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24 September 2014
BBC Cornwall Have Your Say BBC Cornwall Have Your Say
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Do you want an independent Cornwall?
Campaigners
Protesters against the south west assembly

How should our county be run? Have your say on self-government, a south west assembly, Westminster and the EU.

How can we preserve our unique culture and move forward in the 21st Century?

Do you support the aims of Mebyon Kernow for a legislative Cornish Assembly for self-government within the UK? Or are the present powers of the County Council sufficient for running Cornwall?

Do you think greater powers for Cornwall could put off investment from the rest of the world? Or would a Senedh Kernow, as proposed by local cross-party campaigners, be more successful in attracting more investment than the current Regional Development Agency based in Bristol?

Would we be better off as part of a south west assembly or would we end up being governed by Bristol and Exeter?

Do you feel Cornish, English, British, or European? Or a combination of these identities?

*latest mail from the top

This page exists as an archive. If you would like to discuss this or other topics with other visitors to the BBC Cornwall website, please visit our new Message Board.

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What a load of old cobblers, look around the world and tell us what has independence done for anyone. Tribalism is rife and well in Africa and other none civilized countries, why bring it to dear old England. We have enough tribalism here because of Socialism and Communism. Everone doesn't want to be the same and everyone doesn't want to have independence.

Look at Rhodesia, do you really want that mentality here, and don't say it couldn't happen look at your local govt's. They're all clammering for handouts from the working poor and want everyone to be the same. Bollocks... get a life... I'm no racist nor am I a screaming right winger(Conservative) but I do believe that at some point someone needs to have the gonads to stand up and say enuff is enuff.

England used to be the envy of the world for Education and Manners and decorum and all of the things that made us GREAT, now we're a land of wannabes and have beens and are sucking hind tite with the rest of the bleeding hearts. If you want to have a socialist country, thats fine but dont spend your lives whining about how you don't have any money and want independence. With independence comes costs and the costs that should be placed on an independent country or nation are extreme. Look before you leap my friends, independence is only as good as your income per capita.
Michael Smith, Vernal , Utah, USA

Cornish motto One and All is being ignored by Cornish Nationalists who are about Cornwall for the Cornish. Their level of debate is:
To put up graffiti on road structures saying 'no invading english scum'.
To obliterate road signs to Cornish sites with the St. Piran flag, misused like a Cornish swastika.
To remove the word England from Regional Development Agency factory sites
To paint out the word Royal in Royal Cornwall Museum and Royal Cornwall Hospital.
These people deface their own County, complain about being marginalised and then advocate a separatist and isolationist dogma which is patently unviable.

Anon, Truro

I live in the west midlands, and I have been reading you article on Cornwall having its own Assembly. Can anyone give me any details on how I can find out more on Cornish geneology as my surname apparently came from somewhere in this part of the contry.
Richard, Walsall, west Mids

URGENT:

If you wish to make a difference concerning whether there is a referendum on a regional assembly in your area then follow the link: www.local-regions.odpm.gov.uk/consult/regional-assembly/index.htm and then send your comments to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office by following the “soundings” link on the website. You can do it by e-mail, but your comments must be in by the 3rd March or you’ll be too late. PhilT, Cornishman in Oman
The BBC are not responsible for the content of external websites

Further reading of the following website: www.regions.odpm.gov.uk/governance/progress/response/01.htm has shown me that on 24th January 2003 the government published a soundings paper on the following website:
www.local-regions.odpm.gov.uk/consult/regional-assembly/index.htm


The intentions of this paper is to determine which regions will be eligible to hold referendums about establishing an elected regional assembly. You have until 3rd March to let your views be heard, after which time the government will make its decision. So if you are interested in making your voice heard now is the time to do it. You may never get another chance. The following is a direct quote from the government website: “……….The Government has undertaken a specific soundings exercise, beginning in December 2002, on the level of interest in each region in holding a referendum on whether to establish an elected regional assembly. The Government is now taking soundings on the level of interest in each English region in holding a referendum about establishing an elected regional assembly. Views are sought by 3 March 2003….”
PhilT, Cornishman in Oman
The BBC are not responsible for the content of external websites

Has anyone read the “Summary of the comments and enquiries received following the publication of the White Paper Governance” found on the following website; www.regions.odpm.gov.uk/governance/progress/response/01.htm There are a couple of interesting comments made by the government relating to the results.
For example, here are some direct quotes from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister:

“….The comparatively high number of 'mixed views/undecided' opinions from the South West is accounted for by those who stated that they favoured an elected assembly, but wanted a Cornish assembly rather than a South West one. This opinion was also supported by those who contributed the 1,595 postcards supporting the establishment of a Cornish assembly (following up the 2001 petition claiming 50,000 signatures to the same effect)….”

