes from the venerable Gorsedh Kernow. I'm not overly enamoured with Christianity, you may already have gathered. However a day for residents of the Duchy and lovers of all things Cornish to come together and celebrate can only be a good thing.

2.3.13

The tax position of the Duchy of Cornwall

Found on the Confirm or Deny blog. Click on image to read.