Cornish Assembly Now!

Cornish Assembly Now!


Welcome to the blog. All the opinion on this blog is my own or as attributed. This blog is not an official outlet for either Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall, or for Illogan Parish Council. Thank you for reading - I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

S4C comes to Cornwall

A few weeks ago S4C - the Welsh language television station - spent a week or so in Cornwall to look at Cornish culture around St Piran's Day.

The result was a Kernow packed show - Heno:

"... a special programme focusing on the Celtic Media Festival, held this year in St Ives, Cornwall. Aneirin Karadog will be introducing viewers to the festival which celebrates the best in broadcasting from Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, Brittany and Scotland and Gwenno Saunders will be showing us there's more to Cornwall than picture postcard views."

A great show covering Cornish culture and language.

A brief appearance for MK around 38:00 - but much, much more all through the show. Well worth a watch!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Letter from Dave

I received my letter from Dave Cameron today.

It informed me about what a splendid job Dave is doing for my business in government and how I may qualify for £2,000 in reduced national insurance payments so can I please employ some more people.

What an affront!

Why are the taxes that I pay being used to send out blanket party political propaganda. There is no way that I will see any benefit from Dave's helping hand.

In fact my business is suffering because of Dave's mishandling of the economy. My customers are struggling to make ends meet and fish & chips are a bit of a luxury theses days.

Thanks Dave for making it more likely that my customers are now just as likely to visit a food bank as they do my shop. Thanks for increasing VAT and making it harder for me to compete with several other local shops. Thanks for making it necessary for me to reduce the number of staff that I can afford to employ.

I am working hard to retain my staff and keep a roof over my family's heads - despite your economic incompetence. So please don't use my money to tell me how good you are for my business.

We Can Do Better

Cornwall can do better. No ifs buts or maybes we can do it. All we need are the democratic tools for the job.

And that is what I am about. I want Cornwall to acquire the tools that we need in order to forge a prosperous future - a future where we make the decisions that affect us most - right here in Cornwall. 

It’s time that Cornish politicians put Cornwall first, instead of their party or their career. We want Cornish politicians to make the difference for Cornwall.

It’s time to end the situation where our health service has been short-changed by more than £200 million over the last six years. We need to invest in our hospitals, surgeries and care centres and make them accessible to people who depend on them. Our politicians should fight for Cornish healthcare instead of ministerial promotion.

Our children should enjoy the same educational opportunities as children up the country – not make do on half the money spent on pupils in the City of London.

We deserve a National Cornish Assembly with a fair settlement based on need. If there was one essential tool that we need to help ourselves an Assembly would be it. Cornish miners have always been good at digging themselves deep holes – now we deserve the opportunity to be able to dig ourselves out of an economic hole.

Together we can make Cornwall an even better place to live. Our unique geography and geology has provided us with a chance to develop a sustainable life-style and reap economic benefits at the same time. In a global market we can develop niche businesses including environmentally sound industries such as renewable energy production. We have a stellar history of innovative engineering and this could be employed to deliver exciting new technological projects such as geothermal engineering and anaerobic digestion of waste. In preference to building a costly white elephant incinerator Cornwall could use waste as a resource to generate income rather than paying millions to big corporations to make yet more millions from it.

While we are at it we can build homes for people as opposed to houses to be used as accommodation for the summer. It is time to rethink our social housing responsibilities and embark on a programme of organising housing for local need in place of constructing buildings to add to property portfolios for big corporations and the super-rich. The system of ‘national’ targets decided in Westminster and administered by our local government doesn’t benefit Cornwall. It is absolutely vital that we press for a National Cornish Assembly which can create housing and development policy which is right for Cornwall rather than London. This is the only way to stop the concreting of Cornwall and Only Mebyon Kernow has a detailed and bespoke Cornish housing and development policy. 

And let’s decide once and for all how we feel about Europe. I would like to see a referendum on European membership as soon as possible – it is the democratic option. The constant uncertainty that we have at the moment is not good for us one way or another. Personally I favour remaining in Europe. If you live in Cornwall it would be madness to vote to leave the EU. For every pound that Cornish taxpayers send to Europe we get four pounds back. There is a colossal opportunity for a Cornish Assembly to use our EU funding in a more strategic way. We need to see a strategy of long term investment in industry rather than building short term monoliths to feed the egos of career politicians. 

Cornwall is not just about June, July and August. We have a wide experience of entrepreneurial talent. European funding should be used to encourage our entrepreneurs and to invest in real jobs. We can do tourism but let’s make that tourism work for Cornwall – let’s do it in a Cornish way. Let’s keep the profits made on the back of Cornwall’s culture and geography in Cornwall instead of sending them to pay them dividends to share-holders who-knows-where. But let’s look also at exporting our engineering skills and experience, let’s develop our world class reputation for producing high quality food into a thriving global business and let’s become self-sufficient in renewable energy by developing and exporting these cutting edge technologies all around the world.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

"Westminster Politicians"

Quite often we refer to the big political parties as 'Westinster Parties'.