“…..In terms of written and emailed responses, Cornwall was the biggest single issue raised….” “……121 respondents argued in favour of either a referendum for a Cornish Assembly, or for setting up an assembly without a referendum - 67 members of the public and all of the local authorities and interest groups argued in favour….”

“……Just 8 respondents (all members of the public) were opposed to any form of Cornish assembly….” All of this “……is in addition to the 1,595 postcards received as part of the Cornish Constitutional Campaign for a referendum for a Cornish assembly. Including all responses received (letters, emails, Cornish postcards and South East coupons), support for a Cornish assembly was expressed by 34% of all respondents….”
PhilT, Cornishman in Oman

The BBC are not responsible for the content of external websites

I can't beleive that you actually think independance for Cornwall is a) possible or b) worthwhile. If people stopped living in a dreamland and actually attempted to address the problems at hand then maybe Cornwall wouldn't be the backward dump it is.
John , Norwich

Adrian: I have always supported the Cornish, but a region consisting of the other 6 counties would be a disaster. The Dorset/Hampshire border is a fast growing area and the planning pressures on it are not exactly relieved by splitting it into two different regions. The Hampshire/Sussex border, on the other hand, is mostly greenbelt. Likewise, dividing Swindon and Bristol from Reading is already creating a bureaucratic nightmare when it come to planning for the M4 corridor. If Cornwall gains its independence (or even if it doesn't), the eastern boundary needs to shift one county to the east.
Nick Xylas, Bristol, Wessex

Thanks Adrian and Nick, that was informative. I think most of us on this board can agree to two things:
1.Devolution is a Good Thing and
2.The Seven County arangement is a Bad Thing.
So really what it comes down to is the Government implementing the most popular scheme and not forcing upon us a totally artificial region 'as designed by the commity'. What is required now is a plebicite. I would also like to add that I have written to the site manager of the BBC Somerset forum and he has agreed to start a "Devolution" board on there, so there can be a wider debate on this important issue. Thanks again.
Ed, Somers
et


Ed, you make a very serious point ... we could indeed lose the baby with the bathwater.

The Cornish Constitutional Convention strategy is to make a deal with everyone East of the Tamar (the other six Counties of the Standard Government Region, and the Government in London) so that Cornwall gets its own Assembly, and the other Six Counties get one too, if they want that.

That might work ... indeed, I hope it does. But as you say, if it fails, we all lose this once-in-a-lifetime chance to modernise the way we are governed, and Cornwall's archaic and dysfunctional place within the British so-called Constitution.

If four of the Six Counties did a deal, wonderful! I'd be happy with any permutation, as long as Cornwall gets what it wants, needs and deserves, i.e. the Senedh Kernow that is the settled will of the permanent resident population of this peninsula.

What may make this a reality is the commitment in the White Paper to hold a referendum before any elected Regional Assembly is established. They need consent. They will not get that in Cornwall, and seem unlikely to in any Western County ... especially once voters realise they will lose the County dimension of their identity once the Seven County Monster becomes a reality.

The White Paper fails to recognise the depth of the County identity within regional politics ... indeed it lacks any grasp of regional politics other than those of the North East (Prescott's patch) and London (Raynsford's). None of the civil servants involved have ever been outside central London or wherever they sleep as well as work, judging from the way the White Paper is written. It would fail any 'A'level question asking for a decent essay on the subject!

So either we will never get any devolution at all, or our own local bickering will kill off the slim chance that we just might ... what happens in reality is up to all of us.

