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.

Friday, 19 September 2014

How Depressing! :-(

Today I am feeling very depressed!

No - not because of the way the referendum went in Scotland. Ok the result was disappointing but the Yes campaign worked miracles to get the result that it did fighting against the full weight of the establishment and media. At the end of the day the people chose, yet again, to believe the false promises of the Westminster establishment politicians. It may be disheartening but the sheer scale of the engagement in the decision by the Scottish people was truly uplifting.

What is so depressing is the way that it is back to business as normal for Westminster.

No sooner had the ink dried on the ballot papers but the excuses, ruses, justifications and obfuscations began as to why Scotland won't get what they actually voted for - devomax.

Add to that our local Westminster representatives talking down Cornish aspirations and you begin to think that they are gong to get away with bertrayal and deceit yet again.

For example we have Sarah Newton. She has obviously read the Project Fear campaign handbook by deliberately misleading people about devolution to a National Assembly of Cornwall and talking in terms of 'independence' and separation. At the same time she makes it clear that her idea of devolution is giving powers and control of massive chunks of public spending to unelected and unaccountable quangos such as the LEP. Giving control of public money to businessmen with vested interests is not devolution - it is privatisation by the back door!

To top it all off, I arrived home at lunch time to find a letter from George Eustice awaiting me. Apparently George is very concerned about overdevelopment in Illogan and wants to do something about it. I'll tell you what George - why didn't you vote against your government's relaxing of planning laws and their introduction of a presumption in favour of development if you were concerned about overdevelopment in Illogan. Or maybe you should support the idea of a devolved Cornish National Assembly which would have control over Cornwall's planning strategy instead of Westminster - that would be one way to allow people to have a greater say in how their localities deal with development.

This hypocrisy in Westminster politicians is bad enough but the kowledge that they are probably going to get away with it yet again makes it depressing.

Dick Cole, has called for a mature, wide-ranging and respectful debate about devolution. I agree with him but until we can have a debate involving a little bit of honesty from Westminster I think it is a bit of a big ask.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Is the West Briton Biased?

Below is the text of a letter that I sent to the West Briton. I sent it in a week before the paper was due to be published. In the same edition there Sarah newton gives her Conservative view of 'devolution' and  an overtly party political letter from Simon Rix was published.

People often say that they believe that the West Briton is biased against MK but I have always said that I didn't believe this to be the case. However, I do begin to wonder given that I have had several letters rejected since I became the PPC for Mebyon Kernow whereas previously my letters were mainly printed.

I have sent a letter to the West Briton asking them where I am going wrong that they don't think my letters fit to be published on such a regular basis. I'll have to wiat and see if I get a reply.


Today the people of Scotland will decide whether or not their country will become independent.

Whichever way the vote goes it has become clear in recent months that the United Kingdom will never be the same again. All over the island of Britain, from John O’Groats to Land’s End or from Aberystwyth to Great Yarmouth people have been discussing the implications of the Scottish debate and their utter disillusionment with a centralised Westminster government.

The Westminster political parties have all espoused the benefits of the union – yet it becomes clearer every day that they are defending their own party political interests by setting out the imagined benefits of a highly centralised system of government.

At the same time each London based party sets out its own tawdry interpretation of ‘devolution’ in an attempt to appear that they might be prepared to give up some of their power to allow people run their own affairs.

The Tories try to convince us that placing responsibility for massive amounts of public spending into the hands of unelected and politically appointed quangos is devolution. Where is the local democracy? This is not devolution it is privatisation by the back door.

Meanwhile Labour is certain that regional bodies are the answer. Cornwall would get swamped in a ‘South West England’ region. It would have a miniscule political voice and an even smaller opportunity to develop the Cornish economy.

Of the London based parties the Liberal Democrats shout the loudest in favour of devolution for Cornwall and yet have failed to set out their vision for Cornish devolution. They have no clearly defined plan as to exactly what powers they believe Cornwall deserve or how any new powers might be used. Another vague pledge to be discarded when the going gets tough.

The only party that has set out a clear proposal for real and democratic devolution to Cornwall is Mebyon Kernow. The Party for Cornwall believes that people of Cornwall should be responsible for the vast majority of public spending in Cornwall through an elected national legislative Assembly.  MK is the only party that has a proposal for devolution that will do what it says on the can!


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Illogan suffers - usual Lib Dem broken pledges

Illogan Parish Council is attempting to complete the transfer of Illogan Park into local control. Cornwall Council has been guilty over the last few years of neglect and poor maintenance and IPC and the people of Illogan want to take on the park and make it fit for purpose once more. All this has been agreed in principle between Cornwal Council and IPC.

