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For a BBC KERNOW | Sign the petition today!

To: Department for Culture, Media and Sport 

Give Cornish language and culture the equal status, recognition, respect and prominence in public service broadcasting that it deserves. 

We believe the Cornish should have equal status with the other indigenous languages and cultures of Britain.

We want BBC Kernow | Cornwall to sit in it's rightful place alongside BBC Cymru and BBC Alba on the iPlayer. 

We want appropriate commissioning and editorial processes to be established within the remit of the BBC Royal Charter from 2017 to develop and grow Cornish language and cultural programming.

Why is this important? 

Every culture should have their own voice represented in the world's media, particularly in public service broadcasting. 

In 2003 the Cornish language (Kernewek) received official recognition under the European Charter for the Protection of Regional or Minority Languages. 

In 2014 the Cornish were granted protected national minority status under the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. 

This means the Cornish have the same recognition as the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish. 

Tweet #BBCKernow #yourBBC 

Please sign this petition to pledge your support for the establishment of BBC Kernow. 

How it will be delivered 

This petition will be delivered in person to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 

Sign the petition here:  BBC KERNOW


Devolution = Simplification = Less Politicians = Savings

 I like this from our partners in Yorkshire First. Could we rustle up something similar for Cornwall?  Although, I must say, I'd be tempted to replace the UK parliament with a Cornish one and stop there.


Thought for the day

A war-forged dynastic imperial state, which exists only as the remnant of a once-mighty empire, will tend towards a closed, oligarchic and increasingly paranoid form of government, and will pursue policies that favour the maintenance of existing hierarchies of wealth and privilege; being founded in conquest and in the subjugation of the peasantry, it will be bellicose towards others and remorseless in the harrying of its own poor citizens. On the other hand, a nation-state that is born of peace and compact, is founded upon common-right and justice, and is constituted on civic, democratic, principles, will usually pursue policies that promote the common good.


A Regional Assembly from Democracy Matters

More here from the website Democracy Matters: Regional Assemblies



The New Cornish Shop

Cornish Language Partnership : Cornish Shop: Redruth Town Mayor opens new shop for all things Cornish.


#Corbyn on Cornwall

Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on his election to Labour leader. This is just a quick to post to remind everyone, and perhaps especially Mr Corbyn, of his past support for Cornish issues, and in particular the creation of a Cornish Assembly.

(notice the first name on the list of supporters)

Well before this I did receive an e-mail from him in which he expressed support for the recognition of the Cornish people and the creation of an assembly, but I can't for the life of me put my hands on it now. I'm pretty sure I posted it on the Cornwall 24 forum but I can't seem to find it any more. If anybody else has any luck I'd be most grateful. 

For further comment on the election please read:


Cornish Devolution, Duchy and Republicanism

Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of sixteen Commonwealth Realms 1, three Crown Dependencies 2, fourteen British Overseas Territories 3 and various Australian and New Zealand Overseas Territories 4. None of those Realms, Dependencies or Territories has a relationship with the Crown which is as ambiguous as that of Cornwall and in none of them does the same situation with regard to the ownership of land apply. The land of Cornwall is owned by the Duke of Cornwall. There is no other province, county, shire, call it what you will, in which the ultimate owner of the land is other than the monarch or the State. This is an issue which I shall explore in more detail shortly. Already it is clear Cornwall is different.

The above is part of the introduction from a paper called Cornwall - "A Category of its own?" produced by visiting research fellow at Plymouth University and Notary Public John Kirkhope. The paper in full can be found here and more of his work here.

Why do so many Cornish autonomists show a borderline pride in Cornwall's status as a Duchy when one would perhaps expect ardent republicans wanting rid of the English royals?  British (mostly English in fact) republicans would argue that the Duchy, along with the rest of the Monarchy, should be abolished, whilst in the other Celtic nations exist far more open and vocal republicanisms. Why not in Cornwall? When you consider the long list of feudal undemocratic powers the Duchy has over Cornwall why the paradoxical royalism? One answer is that the Duchy is a marker of Cornish uniqueness - our specific accommodation within the UK - and a testament to our long lost independence. But to acknowledge the Duchy as a marker of distinctiveness is not to caution its existence and wish that it continue.