I am confident that Cornwall will make its own luck, one way or another.
Adrian Watts, Flushing, Falmouth


Ed: I was co-author, with David Robins, of a report entitled The Case For Wessex, in response to the government's white paper. In it, we supported calls for Cornish independence and proposed an eastward expansion of the South West government zone to take in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, with Buckinghamsire going to the East of England and Kent, Surrey and Sussex forming a much more natural "South East" region than the present L-shaped monstrosity. This would have still left a large region (which we argued should be named Wessex, after the ancient kingdom that covered this territory - in fact it even included Cornwall later in its history, but let's not go there), but one which is much more geographically cohesive than the present South West goverment zone, the eastward boundary of which slices through the Cotswolds, the M4 corridor and the "South Coast Metropole", which stretches from Poole to Portsmouth. We attracted some flak from people in Devon, who thought that their county should be given the same status as Cornwall, though we didn't know that such sentiments existed in Devon when we wrote the report, due to the lack of an organised Devon independence movement.
Nick Xylas, Bristol, Wessex

Further to my previous question, I read Mark's message regarding the Brythonic language in Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Are there any plans to teach this language in these counties? If it was what would be the opinion of Cornish people towards this? Also I would like to know if this was implemented would it cause "pan-regionalism" across the four Western Counties or would the situation remain as it is? I don't have any agenda here, so there's no need to give me a rough time; I'm only curious! BTW, I'm all in favour of devolution and if Cornwall wants its own assembly, then good for them! :-)
Ed, Somerset

Can anyone come up with a reasonable alternative to the Seven County plan, e.g a Cornish Assembly and a seperate South-Western Assembly, an assembly for Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, e.t.c., e.t.c., that reflects the interests of the Westcountry as a whole rather than those of the Government? If the Government's plans are rejected will this result in no devolution in the West at all?
Ed, Somerset


I don't like the title - "nationalism" has been used as an excuse for some foul deeds in history - but it's the nearest I can find to saying how much I hate the idea of the seven-county Region, and how much I think Cornwall should have its own Assembly.

Why should we be forced into a "one size fits all" constitution?

I used to live in Spain, formerly a very centralised country, but now allowing a good deal of devolution, but varying the degree according to the size and nature of each region. For example Pais Vasco, the Basque Region, has bi-lingual signs and even its own distinctive police force, while the much smaller La Rioja, best known in the UK for its wine, has less devolved powers.

Andalucia, where I lived, is the size of several sovereign European nations, and was often in conflict with the Madrid Government (while I was there it was about pensions) but all seemed still to regard themselves as Spanish as well.

It worked, and I don't see why a similiar system should not work in the UK. Cornwall would not expect as much autonomy as Scotland, but would want a lot more the Hertfordshire, for example!
Michael Fisher, Padstow


Dear Tim,
Not boasting, just putting your prejudiced pal in the picture.
Not immature and snide ‘in crowd’ patois, just looking at things as objectively as I can.
Not holding my breath as I wait for any logical response. Not manipulating historical hyperbole, or fostering a ‘them and us’ culture.
Not preaching an exclusionist agenda as promoted by the ‘foot in mouth’ man.
Not wavering or even frowning – just groaning and gasping with astonishment at the antics of the politburo in waiting. (Thanks to the late Stevie Smith for the poetic inspiration).

(p.s. Tim, my maternal Grandmother was born near Bala, maybe I am related to the people you were talking to? Also, I am not ‘poor’, I am not ‘irate’ and I am not ‘your friend’ – hope this clears everything up for you).
(p.p.s. – The retirement didn’t last long – it’s the irresistible challenge of corresponding with men in possession of egos’ the size of planets).
Steve, Lancashire

There's nothing wrong with the Somerset Levels Bob. :-}
Ed, Somerset

Tim, I am fully aware of what New Labour's intentions are regarding devolution, but they have not (as far as I know) officially stated that they intend to abolish the counties. If that is their plan, then I am sure that we will all be united against it. You have hit the nail on the head when you say that the word 'wealh' or 'wealas' referred originally to the Romans, the key word being 'originally'.

I don't think that anyone honestly believes that the Saxons thought that the Cornish (or any other Britons) were Romans, as the word had, by that time, come to refer to anyone regarded as 'foreigners' by the Germanic tribes. Incidentally, are Cardiff City supporters really bad enough to be called 'wealas'? In your reply to Emma, do I detect a note of Cornish isolationism creeping back into your agenda, i.e. Cornwall needing an eastern coast?

