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Showing posts from April, 2014

Cornish history must now be taught in Cornish schools

Following on from the Cornish recogntion in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) the Cornish school curriculum must be changed. Perhaps to the extent of a Cornish National Curriculum, now I don't mean science should be the prism of Cornish scientists and lessons revolving around Davy, Trevithick and Couch Adams, or literature be dominated by Du Maurier, Quiller-Couch and Golding. But nevertheless Cornish inclusion in the Framework binds education authorities to change things and these changes are significant.

Unlike some of the subjects I wrote about yesterday, that perhaps the convention might mean this or that, in terms of education it's very clear, Article 12 is categorical:

"Article 12
The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the culture, history, language and religion of their national minorities and of the majority.
In this context the Parties shall inter alia…

A truly inspiring town council meeting

Tonight was Penzance Town Council's meeting of electors, which is where various charities and voluntary groups come to explain the good works they have done in the community in the last year and indeed the challenges they face. There was a wide variety of groups represented from Penzance Lions Club, to Friends of West Cornwall Hospital to Shelter to Penlee bowling club to the Cuxhaven twinning association and lots in between. These various groups and individuals do a wide variety of work in the community. It is indeed worth noting that these groups exist we might argue in some cases that the state should be doing these services but nevertheless it's heartening to know that people take times out of their lives to work for the good of others or the community itself. (Or in some cases animals as the Cornwall Animal Hospital who were tonight present). Sometimes it is easier to see the bad in society (especially if you read the Daily Mail) and overlook the good that happens. A s…

Cornish recognition what it means? some thoughts

I'm no legal expert and this early days for Cornish recognition for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, so this is more of a discussion piece than a definitive account of what this historic decision means. Take a pinch of salt where necessary add a comment where you wish but these are my thoughts on what it means. There are a number of discussions at the moment taking place and I'm not going to try to summarise them all. But here I'll take a quick look at what the Framework means, what it means for equality legislation and what changes might occour now.

Of course I must echo Mebyon Kernow leader Dick Cole in saying this is fantastic news, but I also agree with Andrew Long when he said:

‘It is excellent news Government are finally recognising something the European Union have recognised for years and the Cornish have known for generations.’
On the Cornish Times website.

What is the Framework Convention?:

Fantastic, historic, momentous, groundbr…

The false feminism of Camborne Labour

A year ago the picking of mayor and deputy mayor for Camborne Town Council got really unashamedly political. Mebyon Kernow and the Conservatives had representatives picked as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively.  As with all politics and life in general sometimes things don't go your way but some can't except this and lash out with any argument at hand. Labour were sore their nomination for deputy (Cllr Dalley) didn't get selected. Far from taking it on the chin, they howled and screamed. It was not only a sleight to their candidate but an example of MK and the Tories ganging up on Labour "Mebyon Tories" as Adam Crickett would have it. But it was also a full frontal assault on womankind itself. As Jude Robinson explains: "There were the usual discussions. Two things I do know about politics: one is that when people say ‘this is not political’ reach for an enormous pinch of salt and the other is that when men say ‘It’s about the best person for the job’, they…

Sign the petition to save Penzance's Jubilee Pool

Not a great deal to say on this one. SIGN the PETITION is the important thing.

Despite press releases claiming disappointment on losing the grant funding and vague commitments to the future of the sea lido. Unfortunately this was not backed up by match funding in the last round of grants. Enthuastic rhetoric aside the reality was an immensely short sighted approach by Cornwall Council, spurning a large amount of money by not adding in some of their money a grant application that was destined to fail.
Save our lido!
— Rob Simmons (@cernyw) March 18, 2014 The petition seeks a new approach where a successful bid for grant funding can be achieved by Cornwall Council putting money in as well. Please sign this, we need to pressurise Cornwall Council (and Cornwall Councilors) that people do want the pool and it needs to be funded. Please sign here.

Alex Salmond underestimates the effectiveness of the YES campaign

The biggest political story of the year is no doubt the Scottish Independence referendum. It truly is an inspiring time, UK politics tends to be a bit stuffy endless scraps over the center ground by a cosy political consensus masquerading as political rivalry. Real change is unusual in UK politics so anything as vaguely unique and inspiring as the debate on Scotland's future is most welcome.

That said I've been on the fence on the issue, I did an interview with a couple of journalists (Jamie McConkey and Victoria Scholar) up in Paul the other week. There by the headstone of Dolly Pentreath I was asked various questions about Cornish identity, Mebyon Kernow, the campaign for a Cornish assembly and ultimately how this impacts and is impacted upon by events in Scottish polling stations in september. I was directly asked what I thought of the Scottish vote and whether I supported the yes campaign. I was quite hesitant in my answer, at the time I was unsure and gave an answer along…

Green Party to respond to Cornish Assembly Consultation

The Green Party in Cornwall have announced that they will respond to the Mebyon Kernow document Towards a National Assembly for Cornwall. Certainly a welcome move. The Green Party have traditionally supported the idea of Cornish devolution believing like MK that "small is beautiful" and the closer power is to the people the more accountable and responsive it is. They have unfortunately done precious little in the last few years.  So this is a welcome move. The internet article is here. It must be said as with previous criticisms on this blog of the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour. This does appear to be electioneering.  But unlike the rest, the Greens have not had an opportunity to devolve power and unlike the others doesn't have a history of centralisation in power. So it is more genuine than the establishment parties. It also must be welcomed that the Green party are interacting with our document.  Thinking beyond grand pronouncements of devolution and getting to grips …

Cornwall stands to be further marginalised by a Labour government

The subject of devolution is never far from the political agenda in UK politics. It's something all parties talk about. We've seen in the last month the Lib Dems make a Cornish Assembly policy and the Conservative party talk vaguely around the idea of more powers for Cornwall.  Now it seems Labour's turn to yak on about shifting power from Whitehall outwards but ignoring Cornwall (again). Ed Miliband was in the news today, promising regional ministers. In the eventuality Labour form a government in 2015 there will be a South West minister. Shelving my cynicism of fictional ministers promised before elections. We might fear that again Cornwall will be ruled from afar. With Cornish regeneration money funding offices and workers to administer our money from Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol. But a Labour shadow minister tells us things will be different: “Regional ministers would not be a replica of what came before, but rather would be complementary to our agenda to devolve more…

My bedroom tax speech that never was

There was supposed to be a bedroom tax rally in Penzance, on saturday just passed to coincide with the UK wide day of action. But due to the wet and windy weather and the fact it relied on street theater the organisers, Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance, decided to call it off.  Which was unfortunate as the Tory and Lib Dem government need pressure from every corner of the UK to stop this horrible and pointless policy. Anyway I was as PPC  for the St Ives constituency was (possibly) going to give a speech. Here it is:Dydh da PensansHere we are marking the 12 months anniversary of the bedroom tax. 1 whole year of a policy that is unfair, does not work and brings shame to the Conservative party and their Liberal Democrat allies. The statistics are clear, despite the rhetoric, that this would be helpful to the needy, that it would incentivise people to downsize, this has not happened.A recent BBC survey revealed that 6% of tenants have been able to move, downsize and avoid the bedroom tax.That…