So how about the following as the starting point for a Cornish republican conversation? We demand a full public inquiry into the Duchy and its relationship to the territory of Cornwall and UK. We request that the Duchy be liquidated and its financial assets invested for the benefit of Cornwall whilst any of its unique rights, powers and privileges be vested in a democratically elected Cornish body of governance.

As I've been tapping this blog post Republic have launched their new campaign - Take back the Duchy.  They write:

For certain Cornish autonomists and cultural admirers, the Duchy of Cornwall’s peculiar constitutional status gives Cornwall a degree of autonomy which it would otherwise lose.  The argument goes that to attack the distinctiveness of the Duchy of Cornwall throws out the baby with the bathwater.

There’s actually some merit in this. Cornwall is constitutionally distinct from the rest of the UK. Cornwall, as a region, has a language, culture, religious tradition, climate and economy alien to the rest of the UK. Whatever its faults, the Duchy gives recognition to this.

But there are other ways in which Cornwall could express its distinctive culture in ways which are modern, democratic, and far less intrusive- the recognition in 2014 of Cornwall as having protected minority status is one.

Another concern is that if the Duchy were absorbed into the Crown Estate, it is unlikely that money generated would be re-invested in Cornwall. Cornwall, being generally less wealthy than other parts of the UK, is in greater need of this money.  But actually very little of the Duchy’s revenue goes to Cornwall now. There is much to be said for earmarking revenues generated in Cornwall for expenditure in Cornwall- but this could be achieved by a separate department within the Crown Estate or by passing the funds to an independent trust. The Duchy as it currently exists is very poorly qualified to handle this kind of enterprise.

It should be stressed that Republic is proposing an end to the organisation of the Duchy, the operation that currently pays a multi-million pound profit to Prince Charles.  We do not dispute Cornwall's unique status but would argue that along with the rest of the UK Cornwall deserves a more democratic and accountable settlement. 

You can read what they have to say about Cornish distinctiveness and the Duchy here: Doesn’t this Undermine Cornwall’s Autonomy?

The Regional Languages of France: Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-First Century


Dr Benjamin Zephaniah on Cornish and Welsh

"I am a multiculturalist. In England, on the whole, when we talk about multiculturalism, we tend to talk about black people, Asian people and people who have brought their cultures here, and sometimes we forget that there are local cultures which are very different to English mainstream culture and literature. So when I come to Wales, I treat Wales like a different country with a culture and language of its own. And if Wales is a part of Britain, then that culture is an important part of Britain - as important as Jamaican culture, Trinidadian culture or Indian culture for example.

That's why I've always said that the Welsh language should be taught in schools in England. Hindi, Chinese and French are taught, so why not Welsh? And why not Cornish? They're part of our culture, and I know of people in England who don't know that people in Wales speak Welsh, or that there's a Scottish language." - Dr Benjamin Zephaniah

"Dwi'n berson aml-ddiwylliannol. Yn Lloegr, yn gyffredinol, pan rydan ni'n trafod amlddiwylliannaeth rydan ni'n cyfeirio at bobl du, pobl Asiaidd a phobl eraill sydd wedi dod â'u diwylliannau yma, a rydan ni'n anghofio weithiau bod 'na ddiwylliannau lleol sydd yn wahanol iawn i ddiwylliant a llenyddiaeth prif ffrwd Saesneg. Felly pan dwi'n dod i Gymru, dwi'n trin Cymru fel gwlad wahanol gyda'i hiaith a'i diwylliant ei hun. Ac os yw Cymru yn rhan o Brydain, yna mae'i diwylliant yn rhan bwysig o Brydain hefyd - yr un mor bwysig â diwylliant Jamaica, Trinidad neu India er enghraifft.

