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17.7.13

Say Something In Cornish


You too can become a Cornish speaker...:-) Welcome to the early stages of this exciting new project to make a Cornish audio course available for free to everyone who would like to learn. Modelled on the popular SaySomethinginWelsh course, written by SaySomethingin Ltd and produced in partnership with MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership, SaySomethinginCornish will take you for free to a level where you will be capable of spending an entire week using only Cornish. We'll also be adding social capabilities in the coming months, so that we can hear from you about your experiences with the course, and so that everyone learning Cornish will be able to offer support and advice to each other.

16.7.13

Britain is failing Wales, Scotland and the regions. It's time for change


We are less vocal on how England’s governance should be arranged, with the exception of supporting Cornwall's right to self-determination, we believe that what happens in England is a matter for people in England of course. We would like to see an English Parliament emerge, with groups of local authorities forming a decentralised regional level of government beyond this. Whether this will happen will depend on English public opinion, and the extent to which the major parties in England react to the situation. 

My party - The Party of Wales - would love to work with an Alliance of progressive forces from all parts of England, as well as those in Cornwall with whom we already have a loose alliance. In 2010, it was Plaid Cymru (and the SNP) who led the calls for a rainbow alliance of progressives, which would have stopped the coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems. We would be prepared to do that again if need be.  

A broad network in England, united behind a core set of progressive values could well include the Greens and other environmentalists. It could include the trade union movement, many in the churches and other faith organisations, the new People’s Assembly movement, our sister party Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall, refugees from Labour and the Lib Dems and, yes, refugees from Respect and the SWP, too.

Thanks to Leanne Wood for not forgetting Cornwall. I've blogged on the same theme some time ago for OurKingdom: To reform the UK state we need a democratic green alliance.

13.7.13

The Celtic Language of Brittany Suffers the Malign Indifference of the French Government

In the heat have a cold one


9.7.13

The EU is more democratic than the UK


Following this interesting post on Rod Toms' new blog I'd like to add a few ideas to the growing debate on UK membership of the European Union. Claims can often be heard from eurosceptics that the EU is undemocratic, often going as far as to compare the EU with the USSR or Nazi Germany. 

In response to such comparisons I found this quote in a comment left on the OurKingdom blog: "Anyone who calls the EU the EUSSR has lost my attention from that point on. You clearly have no grasp at all on history, life as it was for most in the USSR, to say nothing of the lack of freedom or democracy, or the atrocities carried out in the former USSR by Stalin. The EU may have its faults (indeed so has Westminster/Whitehall), but the EU and the USSR simply cannot be compared. Such cheap propaganda expressions are a poor substitute for proper debate and analysis." I don't think I really need to add any more in regards such comparisons. The article on which the comment was left - The Incoherence of British Euroscepticism - is well worth a read.

The EU is not perfect - would anybody would claim otherwise? - but just how undemocratic is it? The Council of Ministers is made up of ministers from our elected national governments; the European Council consists of the heads of state or prime ministers from our elected national governments; the European Commissioners are named by our elected national governments and the European Parliament is elected directly by the EU's citizens. Equally the EU has a written constitution that amongst other things enshrines the protection for minorities of all types and the subsidiarity of power. Not perfect but not so terrible either. The EU is not some shadowy organisation formed by people we know nothing about, but rather the EU consists of people we - the citizens of Europe - have elected. If you don't like what the EU is doing then think more carefully about who you vote for in your next 'national' elections.

Those who criticise the EU often do so in relation to its supposed democratic deficits. Fair enough, but why just stop at the EU? Surely such keen democrats should also be concerned about the multiple problems to be found in the UK's archaic democracy. When you consider the that UK government has far more influence over our lives than the EU (or any other international body for that matter) then where should our priorities lie? As such keen democrats why don't eurosceptics rile against our unelected head of state, unelected second chamber, totally outdated electoral system, feudal relics (i.e Duchy of Cornwall), unwritten constitution, unelected quangos and London centralisation for example? More on the UK's deficits in democracy can be found here: How democratic is the UK?