There was naïve old me thinking that you regarded Devonians as being good neighbours. Merddyn – Much of what you say makes a lot of sense, but I shouldn't worry too much about "the Cornish people being cut off from their fellow Celts in time", as it never happened (despite what the more 'rabid' members of the Cornish Nationalist brigade would like you to believe). Your fellow Celts haven't moved house; they are still there just across the Tamar. You don't need to take my word for it; just take a look at the latest historical, archaeological and (most importantly) genetic findings, which prove that the descendents of the (Celtic) Britons of Devon (together with those of the rest of the former Kingdom of Dumnonia) are still in residence.
Bob Burns, Barton-upon-Humber

Well I certainly am glad that Steve has posted his last message here ... or maybe he'll change his mind! Just for the record, and to help Steve out, it is of course a fact that the vast majority of British citizens do identify themselves as English, even though I and millions of others don't!

That ethnic imbalance is the very reason why the unitary British constitution has worked so unfairly for its non-English parts since 1707, hence the Irish question and the West Lothian question and now the Cornish question.

Blair and most of his party have as much understanding of constitutional reform as my left boot, epitomised by his approach to the House of Lords. But at least he allowed Scots and Welsh devolution to go through, and now this regional effort. Also for the record, on the question raised by Steve of modern Australian racism, my great great grandfather was the first white child born in Western Australia to survive into adulthood.

He very nearly didn't during the wars with Yagan and his people. And as a result of that bloody experience my ancestor spent his adult life (into the early 20th century) hunting aborigines to death for sport. There is no excuse for that, but it is a fact. So I have made a small contribution to justice for Yagan and his people, as follows. Yagan's head was cut off from his body and brought back to Britain by some redcoat soldier as a trophy after the war with the aboriginals in the Swan River Colony (early 1830s).

Most of the colonists at the time disapproved of this barbarian act, but the head ended up in Liverpool museum, and, eventually, in Everton cemetry. A year or two ago in London I met Ken Colbung CBE, direct descendant of Yagan. Ken used to break horses on my cousin's spread in the wheatbelt near Perth.

With some Aussie archaeologists Ken was there lobbying the Home Office in order to exhume Yagan's head in order to re-unite it with the rest of his remains, because his spirit couldn't rest until this happened. So I wrote in support to the Home Secretary along with others, and eventually a licence was granted to exhume the head, and so Ken was able to return with it to Australia and lead a full aboriginal ceremonial reburial of Yagan's head in its proper place, back down under. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Steve Garrett!
Adrian Watts, Flushing, Falmouth

Pam ... are you a Tory or just one of those expatriate Scots who consistently opposed devolution throughout the 1970s and 1980s? Either way the majority of your compatriots voted in favour of the new Parliament, and if it's not working as well as they would like we all know whose responsibility that is.
Adrian Watts, Flushing, Falmouth


Pam - my Scots friends would certainly agree that their measure of self-governemt is quite inadequate. They would also agree that they need to cut out theredundant tier of government - at Westminster.

Merddyn - Cornwall is one of the oldest territorial divisions in Europe - read Philip Paynton's history of Cornwall, or indeed any other authoritative source (anything by John Angarrack is well worth reading.

John - I'm not quite sure what your point is about national affiliation. And your point about the quality of our representatives would, if carried to its logical conclusion, lead to the abolition of democracy and re-establishing the feudal system!

Malcom - I agree with you - we need to get moving before it's too late to do anything. By the way, which particular Swiss principles would you like to adapt first?

Gazz - like all rootless cosmopolitans I feel at ease in a number of different places, but I don't see why you need to disparage one place in order to express solidarity with another. Besides, if facilities in Cornwall are limited we need to ask why. And I have to say that I find Cornish people (both true and untrue!), neither worse nor better on the average than any other lot of human beings. If you're worried about the way our elected representatives act, the sensible thing is to vote them out and put in somebody who WILL act the way you think is right. By the way, how do you define a 'proper city?

Adrian - perhaps we need to think in terms of graded steps towards self-determination, reactivating our constitutional rights phase by phase? (P.S. Re our irate friend, the other day I was talking to some people from Tryweryn - I hope he doesn't boast about connections with Bessie Braddock in the Bala area!)

Emma - the idea of extending the Tamar a few miles to the north is a very attractive one. To adapt a saying of Harri Webb's, 'What Cornwall needs most is an eastern coast'.