Dyna'r rheswm dwi'n dweud y dylai'r iaith Gymraeg gael ei dysgu mewn ysgolion yn Lloegr. Mae Hindi, Tsieinëeg a Ffrangeg yn cael eu dysgu, felly pam ddim Cymraeg? A pham ddim Cernyweg? Maen nhw'n rhan o'n diwylliant, a dwi'n gwybod am bobl yn Lloegr sydd ddim hyd yn oed yn gwybod bod pobl yng Nghymru yn siarad Cymraeg, neu fod 'na iaith Gaeleg yn yr Alban." - Dr Benjamin Zephaniah

The full article in Welsh and English can be found here: What the English could learn from the Eisteddfod - BBC Cymru Fyw

Fine sentiments from Dr Zephaniah and I can only hope the BBC in Cornwall, who at times appear rabidly anti-Cornish, take note. But as long as unhealthy relations abound between LibLabCon politicians and BBC journalists I won't hold my breath.

La Cornouailles sur la voie de l'autonomie : rencontre avec John Pollard, président du Cornwall Council, à l'occasion du Festival Interceltique


Cornish not English - time to tell Census 2021

"Cornwall and Yorkshire show regional identities run deep in England, too" - an article which perhaps kind of misses the point that for many Cornish people Cornwall isn't in or part of England. In Cornwall exists a national identity distinct from English and/or British, and whilst I doubt you'll find many ready to claim Yorkshire isn't England, in Cornwall its a different story.

Today, as a fully recognised national minority alongside the Scottish, Welsh and Irish, it's only proper that the Cornish be provided with a tick-box option on the 2021 UK census. I'll be writing to the Census people and I strongly advise all those concerned to do likewise. You can find their website with contact details here - Census 2021 consultation. Please do take the time to contact them.

For some inspiration on what to write then visit these three excellent websites:


Unity for the regional elections?

Anybody from the Cornish movement who has studied our Breton cousins struggle for self-determination will have undoubtedly been surprised by the number of Breton political parties that exist - 6 or perhaps 7 at the last count.

From the centre-right and centre to the radical left we have Parti Breton, Breizh Europa, Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne, Mouvement Bretagne et Progrès, Union Démocratique Bretonne and Breizhistance. That's not to mention others such as Bretagne Ecologie, En Avant Bretagne, the Breton branch of the Parti Fédéraliste European, various Breton anarcho-libertarian groups and some far-right formations.

What unity when faced with a common foe then? Well perhaps that is what we are witnessing with the historic deal that has been concluded between the UDB and MBP (both left-of-centre) for the regional elections in December. Together they have created the left-wing electoral platform: Oui la Bretagne.

The following comes from the Celtic League: Breizh/Cymru: Links Strengthened

Yesterday (Monday 21 September) a well known Breton politician and leader of the ‘Oui la Bretagne’ (Yes Brittany) movement was in Wales for an official reception at the Senedd (Welsh Assembly) in Caerdydd/Cardiff.

Christian Troadec, Mayor of Karez (Carhaix) was welcomed by Plaid Cymru AM Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, who was leader of Plaid Cymru between 1984 and 1991 and the first ever President of the Welsh Assembly in 1999 following the referendum on devolution of 1997.

The main aim of the visit was to demonstrate to the Breton people the economic and political impact that devolution could have for Breizh (Brittany), if it followed the example of Cymru (Wales). Celtic League member Dominig Kervegant explained: “The figures talk for themselves. In the administrative region of Brittany – not including the Nantes area (!) – the population is 3.2 million people, which is roughly equivalent to that of Wales. Nevertheless the Welsh devolution budget is 25 times the size of that of Brittany’s!

“The Welsh Parliament also has legislative powers, which allows the Welsh Assembly to vote for its own laws on the economy, culture, the Welsh language, health and in many other domains.”

