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About my blog

Been a long time since I started writing this blog, so I thought I'd finally do an about my blog page, I started writing this blog in August 2010, back then I hadn't really meant to start blogging, I've written a fair amount in my life articles here and there and I like to think I'm not too bad as a writer. I write things I care about, things that I think are important, readers may not always agree with me. But I always hope my blogs are informative and present a different view on Cornish politics, I don't like to follow the crowd and hope my posts present a worthwhile read.

Anyhow, 2010 saw the Coalition formed and there was a certain amount of buzz in Cornwall, I don't know the last time Cornwall had all of our MPs as part of the ruling government and there were thoughts things would change for the better at last. Certainly the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives had done more than Labour to court the Cornish vote. Campaigning at election time revolved around fair funding for Cornwall, the prospect of devolution, Cornwall deciding our housing needs and numbers not central government, we were promised a green peninsula at the leading edge of renewable energy.  Even David Cameron had promised a minister for Cornwall. It was with little wonder that Mebyon Kernow got squeezed at the election, anything we were saying the Tories and Libs were saying much louder. I'd even got to the stage of thinking what's the point of Mebyon Kernow? With the coalition in power and the prospect of political unity in Cornwall perhaps we'd soon see an assembly, decisions made in Cornwall and a minister for Cornwall and the Mebyon Kernow manifesto of 2010 lying redundant.

I found myself then in the summer of 2010 reading an advert on Pirate FM for a chance to meet David Cameron and ask a question. So the question I wanted to ask was when we'd see a Minister for Cornwall, not top of my wish list but it was an explicit promise by the Tory leader and the Cornishman Mark Prisk had been appointed shadow minister in 2007, so I was expecting more of a when than if. As it turned out I couldn't make the event, days after the birth of my daughter Mazey, I made the decision to put family first. Not sure if that was the right decision and who knows whether I'd have made my way to Newquay and never spoke to the PM. Anyhow a while after, I received a letter from Cameron (you can read that here if you're interested on my first ever blog post). He didn't as we all know make that Shadow Minister for Cornwall a proper minister, much like all of the Cornwall specific electoral pledges of both coalition partners it failed to materialise.

However my blog didn't follow suit and vanish into the ether, in the last two and a half years I've written 167 posts, good, bad and the ugly among them. I've had tens and thousands of views on my blog and I never cease to be amazed over which are the more popular posts. Out of interest my most popular post by views is about Devon and Cornwall police moving their helicopter to Exeter, I think my favourite blog and the one that definitely had the most exposure was on the pasty tax, I was the first blogger in Cornwall to pick up on this great affront to Cornwall. With the title Osborne's pasty tax hidden in the budget. It certainly got quoted far and wide, with various sources proclaiming me Councilor Robert Simmons, news to me and the rest of the world at the time and since. For I have never served as a councilor nor have I stood for election, but that's another story for another time.

As time has gone on I have joined Mebyon Kernow, I grew disillusioned with the lack of political progress by our MPs in getting Cornwall on the agenda in Westminster. After years of supporting MK on and off I bit the bullet and accepted the logic that only voting differently will change politics in Cornwall. I'm not just talking about an assembly or more recognition for Cornish national identity, but centralisation of jobs and decision making out of Cornwall, our poorly funded NHS and the abject disregard for our industries and their potential growth farming, fishing, quarrying, china clay, mining etc. I don't think the present arrangement works well for Cornwall, if we had the same opportunities, investment and funding as other parts of the UK we wouldn't be among the worst economies in the EU. Things need to swing in our favour politically and we need better decision making that suits us. This logic dominates my thinking and my writing. I like to think I'm not just a party political blogger echoing the manifestos of the leadership and sometimes I fear I am exactly that.

Whether posts about devolution, renewable energy, broken promises, Cornwall Council politics, Coastguard cuts, affordable housing etc etc I have enjoyed every minute of it. I like to write about things I care about, I have a strong sense of morality, I'm swayed more in life by right and wrong than I am pragmatism. I am an idealist there is no doubt, there's things I like about the world and things I dislike. The things I dislike I'd like to see changed and the things I like I write to defend. I like to think my blog is an integral part of the public discussion of politics in Cornwall. I think what I say is relevant and often presents a different point of view than others and/or presents different facts. What other people I don't really know, I'm always encouraged when people tell me they liked a particular post or the blog in general and I certainly like writing it and people read it which I hope is a good sign.

As of May I am now a town councilor on Penzance Town Council representing my home ward Penzance East. I will try to shed some light on my work as a councilor and the decisions of the council. If you want to get in contact I do have a contact details page here.

UPDATE I am now the Mebyon Kernow- Party for Cornwall candidate, for the General Election in the St Ives constituency, wish me luck!

Well thanks for reading this and my blog as a whole.

Robert Simmons

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The 3 actions Penzance Town Centre needs from Cornwall Council

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