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29.11.13

46% of kids are Cornish in 2013

If I have a remark to make then how regrettable it is that there seems to be no possibility of being Mixed/Cornish, Asian/Cornish or Black/Cornish? Our culture is not exclusive and has no basis in race. Whether they accept it or not, all the inhabitants of the Celtic peninsula are the custodians of Cornish culture and identity. Our culture can and should be cherished and shared irrespective of race or religion.

Isolated from who?

Aren't we often told that due to our isolated location autonomy would be impracticable? To me it seems, along with Brittany, we are at the heart of the Atlantic arc - probably one of the busiest shipping/trading zones in the world. If we are isolated then it is from the centres of power in Paris, London and Madrid who have failed to develop our potential and squandered money on themselves.

27.11.13

Taking on the Duchy by Dr John Kirkhope

During the course of my Ph. D. research I made a number of Freedom of Information Requests. In some I succeeded in getting the information I requested in other cases I did not. 

There was one matter which related to a record held in the National Archive which was marked closed and which the National Archive refused to open in which decision they were supported by the Information Commissioner. I decided to pursue the matter to a Tribunal hearing. I had no realistic prospect of success; I was interested, as a lawyer, to see how the process worked.

Of course, like everyone I have heard of the term “the establishment” but had no personal experience of it. Immediately we arrived in Court on the first day it was made clear to me what the expression meant. We were three, my legal executive, my barrister and myself. I lost count of the number of lawyers employed by those opposing us. They included a QC a further two barristers and I don’t know how many solicitors including the regular attendance of a solicitor from the firm which represents the Queen. The court was also attended by a number of senior civil servants. The witnesses they called included three Knights of the Realm. In summary matched against us there were nineteen people. Indeed there was hardly enough space to include all those attending. The case was originally scheduled for two days but in fact extended over three. During the course of the case there was discussion, albeit theoretical, about whether I was in breach of Parliamentary Privilege and could be imprisoned.
I have no knowledge of what the cost of the hearing was given the resources which the other side devoted to defending the case. Suffice to say we the tax payers paid the bills not the Duchy or Duke of Cornwall. After the case was completed I was told via a third party that someone in the Cabinet Office stated “I had no idea how much trouble I had caused” and my barrister was informed in the gentle round about way these things are done maybe he would think carefully before taking on a similar case.
I discovered from this experience there is an establishment which is peopled by anonymous men in grey suits. Furthermore even though my case was in many ways trivial and stood no realistic chance of success if you take on the establishment and specifically the Duke of Cornwall the establishment can and will deploy resources against you which an ordinary private citizen cannot hope to match. Finally I will admit the experience was intimidating and not one which I shall forget quickly.
John Kirkhopes new book - An Introduction to the Laws of the Duchy of Cornwall, The Scilly Isles and Devon - is now available in all good bookshops.

24.11.13

The BBC does regionalism in England

Perhaps, after ferreting around in some of my posts on English Regionalism, the BBC journalist Nick Tarver felt inspired to write this: Could areas of England leave the UK?

That's as positive as I'm going to get about the article I'm afraid. A torn flag, the menace of secession from the UK, stereotypes in lashings and a total lack of any substantive discussion on decentralisation, federalism or greater local democracy leaves me wondering what exactly is Nick Tarver trying to achieve?

Mr Tarver thinks it appropriate to use a photo of a Cornish pasty for an article that treats our desire for greater self-determination. Okay, could I suggest then a picture of a haggis for the Scottish referendum, a plate of curry for an article touching on Indian political issues and a big fat joint for anything he might write about Jamaican republicanism. With BBC employees free to use such crude stereotypes at least the age old we-know-what's-best attitude that emanates from the shrivelled heart of empire would be less timid about pronouncing its name.

Ridicule is indeed a potent political weapon. Does this explain then why one of the most notable developments in English regionalism in recent times is strikingly absent from the article? Either Mr Tarver is completely incompetent or he has deliberately decided to exclude any mention of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. Another example of that old connivance between Labour and the BBC? A Labour project being lampooned with stereotypes whilst being portrayed as secessionist under a torn St Georges flag on a BBC website! No, that would never do would it.

Am I lacking a sense of humour? Perhaps, but more importantly is the BBC lacking decent unbiased journalists? Which problem do you think is more important?

To complain click here: Complain on line.

14.11.13

What is self-determination?

3.11.13

Les Bonnet Rouges



More photos here.