Speaking at the Assembly Mr Troadec said: “La Bretagne, elle aussi, a un grand besoin de plus de pouvoirs de décision et de moyens pour répondre aux enjeux d’aujourd’hui.” (Brittany too is craving more legislative powers in order to meet the challenges of today)



The European Free Alliance now has a Facebook page for its members in the Atlantic West of Europe: Atlantic.EFA For us to make the most of it.

The EFA members from the UK are Mebyon Kernow, Yorkshire First, Plaid Cymru and the SNP. From the other Celtic nations, Brittany's Union Démocratique Bretonne is equally a member. In the European Parliament the EFA form a parliamentary group together with the European Greens.


The seed of protest and fight back has been planted

A highly successful rally occurred in Truro during Saturday 6th June, 2015 bringing together people from all parts of the community who share a common concern, notably the horrific effects the Tory Government’s cutbacks are having on our community here in Cornwall.

Assembled in Hendra Park, speaker after speaker, many with employment in the health, education and other essential public services took to the stage and spoke out publicly about their concerns. Doctors, nurses, teachers, youth workers, college lecturers, Council employees and many Councillors themselves expressed real fears for the future.

Although not organised by the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League, it was heartening to see so many Branch members there and all playing a key role in the organisation of the event which was attended by several hundred people.

Cornwall is being hit extremely hard by the austerity measures being utilised by the Westminster Government in order to attempt to pay for the massive mismanagement of the world’s various economies by the bankers. Sharing the invidious title of the poorest part of Britain along with our brother and sisters in the Welsh valleys, Cornwall continues to be one of the most impoverished parts of Europe despite decades of false promises of wealth supposedly to be generated by the false hope tourism.

The words of the late and much missed David Penhaligon, possibly one of Cornwall’s greatest MPs come to mind: ‘You need more in an economy than just tourism, ice cream and deckchairs. Our mining industry is not a figment of the last decade or the last two decades. It has occupied Cornishmen and it has produced wealth for this century, the previous century and probably the last two thousand years; and what we’re asking the government to do is to recognise the great contribution we have made for the wealth of Britain, and in this time of great trial and tribulation to come to our assistance - that’s what we’re asking our government to do.’

Taxes and money paid and created in the Duchy is quite simply haemorrhaging across the Tamar and back towards London and the so called ‘Home counties’.

Cornwall receives back far less than it pays out. Now, we have the second highest rate of homelessness in Britain and the people of Cornwall, an area where basic pay and zero hour contracts flourish even amongst health professionals, receive considerably less in public service expenditure such as health and education than elsewhere.

Members of the Kernow Branch have been at the forefront of a campaign calling for the people of Cornwall to be treated less as second class citizens and more equally with people living elsewhere.

The Convener of the Branch has today written to Cornwall’s MPs and MEPs with the following message following the Truro rally:

‘During this time when MPs have seen fit to award themselves a 10% pay rise, that rise more than some people in Cornwall earn, when the Royal Household receives 15% of the profits of the £9.9 billion Crown Estate which is managed on behalf of the monarch resulting in the Sovereign Grant rising from £31 million in 2012-13 to £40 million in the current financial year -an increase of 29% in three years, we are heartily sickened with living on the crumbs cast from the Westminster table. We demand a seat at the table.Scrape away the wealthy and second holiday home owners whose votes skew those of the indigenous populations and witness the reality of food bank Cornwall. Your heads should hang in shame.’

Many were shocked to see Cornwall ‘turn blue’ during the recent Westminster General Election. That said, and as many speakers pointed out at the Hendra rally, over 70% of people did not vote for this current government.

And now, as has occurred many times in Cornwall’s often hidden history, the fight for what is rightfully ours has again started.

The Kernow Branch is encouraging as many people as possible to take this fight, albeit a peaceful and dignified one this time, to the heart of the Westminster Government and to support the potentially huge rally in London on Saturday 20th June, 2015.

We encourage those attending to carry our much loved, unsullied and peaceful National flag of St. Piran in a true demonstration of ‘one and all’ and that as many as possible meet outside the Bank of England in London at 12 noon that day.