Bob - the fact that the word 'wealh' and its cognates in other Germanic languages refers originally to the Romans is accepted by scholars from Wallachia to Wallonia. It derives from a Gaulish tribe called the Volcæ, who lived on the Rhine. When the German song 'Wacht am Rhein' says 'Betritt kein Welscher deinem Strand', it doesn't refer to Cardiff City supporters (although nobody would attach any blame if it did).

As to New Labour's present 'devolution' plans, please examine the record in the relevant legislation and Parliamentary debates. They've made it as plain as a pikestaff that they have no intention of conceding territorial integrity, let alone self-government, to Cornwall. Once again, I'm NOT asking you to take my word for it.

Mike - what steps do you think we should take to improve our condition NOW? And what issues do you see as priorities?
Tim, Caerdydd


Cornwall do not be ridiculous !

As an expat Scot just take a look north of the border to see what you would end up with. A parliament which is nothing more than a very expesive extra tier of government.

I think you will find that few Scots are happy with this system. Learn from others mistakes.
Pam Leitch, Saltash


Let's get the important part out of the way. I agree with self determination and self government. I just have one slight beef with the comments made on this message board. When exactly in history was "Cornwall" ever a country in it's own right??

The Cornish have a proud history and along with other parts of the British Isles should also be proud that they can lay claim to being some of the original inhabitants. But if you go back in history to some of the earliest recorded events, you find that the area now called Cornwall was actually within the Kingdom of Dumnonia. This was an area covering what we now call Cornwall, Devon and the western parts of Somerset.

Cornwall as a 'county' came into being much later. Even back in those earliest days, the Dumnonii were merely a tribe of people living in a vast country in which everyone was a "Briton" (yes even the Welsh). Granted they spent most of their time fighting with each other, but they did not live in separate 'countries'.

The separations in the land came much later (after the Romans), and although the Cornish people were cut off from their fellow Celts in time, the area was still a Kingdom within a Country and it was still not yet called "Cornwall".

By the time the name of the county appeared, there was no longer a Kingdom of Dumnonia ruled by a single person. Self Government is right and will come through in time. But I believe we should be proud to be British first and foremost, rather than argue over the merits of being English, Welsh, Scots or Cornish.
Merddyn, Stratton


First correction,to be born in Cornwall does not class you as English. You only speak a variation of that language as do many others in these islands. Look at most surveys that now ask for your ethnic origins. You are all????British with the/Cornish..Welsh...English...Scots added on. Yes there is a space for this designation.

As to a Cornish assembly you must be joking, look at the mess that our County assembly is in also one or two of our local and district councils.
John Hilton, Bodmin


I used to feel that independence for Cornwall was an impossible and impractible dream. Maybe it still is but I would love to give it a try.

I really feel that successive governments have made a hash of things and that we should take control of our own destiny before it is too late. Cornwall is a wonderful place to live and as one who was born and bred here, I feel that we should be given the opportunity to self rule.

Just ask the hoardes of people who have chosen to live here rather than north of the border (no offence intended Devon). There are of course numerous problems to be tackled including, taxation,health,pension rights, defence,the police and the travel network to mention but a few. However a state based on the principals in a country such as Switzerland could possibly be viable.

As for investment, I consider that if properly run, Cornwall could attract massive investment because of its natural resources and great beauty as a tourist venue. A dream! Perhaps but better than the nightmare that possibly faces us as a result of current policies by governments from outside, regardless of their political persuasion.
Malcolm, Trebetherick


I am 22 and I have lived in Truro all my life. When I was at school I used to go and spend my holiday in Bristol and London because Cornwall was too boring for me and in the winter the small Cornish villages are like ghost towns. I am proud to say my family come from London and My Great-Grandparents were French. I have to say I find many true Cornish people very bigoted. I consider my self to be English and never Cornish. As for the local goverment they have nothing in common with us youth, that is why in Truro they turn down applications to build a Pizza Hut or a McDonalds in the City Centre. They seem intent on stopping Truro from growing into a proper City.
Cheers Gazz

Mike, I accept that Cornwall is a country. I recognise your pride in being Cornish, and acknowledge your rights as a Cornishman, and the rights of the Cornish people to self-determination under international laws signed up to by successive British Governments. Most of my proper Cornish friends and acquantainces here in Cornwall feel just as strongly as you do about their identity and rights as a people.

