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Election results from Brittany

In Breizh (Brittany) with three separate election lists for Breton parties (Christian Guyonvarc’h, heading the open list made up of Union Démocratique Bretonne (Unvaniezh Demokratel Breizh) (UDB) non/members of the party; Christian Troadec heading the joint Parti Breton, Mouvement Breton et Progrès, Alliance Federalist Bretonne, Breizh Europa list and the Breizhistance/Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste list), the share of the vote was good overall, but no MEP was elected from any of the lists. 

Breizh shares its European parliamentary constituency with areas of West France, outside of its traditional territory.

Already talk can be heard of a Breton democratic front for the regional elections to come. 

Text provided by the Celtic League and map from Geobreizh


Spoilt for choice in Brittany's European election

Whilst in Cornwall we won't have the chance of voting for a Cornish party in the forthcoming EU elections, in Brittany - also buried in a much larger European constituency - things are quite different.

Three lists are running that can be classified as autonomist or independentist. 

The first is from MK's sister party, the Union Démocratique Bretonne. The open list, headed by regional councillor Christian Guyonvarc'h, includes personalities from outside the UDB's membership. Their slogan is: "I vote Brittany for a social Europe".

Next we have Nous te ferons L'Europe. This list includes the Parti Breton, Mouvement Bretagne et Progrès, Alliance Federalist Bretonne, Breizh Europa, and is spearheaded by Christian Troadec of Bonnets Rouge fame.

Last, but by no means least, we have Breizhistance - indépendence et socialisme - and Frances Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste forming a list on the radical left. They are campaigning for a 'Europe of peoples and workers'.

With the redrawing of Frances regional map on the table pro-Breton parties will need to make a big impact in all forthcoming elections, which leads me to wonder if 3 separate lists will not dilute the vote and confuse people. Who will I vote for? Well Breizistance seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the existence of the Cornish question and that's not for want of reminding them.


Ukip in a flap over Cornish recognition.

Amongst the outpouring of happiness and positive responses we note with interest the embittered and bigoted remarks made in social media and elsewhere by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), whose self-appointed and blinkered local spokespersons appear to show complete ignorance of the differences between the Council of Europe and the European Union.

More on Ukips incompetence and incoherence can be found in the article linked to above. Yes indeed; they don't even know the difference between the European Union and the Council of Europe. For them, it all boils down to 'johnny-foreigner' sticking his nose in and making it difficult for bosses to exploit workers and for the conservative establishment to hold on to the reigns of power.

The European Union

The Council of Europe

OK! So, one more time then. It's the Council of Europe who produced the framework convention for the protection of national minorities (FCNM) under which the UK government has decided to recognise the Cornish. 

Wouldn't it be good - just for once - if you could all be honest about why you don't like the EU. Have the courage of your convictions - some guts lets say - and explain why you are against the UK's membership of the EU. It's nothing to do with democracy in reality is it? 

The EU is not perfect but neither is the UK, and it's Westminster that has a far greater influence over our lives. The EU's parliament is elected - more or less - proportionally by us. The European Council is made up of European heads-of-state (or government) who are elected by us. The Council of Ministers is comprised of ministers from our democratically elected governments. The European Commission is made up of people appointed by our democratically elected governments. The EU also has a written constitution which enshrines the rights of citizens and the principle of subsidiarity.  Not perfect, plenty of room for improvement, but not the dictatorship Ukippers would have us believe. 

Compare that to the UK where we have an unelected head of state resulting in an unhealthy concentration of executive and legislative power in the hands of the government. Our upper chamber - 50% of our Parliament - is unelected. There is no written constitution or bill of rights. Unelected quangos litter the land. Our electoral system is anything but proportional or representative. Power is centralised in London with only Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and...ummm...London enjoying any kind of devolved government.

Does any of this bother your average Ukipper? No, of course not, because if truth be known they'd probably be happy with an British dictatorship as long as it wasn't shared with European "foreigners".


