Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Mudhook totally wrong on Mebyon Kernow and localism



This blog is essentially in response to a post by another blogger, but serves to illustrate and clarify Mebyon Kernow's policies toward giving power back to local communities within Cornwall... I sometimes read Mudhook's blog, perhaps this is a little strange for a Mebyon Kernow member as Mudhook does like to denigrate the party and it's principles. Perhaps I am a little masochistic, (much like the left wingers who revel in reading the Daily Mail) or perhaps it's because sometimes he has something useful to say. Unfortunately he (I assume it's a he) doesn't allow comments on his blog, so you can't fully interact with his content and arguments. This is regrettable because I often think he misrepresents Mebyon Kernow, for example recently he blogged about discrepancies within Cornwall in terms of education attainment; The Parts of Cornwall and forms part of his wider argument on the subject, to quote:
"Nevertheless, the differences are startling and I repeat again that Cornwall is not one place; there are many Cornwalls. We must learn from the most successful and target intervention where it is needed. It does not usually make sense to see Cornwall as one uniform place, as nationalism tends to do; and it is not sensible to have countywide policies which do not recognise the needs of different parts of Cornwall."
Now as I am sure he is aware MK led the fight against the imposition of the unitary authority by the then Liberal Democrat County Council and Labour government. It has never been MK policy to see Kernow as one uniform place, which is why we fought to keep the tiers of local government. Mebyon Kernow policy has always been to fight for devolution to Cornwall and within Cornwall. For example at the time condemning the announcement of the centralisation the then deputy mayor of Penzance, Richard Clark said this:
“As it is now certain that the district councils will be abolished, it is up to Cornwall's town and parish councils to seek the devolution of decision-making powers to preserve what we can of locally exercised democratic control." Unitary Decision Devalues our Local Democracy

Recently Stephen Richardson blogged about why Illogan Parish Council (of which he is a councillor) ought to develop it's own planning strategy and not to confirm unconditionally with Cornwall Council's plans for nearby Camborne, Redruth and Pool. See his blog here I can't think of a finer example of fighting for localism and arguing that what is best for one area might not be best for another. Anyone that even has a slight inkling of who MK councillors are on Cornwall Council, they will know that they fight hard for their local areas and do the best to represent them and do not see Cornwall as one uniform place demanding uniform policies.

Mebyon Kernow as a party fights for devolution both to Cornwall and to our communities, believe me if I thought this party only cared for Cornwall and not my home town of Penzance I would jump ship in a flash. The party is committed to devolution within Cornwall to deal with the specific problems of different areas. To quote from the 'Our Policies' section of the Mebyon Kernow website:
"In addition, devolved government based on Cornwall would also create the space to allow the current functions of Cornwall Council to be devolved downwards - to councils that are based on local communities and can provide the grassroots of a living and participatory human scale democracy." Mebyon Kernow

I do not mind Mudhook blogging about why he doesn't like Mebyon Kernow, this is a democracy and freedom of speech is the most fundamental part of that. What I do mind is misrepresenting MK in such a way, if he really wants to see Cornwall's unique and varied problems dealt with better, might I suggest he tackles those that run the centralised Cornwall Council in Truro (Conservative and Independent coalition) and cast a weary eye over those that imposed this upon us in the first place (Labour and the Liberal Democrats). Also he might like to join me in calling for services and departments to be devolved to Cornwall and thus ensuring not only jobs coming to Cornwall as I argue, but local solutions are devised and applied at the local level. Localism, Devonwall and how to bring Cornish jobs back