The Cornish are yet another a nation which has suffered and continues to suffer political subjection to the point where its nationhood is firmly and persistently denied by the occupying power ruling from London (just as Scotland's was for almost two centuries until 1997). But when I suggest to most of those Cornish friends of mine that they might think of themselves as British as well as Cornish some think I mean English as well as Cornish. I do not believe anyone can be English as well as Cornish.

But I do believe one can be Cornish AND British, just as many millions of other Britons are not English but Scots or Welsh or Irish or Manx Britons (or Cumbrian Britons for all I know, or Devonian Britons for non-English Devonians ...) But they DO, as Cornishmen and women expect to be treated as British citizens when it comes to war and peace, for example, and to be defended by the British army, the Royal Navy, MI5 and the state and local police also when it comes to being protected from terrorist attack.

That is only fair, given our legal status, as Cornish and non-Cornish residents of Cornwall who have a right to a British European passport. So by all means argue for Cornwall to be independent of the UK. I respect that point of view, even though I don't believe it is likely to be achieved in my lifetime (another 50 years or so if I'm lucky). May I ask how you think justice for Cornwall, i.e. independence as you see it, is going to be achieved before then? Would you settle for a Cornish Assembly with real powers as part of the UK in the meantime, as Mebyon Kernow are now willing to?
Adrian Watts, Flushing, Falmouth

Why should we be lumped in with Devon, Somerset and the rest of the South West when culturally and economically we are so different? For years we missed out because Devons wealth counted out our poorness, finally somebody recognises the problems in Cornwall yet doesn't understand why they have come about? Come on! We are a county with our own special music, wrestling, language, folklore, food and 600 year old Beer. If this doesn't make us special enough to be independant at least a little bit from the richer, more English counties to our right then I reckon we should dig up the Tamar a bit more and make ourselves a proper island. However, any young person understands that we are not economically strong enough to stand completely on our own, the fact that most people go to university outside the county and then never return is a worrying trend for the counties future. We do need help, what we don't need is a Nanny state telling us what is the best for us as they sit in their glass towers in the capitol. Emma, Lanson

TRUE BRIT’, OR THE ‘ANGLISH’ OF BEING ENGLISH? You think you have me rattled? HMMMMM, really Adrian, I think ‘bored’ is a more accurate adjective. Don’t worry, this is my very last posting – I have other things to do. (I can hear the hip, hip hoorays’ all the way from Cardiff, Oman and Falmouth). In one of my previous postings, I asked just who do you think you are? I don’t think you really know who you are, do you Adrian? You say you’re BRITISH and NOT English. You come from Celtic/Antipodean stock and you were born in the English County of Somerset - in England. But one thing is absolutely certain YOU ARE NOT ENGLISH! …… I’d have bet my mortgage on you stating that.

Apparently, you are ‘British’ and not ‘English’ because there is no English citizenship (tenuous or what?). I bet that ISN’T the only reason. You don’t like the English do you Adrian? You use the word ‘English’ as a form of descriptive putdown. Maybe you think every English soul is some sort of clone of Maggie Thatcher? You are also perfectly happy to repeat the mantra - "arrogant English persons from across the Tamar" etc, etc. Shouldn’t that be "Arrogant BRITISH persons"?

Or does the arrogance stop at Offa’s Dyke and the Cheviots? Is ‘arrogance’ a condition of being ‘English"? There goes that ‘stereo! typical tendency’ again Adrian! Getting back to your parenthood – Welsh and Australian – I really don’t think the Welsh have citizenship, other than ‘British’ do they? So, shouldn’t your description be ‘British and Australian’? It’s just as I suspected of you. Your ethnic view of these Islands’ goes something like – Cornish is Cornish, Welsh is Welsh, Scottish is Scottish, Irish is Irish and English is British! Convenient isn’t it Adrian? What really amazes me is the Australian connection. Let’s not forget, you’re not English because ‘they are arrogant, ignorant, imperialists’ etc. However, you are happy to be associated with a Country that until very recently has vigorously persecuted it’s own native population.

By ‘persecution’ do I also include genocide?……. And even today, continues to deny basic human rights to its indigenous peoples. (and let’s not even go into the asylum seekers dumped on Christmas Island, or the dark double dealing done with Indonesia 40 years ago on the carve up of East Timor). But that is obviously OK, because your average white Australian is not English. Please also note that I did not ask whether you were an English citizen – I just asked whether you were English!!