This event is being supported by the People’s Assembly, several Trades Unions and other staff associations, NGOs, politicians, celebrities, campaign groups and many others.

Despite careful Westminster management of the news agenda, thus far, social media is citizen driven and it is there where further details can be found.

Details of transport arrangements from Cornwall to London may be found on the following Facebook sites:

or by telephoning Stuart Cullimore of the Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance on 01209 719525.

Details of the London demonstration may be found here:

Kernow bys vyken!

More than 17,000 called to cast their votes on Breton reunification popular referendums


The Cornovia blog

There have been, perhaps, one too many ephemeral and/or badly constructed Cornish blogs but Cornovia https://cornovia.wordpress.com seems to have bucked the trend so far. Well written and attractive - it's a site worth visiting and inviting others to do so. 

I've been considering hanging up my Cornish blogging hat for a while now - lack of inspiration or desire, either which way the An Omsav and Breton Connection blogs have fallen almost silent - and seeing that our blogosphere is in such good hands I can feel a little less guilty perhaps. 


It really is time for a change!

Two more telling graphics that, I hope, will make at least a few think twice before voting for a London based party in Cornwall. It really is time for a change!


Mebyon Kernow on the Politics Show


Democracy locked by @votematch and @UnlockDemocracy

Sadly, it appears that 'Unlock Democracy' have decided to exclude Mebyon Kernow from their otherwise interesting Vote Match website that is designed to help people decide who to vote for. 

I used Vote Match for Truro and Falmouth and was informed that of all the parties standing in this constituency the Greens came closest to my politics. No real surprise there but where was MK? Simply not included is the answer. 

Who ever has developed Vote Match has decided to lock out Mebyon Kernow the party for Cornwall. So much for unlocking democracy. 


Study Breton this summer

There will be an opportunity to study Breton language and culture in Brittany this summer at the Centre for Breton and Celtic Research

From June 22 to July 4, 2015, the Centre for Breton and Celtic Research will be offering an intensive course in Breton heritage studies at the University of Western Brittany, Quimper/Kemper, Finistère, Breizh. Participants will have the choice of studying Breton (for beginners and false beginners) or French (for intermediate-level learners): 9:00-12:30. Afternoons will be devoted to lectures (in both English and French, with English supports) on various aspects of Breton traditional culture. A total of 30 participants will be admitted (15 per class). The cost of this two-week experience is: 600 euros, including tuition and lodging. If you have further questions, write directly to: Dr. Gary German at summer-school@univ-brest.fr. Online registration will begin at this same address during the week of February 23-27.


Where EU money goes in the UK

For every £1 Cornwall puts into the EU, it gets £4 back. Ukip wants us cut off from this aid whilst Mebyon Kernow wants this money to be controlled by the people of Cornwall through directly elected Cornish assembly.


The Foundation of Future Cornwall

Following on from confirmation that the Cornish people have been formally recognised as a National Minority and have now been included in the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the following statement has been issued by Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for Transport as well as being a founder of the Cornish Cross Party Constitutional Convention and campaigner for Cornish recognition:
‘The recognition of the Cornish as a national minority is a further element of the foundations of future Cornwall. By openly and officially recognising the language, as, previously, the Government recognised the Cornish language, it means that those people who declare themselves to be Cornish can assume their rightful place in the diversity of cultures and identities which makes up modern Britain, and will in future have an equality of opportunity to access resources and rights which have, until now, been left out of policies, systems and best practice.’
Westminster Government announcement: Cornish granted minority status within the UK – Press releases – GOV.UK The Framework Convention: Council of Europe – ETS no. 157 – Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (This item compiled for Celtic News by Michael Chappell – Kernow Branch)

Decentralisation and the Future of Yorkshire - University of Huddersfield

February - Decentralisation and the Future of Yorkshire - University of Huddersfield Cornwall gets a mention. It'd be good to see the Cornish Constitutional Convention organising similar events.