Whatever the colour rosette - blue, red, orange or purple - the big parties are run from Westminster central. It seems that the MPs in these parties are often career driven and they have to toe the party line or else hey are out on their ear.

A prime example of Westminster making choices for us in Cornwall has been offered by the Lib Dems as a topdog in the Lib Dems has interfered in their selection of local candidate for 2015. 

Cllr Jones feels that: "It feels as though Truro and Falmouth have been lumbered with somebody they didn’t want because the national party felt it was the right thing to do"

Cllr Jones has left the Lib Dems and joined UKIP. A great pity that he has left one Westminster party for another - but you can see his point.

First meeting for Illogan's Neighbourhood Development Plan

Illogan Parish Council has finally set Thursday 27th June as the first meeting for a Neighbourhood Development Plan advisory group.

If you are interested in how development takes place in Illogan over the next fifteen years then you might consider becoming part of the group. If the plan is to be successful then the key thing is to involve the whole of the community in Illogan parish.

We will have to ensure that our plan fits with the Cornwall Local Plan and the targets and policies that are dictated by London - however, the plan will represent an opportunity to limit encroachment on our green fields to a minimum. It will also allow us to set policies and create a vision of how a future parish of Ilogan might look and feel.

Please come along to the first meeting and help to set the agenda for how our plan will grow.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Demonstration against WCAs in Truro

Here is the text of my speech to the demonstrators against WCAs in Truro today.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen – lend me your ears.
In Shakespeare’s play, after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony spoke to a crowd who were rejoicing in Caeser’s death. He told the crowd that he had ‘come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.’ 
Well today - I have come to praise all of you. Last week you forced the Westminster coalition Government to part company with ATOS. Well done! You did it, you forced them to get rid of a corporation whose sole purpose seemed to be to make a profit from making the lives of vulnerable people a misery.
But not only have I come to praise you – I have also come to urge you to carry on the fight and to bury the policy which tells us that assessing a person’s life is nothing more than a paperwork exercise.  
Bury the policy which means that a face to face interview is predetermined to show that a person is fit to work just so that government targets can be met.
And bury the policy that has caused such utter desolation and distress that people have taken their own lives as a consequence.
Now I’m sure that no-one here disputes that we have to get value for tax payer’s money. No-one will dispute that fraudulent claims are a blight on society.
But we cannot allow the government to use this as a way to blame defenceless and innocent members of our society – a way to single them out for condemnation, intimidation and victimisation.  
I say let’s bid goodbye and good riddance to ATOS. But let’s  make it a priority to bid goodbye and good riddance to the unfair and unjust Work Capability Assessment. Until we do there will be another big corporation waiting to come along and take up where ATOS have left off. 
We deserve government that acts on behalf of all of the people and not just the well-to-do elite. This unholy Tory/Lib Dem alliance has shown, time after time, that their first priority is to cut taxes for the super-rich and to scapegoat the weak and frail.  
To be honest you probably shouldn’t expect much more from the Tories - who have always done this - and from UKIP who promise more of the same. Nor should we expect much from the Lib Dems - whose only principle seems to be to do whatever it takes to get elected. But the real disappointment is the Labour Party. Let’s not forget that it was Labour that introduced WCAs and employed ATOS in the first place. It was Labour that ummed and arred over whether it would do away with the Bedroom tax. And only a week or so ago the Labour Party voted with the Tories to enable an arbitrary and indiscriminate cap on welfare for those who are most at risk. 
Whatever the colour - blue, orange, purple or red – the Westminster parties have all sold out to Tory ideology.  
We must guard against all those who seek to destroy the hard work that our parents did in building a fair society after the war. We must resist the constant shift to the right of centre in pursuit of the populist vote. 
You’ve won this first battle – you have consigned ATOS to the dustbin of history. Now - let’s go on and win the war against WCAs. And let’s force the Government - whatever its party colour - to listen to our voice.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Demonstration against WCAs - Truro, 1st April

I will be attending the demonstration against WCAs in Truro on Tuesday 1st April.

The demonstration will assemble at Lemon Quay around 12:15pm and then set off to High Cross at 12:30pm.

Anyone who believes that deciding the quality of someone's life should not revolve around a paperwork exercise is welcome to attend.

This demonstration is part of a national day of action across the UK. The success of previous demonstrations has led ATOS to indicate their desire to renege on their contract to perform WCAs and today the government has been forced to accept this.

I have been invited to address the demonstration at High Cross and I look forward to seeing many friends there.