You quote endless diatribes on persecution of the Cornish a thousand years and ‘more recently’ 500 years ago. But ethnic cleansing down under? Even in the mid 20th century, taking native aboriginal babies away from their mothers and placing them with white adoption agencies etc, well that is ‘perfectly understandable’ isn’t it Adrian?

Your oft - repeated ramblings that I have been offensive to the Cornish people are a total joke! I have only ever posted on this site as a reaction to pomposity or downright mischievous machinations! It is where I came in – a holiday in Cornwall, it’s one thing to want self - determination, but it is quite another to breed a hate and blame culture to popularise it! I am (was) a very frequent visitor to Cornwall, but the last time I went it was different, there was a lot of anti – English feeling.

What you have to ask yourself Adrian is whether I, (and others) really want to put up with that in the future? You probably know the answer. It’s REALLY easy for some unfortunate ‘hard done by soul’ to blame everything and everyone …… I was merely highlighting ‘it just ain’t so’. For example, when someone on the site says ‘If only we had control over our fishing and farming everything would be ok’ or ‘If we were independent, we could reopen our tin mines’.

I have merely pointed out that Europe set the pace for fish and farm - the only way to get back control is to exit the E.C! (I also pointed out that some Cornish fishermen had sold their quotas’ to Spanish competitors) – And tin prices are set Globally – a Cornish miner is in competition with a South American third World tin miner. When John Bennetts complained about house prices in Cornwall ‘going through the roof’ I simply pointed out that we live in a free market economy. Local Cornish people can sell to whoever they like can’t they?

And by the looks of it they are as greedy as the rest of us – ie selling for as much as they can get. I also pointed out that ! it is happening all over the Country, Cornwall was not unique, (A very reasoned point, I thought). If you want confirmation, please browse the back postings. You say that I have carefully edited the extracts from your previous postings, possibly to give a false impression? Naw, you really are as boorish as that, Adrian. There is a wealth of stuff to choose from, I thought I was being tastefully minimalist.

For example, I was also going to include the ‘English Heritage signage equals Nazi branding’ episode – but on reflection, I thought it was just too bizarre and embarrassing to contemplate. And you credit other people with getting the intro’ to this site changed – thanks very much, I am one of them! And Adrian, please do not lecture me on your road to Damascus – and how you stopped being one of ‘them’ (calling yourself English?) because of Margaret Thatcher. There was also, by inference a little dig at my ‘fascist editing techniques’.

Unfortunately, Adrian you are very wrong – my Grandfather was a very well known political figure, he was close friends with people like Ernie Bevin and Eric Blair, (indeed, Blair stayed at my Grandfather’s house whilst he was researching his book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’). During his later years he was the political agent for Labour MP Bessie Braddock . So my political pedigree has always been, (and continues to be) left of centre. AND FINALLY ……. In your last posting you described how Geoffrey Howe had ‘Body Language’. BODY LANGUAGE – GEOFFREY HOWE? Now that really is an oxymoronic statement if ever I heard one.
Steve Garrett, Lancashire, England.

In his response to Pete's well thought out post, Tim refers to the Government White Paper, and interprets it as meaning that Cornwall would be legislated out of existence. It doesn't actually state this, although it does imply that local government would be reduced by one tier if the Government defined regions were to be accepted by the electorate. I am sure that any suggestion that Cornwall (or Devon, or Somerset, or Dorset – to accommodate Mark's alternative proposal) should be legislated out of existence would be greeted by a massive NO vote.

Even in the days of Dumnonia, the Kingdom was divided into separate districts of Kerniew, Dyfneint and Glastenig (being the equivalents of modern Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. I am not quite sure what point Tim is trying to make when he says that the Germanic tribes referred to the inhabitants of the Roman Empire as 'wealas'.

This is undoubtedly correct, as they would have referred to any people who were not 'Germanic' as 'wealas' (or foreigners), but to extrapolate this to infer that the Anglo-Saxons regarded the Cornish as being Romans is surely not logical. Adrian's response to Mark, states that the Government is offering only one choice, i.e. Seven Counties or Seven Counties. This is not the case as, if the Seven County proposal is firmly rejected (as I believe and hope it will be), then the current status quo will prevail. Although this is not what people ultimately want, it at least provides the opportunity to mount active campaigns for the 'Regions', which we do want.