@MebyonKernow and Dick Cole for St Austell and Newquay

The BBC Trust has denied MK’s call for a Party Election Broadcast and and the mainstream parties are spending massively in the St Austell and Newquay seat. In 2010 – between January 1st 2010 and polling day on May 6th – the Conservative candidate spent £40,968, while the Liberal Democrat candidate spent £33,852. It is also the case that in the period leading up to 2010, they also spent many tens of thousands of pounds. Even minor UK parties such as the Greens and Ukip are benefiting from an increased media attention.  Help redress the balance by putting your hands in your pockets for Dick Cole's campaign in St Austell and Newquay. Click here to give Cornwall a voice: Dick Cole (Mebyon Kernow) for St Austell.


The Limits of Republicanism

The Limits of Republicanism | Jacobin: The response to Charlie Hebdo shows French republicanism’s blindness to structural racism.

An interesting article and one that will certainly strike a cord with all those who campaign for the cultural and linguistic rights of Frances national minorities - which of course, according to the French state, don't exist and therefore have no rights that need protecting.


It's official! @Plaid_Cymru consider Cornwall to be a county of England

In Wales vote for @TheGreenParty. In the forthcoming elections why not be part of the Green surge too and vote for the English Greens in Wales. 

Sometimes, London based parties really do know better than the locals. Help the Greens surge into Wales and bring wisdom from
their party headquarters. 

When the party leadership of Plaid advises people to vote Green across England, across the Tamar and all across Cornwall; why not decide to be part of the surging Green force in Wales too?

BREAKING NEWS: SNP calls for citizens to vote Green in the rest of the UK outside Scotland. The SNP leadership has stated that:  "whilst waiting for serious, left-of-centre and ecologically aware autonomist  parties to be created in Wales, England and Cornwall, people should really consider voting Green in these places."


How small do you go? The Kernow Question

I quite often get slightly tetchy emails from Cornish activists accusing me of ‘ignoring’ Cornwall’s claims to self-government. Quite honestly it’s up to the Cornish to determine what they want, e.g. a Cornish Assembly or be part of a wider South-West region, which is anathema to quite a few of the Cornish devolutionaries. But is it anathema to Cornish people as a whole? I don’t know. Cornwall already has a single local government unit, which personally I think is absolutely crazy. What happened to local government? Penzance is a long way from Liskeard, however, delightful the train journey. I’d say it was self-evident that ‘Cornwall’ should have an identity, but – like other parts of Britain – we’ve gone much too far in centralising local government to the extent it has become meaningless. The Bodmins, Falmouths, Truros and Penzances are sizeable towns which should have some political voice. That could be strengthened ‘town councils’ or something else. 

Having one single unit of governance for all Cornwall doesn’t strike me as very democratic and would horrify any German, Norwegian, French or Italian. So, coming back to the original proposition: how small can you go for ‘regional’ government (accepting Kernow’s claim to nationality, you know what I mean – were not talking independence). The population is just over half a million (and growing quite rapidly). That puts it on a par with the smallest German land – Bremen, with 661,000. So yes it’s small and you could – within a very un-British co-ordinated approach to regional devolution – include a devolved Cornwall within a larger ‘South-West’ but it gets a bit messy, doesn’t it? So if the Cornish want their own assembly, let them have it. It might not have quite the same powers as a bigger multi-million region but it shouldn’t be about one size fitting all.

The above in an extract from Paul Salveson's Illustrated Weekly Salvo 171

Former Labour councillor, Paul Salveson is one of the driving forces behind the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and Yorkshire First's candidate for the Colne Vally.


An open letter from Owen Jones to Ukip voters

I'm not going to waste your time or patronise you by preaching the benefits of immigration. Instead, I want to ask you this. Who has caused our country most problems: the bankers who plunged us into economic disaster, the expenses-milking politicians who have the cheek to lecture us on benefit fraud, the wealthy tax-dodgers keeping £25 billion a year from the Exchequer; the poverty wage-paying bosses and rip-off rent-charging landlords; or Indian nurses and Polish fruit pickers?