However, Cornwall Council has been unable to produce certain vital information that has been requested by IPC and without which the transfer cannot take place. This has been the situation for many months now and the project is stalled because of this inability on the part of Cornwall Council to get the job done.

A month or so before the recent by-election in Illogan our newly elected Cornwall Councillor, David Ekinsmyth, met with his Lib Dem comrade and Cornwall Council portfolio holder for localism and devolution - Cllr Jeremy Rowe. We were told that this historic meeting would ensure that the log jam at County Hall would be freed up and that all would be well.

Cllr Ekinsmyth's election campaign portrayed him as the person that had solved the problems with the transfer of Illogan Park to IPC. Cllr Ekinsmyth was a man of action and the Lib Dems were the party who could get things done.

A month after the election and a second IPC devolution committee meeting has had to be cancelled because Cornwall Council are still unable to provide the information requested.

So much for intervention from portfolio holders and so much for the Lib Dems being the party of action in Illogan.

Just more broken Lib Dem pledges.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Support for Chacewater Parish Council

At the full council IPC meeting last week, councillors voted to offer support to Chacewater Parish Council who have recently raised concerns about the way that Cornwall Council operates.

The full text of the Chacewater Parish Council letter can be found here.

CPC is concerned that Cornwall Council is becoming less democratic and more authoritarian. It is worried about inappropriate development, Newquay Airport and a total lack of cost benefits that might have been expected to be derived from operating as a unitary authority.

It was interesting to see that the only councillor to vote against support for CPC was our newly elected Cornwall Councillor, David Ekkinsmyth. Although he did not speak in the debate he voted against a motion of support for CPC.

You have to wonder if this is the first sign of party politics from our new Liberal Democrat councillor - not wanting to be seen to be critical of his new bosses in Truro who are in turn responsible to their bosses in London.

So much for keeping party politics out of parish matters and so much for the Lib Dem 'principles' of devolution and extending powers to the most appropriate level!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Illogan Parish Fair

Despite the dire weather warnings Illogan was bathed in sunshine for its annual Parish Fair.

This year the fair was organised on a multi-site basis - drawing together the school, village hall, Wellbeing Centre and church. Stalls and events were held throughout the display areas and the locations merged into one thriving hub of happy and smiling villagers.

Illogan Parish Cuncil conducted a treasure hunt for children - encouraging them to visit each and every stall or display - while the adults were asked to give their views on how Illogan Park should be best utilised when it is finally signed over to IPC.

A great day out - many thanks and congratulations to the organising committee who have done yet another sterling job.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Illogan By-Election

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the lack of content recently. Many apologies - I have been a little busy. In fact I have calculated that I have spent around 110 hours over the last few weeks working on the election campaign - whether out on the streets or in the office. Hopefully I may have a little more time for blogging again now.

First of all the results:

Lib Dem 277 (23.77%)
MK 217 (18.62%)
Con 215 (18.45%)
UKIP 156 (13.39%)
Lab 129 (11.07%)
Lib 121 (10.38%)
Green vote 50

First of all I hope that readers will join me in congratulating David Ekinsmyth, the succesful candidate. I know that he will continue to work hard for Illogan in his new role as our Cornwall Councillor. It seems to me that the Lib Dems are a party controlled by Westminster career politicians. A party which has sold out its principles in pursuit of power at Westminster. Though a large number of Lib Dem members seem to have sold out to this 'power at any cost' principle there are undoubtedly some members who do maintain principles of local work and community service and I believe David to be one of them. Congratulations to you David.

I can't help thinking though that the Lib Dem campaign and our own MK campaign were on run on very different lines.

I would like to say a heartfelt and massive thank you to every single MK member that has helped me run a very strong and positive campaign. I enjoyed the help and support of hard a hard working (often in adverse conditions and personal circumstances) team that came together and which bonded in a mutual cause. We didn't have access to the full well-oiled and slick campaign resources that were thrown at the Lib Dem campaign. Our Cornish blood sweat and tears were, unfortunately, not quite enough to match a Westminster party which had decided to throw the kitchen sink along with ex MPs half a dozen or more sitting Cornwall Councillors a Cornwall Council cabinet member and dozens of party activists shipped in from all over at their campaign.

As well as thanks I would like to say how proud I am to have been a member of a team which has accomplished so much with so little. We have formed many bonds and learned many lessons which will stand us in good stead for the undoubted battles ahead.

But what of the rest?

