Skip to main content

Cameron's phone woes illustrate what's wrong with Cornish politics

The Prime Minister was in the Cornish news recently revealing his phone signal problems while holidaying in Cornwall. As the story goes David Cameron cut short some breaks because he couldn't get enough phone signal to do whatever it is he does normally. 
Suddenly this is big news, the familiar refrain of 'something should do something about that' is ever present. This is a big issue because the Prime Minister's holiday was ruined. Phone companies should be doing more, pooling resources for the common good etc. No doubt this is very true.
But my problem is why hasn't this been a problem all along? Bad mobile phone signal is not news to anyone. I live in the middle of Penzance and on a good day I might get a text message indoors, on a bad day a string of messages when I leave the house. Unlike Cameron this doesn't ruin my holidays, it ruins every day, like so many in Cornwall, work, friendships, emergencies and even the odd tasteless joke and drunken phone call are missed due to poor phone signal.
This is the fundamental problem with the distant (in every sense of the word) people in power in the UK. Could Helston or St Keverne or Porthleven or St Just councils or even Cornwall Council? or a council anywhere? change this and the answer is no. At a push they could write to their MP and probably gain their support or even write to a minister but ultimately it wouldn't change anything. It probably wouldn't even make the evening news. So really what we have to do is either get the Prime Minister to holiday in Cornwall more often or build a new political system where the day to day decisions of our communities aren't dictated by the holidaying whims of members of the central government.
As a footnote, I probably over egged it a bit and if people really want to get hold of me they often revert to the old technology and ring my landline. Or send a message or email online. Often much simpler and easier than climbing the nearest hill.... Perhaps there's a lesson there for the Prime Minister? Or would that make the narrative of understanding Cornish problems and picking up on a real issue and milking it politically a little redundant?
Hopefully this might spur long overdue improvements in mobile signal in Cornwall. Even I couldn't pick holes in that (hint hint).

Popular posts from this blog

The 3 actions Penzance Town Centre needs from Cornwall Council

My name is Rob Simmons and I'm a candidate for Penzance East in this Thursdays Cornwall Council election and these are my 3 priorities for our town centre:  1 Action on reducing Parking Fees  2 Action on unfair business rates 3 Action on empty shops and buildings.  I firmly believe that Cornwall Council ought to do more to support Penzance Town Centre and these 3 changes would be a massive leap forward.

1.Action on Parking Fees, Penzance has some of the highest parking fees in Cornwall, we all know that it puts people off coming to town and crucially shoppers from staying for longer periods. With out of town retail parks popping up everywhere and the lure and convenience of the internet our town centre needs help. Cornwall Council must do it's part in supporting the town centre. Penzance needs a Cornwall Councillor that will lobby to change this and find a solution that benefits us and stops CC seeing Penzance as a way of making money. We need to see a major overhaul of parking…

A breath of fresh air at Penzance Town Council

The election has certainly rung a great many changes at Penzance Town Council. There are now 12 brand new councillors (although Simon Reed has been on the council before). Between retirements and not getting re-elected not a single mayor that served between 2013-2017 is now on the council and only 1 that served as deputy mayor in that time are still on the council. A number of former mayors, deputy mayors and chairs and vice chairs of committees are also no longer with the council. Or to put it another way many of the active town councillors that formed the approach and policies of the town council in the past are no longer there pulling the strings.

When I was first elected back in 2013 there was a feeling that (long overdue) change had been brought to the council, that those new people elected had brought change. That was the feeling with 8 new councillors elected and 12 of the existing councillors being re-elected. This time around there are 12 new councillors and only 8 from befo…

Meeting with Premier Inn about proposed Branwell's Mill development

As many of you will have read online and in the local papers. Premier Inn are interested in setting up a hotel in Branwell's Mill in Penzance. Last night members of the Town Council were invited to a presentation by the agents from the hotel chain in St John's Hall. The Town Council rightly has a clear position that it is neutral on this development. Due to Code of Conduct rules and particularly Section 25 of the Localism Act, councillors must not enter debates with a closed mind. Or to put in plain terms the council and councillors can not be seen to have made a decision before the meeting and before they see the facts before them of that meeting. As with any planning application in the parish of Penzance it will be reviewed, debated and voted on by Penzance Town Council  Added to the fact that I've seen a presentation for the developers but not been able to speak to hear other sides of the story. This post is primarily to inform yourselves of what is happening rather th…