An update on English regionalism

The Yorkshire Devolution Movement now has a new website and seem to be managing to get increasing press coverage.

The Yorkshire Devolution Movement is an independent pressure group set up in 2012 to campaign for a directly elected regional assembly for Yorkshire. It has no party political affiliations but is open to working with those who share our aims.

A new regionalist political party - Yorkshire First - has been created in time for the EU elections.

Yorkshire has a larger population than Scotland and an economy twice the size of Wales, but with the powers of neither. We support the devolving of powers to the least centralised authority capable of addressing those matters effectively – within Yorkshire, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Devolve Deliver is a grass-roots campaign from Labour members. 

The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world. This holds us back. Join our campaign to devolve powers to regions and local areas and help us all deliver a better future.  

Northumbria People is a regionalist blog from Hilton Dawson. There is talk of a new Northumbrian party in the offing.

Why is the North East expected to make do with some sort of hotch-potch, spatchcock, papering over the cracks instead of having real power, real devolution, real democracy here ?

Autonomous England  started out as Mercian regionalists on Facebook only to change name later.

Autonomous England is a loose confederation of activists who seek to radically alter the way England is run, both democratically and economically. We aim to create an England which is not ruled from outside or above but instead governed by its people, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.

To keep an eye on all such developments, as well as older more established regionalists, I've set up this twitter list imaginatively named: Regionalists

Kan Etrebroadel al Labourerien - The International in Breton


Kan Etrebroadel al Labourerien

War sav! tud daonet deus an douar !

kent mervel gant an naon, war sav

Ar skiant a gomz hag a lavar

Reiñ an diwezhañ taol-chav !

Ret eo teuler ae bed-kozh d'an traoñ

Mevelien paour war-sav, atav !

Greomp evit mad dezhi he c'haoñ

Bezomp mestr lec'h bezaň esklav !

An emgann diwerzhañ zo

Holl war sav hag arc'hoazh

Na vo er bed met ur vro

Da vihan ha da vraz

Etrezomp na n'eus salver ebet,

Na pab, na doue, na den all !

Ha deomp hon unan a vo ret

Ober amañ ar gwir ingal

A-benn harzh laeron bras da noazout

Derc'hel ar spered en e blom

C'hwezomp hon c'hovel pe 'vefomp boud

Ha dav d'an houarn keit m'eo tomm !

Ar stad a zo fall, pep lezenn kamm

An deog a wad ar paour-kaez den

Deverioù d'ar re vras n'eus foeltr tamm

Gwirioù ar paour-kaez zo ven

Awalc'h eo dindan vestr kastiañ

Al lealded c'houlenn traoù all

Dindani vefomp holl memes tra

Gant deverioù droejoù ingal.

Ken hudur en kreiz o brazoni

Hon mistri

war an holl labour

Deus graet biskoazh nemet ransoniñ

Laerezh poan ar micherour

Rag en prez kloz an dud didalvez

Kement vez krouet vez teuzet

Goulennomp vo rentet hep dale

D'ar bobl kaez ar pezh zo dleet !

Holl micherourien ha kouerijen

Memproù a labour er bed-mañ

Ar bed-mañ zo d'al labourerien

An dud didalvez diwarnañ

Deus hon c'hwezenn gwelit int lard mat

Na pa deufe ur seurt brini

Un deiz ar bed paour-mañ da guitaat

An heol zalc'ho da lugerniñ.

Garzh ebet ken kreiz-entre pep bro

An holl dud breudeur war ar bed

Ar brezeloù diot er blotoù

Dav d'ar re vraz c'hoazh mar bez ret

Evite na n'afomp biken ken

A-vilieroù d'en em drailhañ

War sav pa 'mañ ar skiant o ren 
Deomp vo ret terriñ pe blegañ.

An Internationale

Laket en brezoneg gant Marcel Hamon