Incidentally, in a post on the Devon Devolution board, Nick Xylas (of the Wessex Society) has pointed out that while the provisions of the Regional Development Agencies Act of 1998 permit the Secretary of State to amend (the proposed) regional boundaries by statutory instrument, the number of regions has to remain the same. It would seem therefore, that this Act would either have to be amended or repealed to enable any of the South West Counties to become Regions in their own right.

The task is therefore harder than some may think. But if Nick Xylas thin! ks that by highlighting this obstacle, he can persuade either Devon (or Cornwall) to join his Wessex Regional Movement, then he had better think again. For Adrian to claim that the four South Western Counties have never done anything together, since the Monmouth Rebellion, is only true if one only considers rebellions (as there were no rebellions after the Monmouth Rebellion). There have however been many areas of more peaceful cooperation since then.

Adrian should also be cautious when describing Cornwall as being unique within the UK. Whilst this again is undoubtedly true, it is also meaningless, as I could describe Devon as being unique, in being the only county in Britain with two coastlines, or I could claim that my house is unique, because it is the only one on that particular piece of land; all true but all meaningless. I would be very interested if Mike Champion could present us with his historical references when claiming that Cornwall was "forced to become a Duchy, under military threat". He may well be "Cornish and proud of it" (and good luck to him), but there is no need to justify it with inaccurate history.
Bob Burns, Barton-upon-Humber

fact: cornwall is a country. forced to become a duchy, under military threat. our people are brainwashed into thinking they are english. genocide takes many forms. cornwall should have it's own government, seperate to the westminster one. it is our right. all this info is readily available today and cannot be doubted. i say justice for cornwall and the cornish people. i am cornish and proud of it.
mike champion, camborne

Pete - an excellent contribution: Thank you! Mark: You ask why can't the four Counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset form a region?

The answer is because they never have and probably never will simply because they are politically quite disparate. They are, simply, not a region in the sense argued either in the Government White Paper or by the Constitutional Conventions of either Cornwall or the English South West (the latter being apparently a Labour party front echoing the Government Office line). There is huge momentum in Cornwall for change.

The Government is only offering one choice, currently, Seven Counties or Seven Counties. You can choose your Region as long as it consists of Seven Counties. Otherwise there is no choice. I would love to believe I might be wrong about that, but I remain to be convinced. I can't see the political establishments of any of the four counties you mention doing anything effective to make sure they create a Four County Region.

They have never done anything together since the Monmouth Rebellion, as far as I can tell, and look what happened to those who participated in that! Certainly in Cornwall there is no support for such an idea, so forget it! But there is huge political support here for some kind of devolution to Cornwall, and huge hostility to being run from Bristol. And that is simply a reflection of physical geography and political, social and economic realities on the ground and across the various waters that define Cornwall and make us a special case, unique within the UK and Europe.
Adrian Watts, Flushing, Falmouth

Pete - your wish to belong to both camps is fair enough as far as it goes. Unfortunately, not all the people we're dealing with are as fair-minded as you are. While it's true that identity is a fuzzy concept, unlike the definitions of the natural sciences, they DO exist and it's wrong for powerful identities to use their strength to eradicate the less powerful. The only partnership England is offering us now is that between the steak and the diner!

There's no need to worry about isolationism - we can leave that to certain of our neighbours who want to behave as if there were nobody but them on this island, to opt out of Europe, and retreat into a glorious dream of the past. It's not us who cretaed the 'them and us' situation, but it's down to us to put it right.

We can only become a viable and prosperous part of the UK and Europe if we take responsibility for our own destiny and make our own contacts internationally. You need to look past the spin and the downright! lies and examine carefully what they're actually doing. Look at the White Paper, look at Hansard, look at statemments by 'Two-Jabs' Prescott and by Blair's mouthpiece Candida Athelstan. They've stated quite clearly that it doesn't matter what we want or what we say: they know what's best for us, and that best is to be legislated out of existence.

As you say, the Cornish petition has shown overwhelming report for a consultation, and Dr. Sandham's report reinforce the Cornish case. The only problem is, Pete - that the British Government simply refuse to listen. Your point about language is interesting, but the word 'wealas' is more specific than 'foreigner'. There are related words in many Germanic languages, and it was used by the early barbarians to denote the inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Therefore 'Cornwall' means something like 'the Romans living on the horn of the land'.
Tim, Caerdydd

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