Well the sad and disappointing truth is that this election has very much featured cynical party politicking. Many candidates clearly had little interest in or commitment to Illogan and it was obvious that we people of Illogan were being used as an opportunity to increase party representation at Cornwall Council. The epitome of this was the behaviour of one candidate who spent most of the count laughing and joking about how poorly his vote was doing. It was obvious that he had not committed much to his campaign. For him it was just a throw of the party political dice and the turn of a card - easy come easy go - and no thought to the people that he had asked to vote for him.

On the other hand the refreshing and encouraging flip side of the coin was the total rejection of this blatant Westminster party politics by the people of Illogan. Both myself and David Ekinsmyth have worked hard on Illogan Parish Council for several years. While we came first and second, the people of Illogan rejected categorically the cynical party political candidates.

Amongst those most soundly rejected were the Green Party. It was sad to see them succumb to fielding a candidate with little or no tie to Illogan along with the other establishment parties. At one point the Green candidate was spotted driving around Illogan in a 4x4 delivering glossy leaflets - not really what I thought I was voting for when I voted Green in last months Euro elections.

Though I am not able to say that I have woken up this morning as a new MK Cornwall Councillor, every cloud has a silver lining. Looking at the bathroom scales this morning I find that I have lost over a stone in weight over the time of the campaign. A successful diet plan - but not one that I would necessarily reccommend!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Illogan Campaign Report - Lib Dems revert to their prime directive

The campaign in Illogan is certainly hotting up - even before the closing date for nominations!

We have already managed to deliver an introductory leaflet across the whole of Illogan and around 750 of a second leaflet.

Yesterday was busy. One team of activists hit the streets to begin the task of talking to the voters of Illogan. There was also another team working hard on leaflet distribution.

Today will be a similar effort with dual teams out talking to people and delivering leaflets. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support that I have been getting from MK members from all across Cornwall and I really can't say thank you enough or as much as I feel.

As far as I know, at the moment, I am the only candidate who lives in the Electoral District of Illogan. I live in the very heart of Illogan in Churchtown. As you would expect  from an MK candidate, I am very much campaigning on real local issues. I believe that people should have a greater say in the decisions that affect their everyday lives. We need to protect our villages and hamlets from inappropriate development - new housing should be matched to local need and not to fuel profits for developers and encourage the spread of second homes and holiday lets. The roads in Illogan are neglected. This has to be addressed and someone should be holding Cornwall Council to account if they are failing in their statutory duty or their own stated policies in maintaining our roads. These are real issues for Illogan that people recognise on the doorstep.

But other candidates have been busy as well.

The Lib Dems have been putting in a bit of work. I have to say that I feel disappointed with David Ekinsmyth. David was the Lib Dem candidate in Illogan last year and he ran a very positive and honest campaign. This time round it seems that he has submitted to the Lib Dem party machinery and the prime directive of 'get elected at any cost' syndrome. I was particularly disappointed that David's leaflet appears to claim all the glory for the hard work that Illogan Parish Council has put in to negotiate the transfer of Illogan Park to Illogan parish Council. The transfer of the park to IPC has very much been a team effort and in consultation with the public. I don't think that claiming the credit for this will do David any favours. In fact I know it isn't. One person I spoke to told me that they hadn't yet decided who to vote for but that they had definitely decided not to vote for the Lib Dems after reading their leaflet and seeing how the Illogan Park issue had been reported. Karma.

Unfortunately the Westminster based Lib Dems also seem to want to mislead and misinform the local debate. In 2013 David Ekismyth finished in fourth place. He was soundly beaten by MK, Tory and UKIP candidates and barely managed to beat the absentee Labour candidate. Despite this we have the usual Lib Dem bar chart on the front of their leaflet showing how the Lib Dems and Tories are neck and neck with Labour a poor third. No mention of MK and no mention of UKIP. Of course the bar chart is based on data from the whole of the Camborne/Redruth/Hayle constituency from the general election as long ago as 2010. This manipulation of statistics is simply devious and dishonest and is a further reflection of the Lib Dem prime directive to get elected at any cost.

One of the MK teams of volunteers reported seeing a rather forlorn looking pair of Tory canvassers. The report described them as looking dispirited and very tired - but at least they're out there trying to talk to voters.

As yet, true to form, there is no sign sign of any UKIP activity. I guess that this is hardly surprising as their candidate, a member of Hayle Town Council, would have a long way to travel before he even began to knock on doors. UKIP candidates in local elections around here have a track record of treating voters with contempt. They hardly bother to even deliver leaflets let alone engage with local people. Instead they rely on the constant barrage of mainstream UK media reports to win them votes. Any decision that the UK may make to leave or stay within the UK will not be made at Cornwall Council.