Welcome to the blog. All the opinion on this blog is my own or as attributed. Thank you for reading - I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

What is a Cornish Nationalist?

Only since I came to Cornwall in 2008 have I developed a passion for politics. Living and working in the Duchy I am trying to offer what little I can to the cause of the Cornish nation. I have become a Cornish nationalist.

But what is a Cornish nationalist?

A Cornish nationalist is frequently subjected to ridicule, derision, hostility and often even hatred – for no other reason than believing that the people of Cornwall are a nation separate from England and deserve to be recognised as such. For believing that the Cornish nation should have the opportunity to rebuild its economy, infrastructure and social systems utilising the skills and experience of Cornish people based within Cornwall itself.

Why does holding an opinion such as this appear to generate such hostility from a highly vocal minority?

Often the reason that this minority gives is that to be a Cornish nationalist you must be an extremist and a violent extremist at that. This is an argument which becomes very pervasive in any debate concerning whether Cornwall is a proud historic nation or simply a rather poor county of England. It seems that any constructive debate leads inevitably to cries of violence and extremism.

If the cry is not of violence or extremism then it becomes one of ridicule and derision. How stupid are you nationalists to look back at a thousand years and more of history and claim that it has any bearing on the present day? How stupid are you to believe that Cornwall could set its own course without the paternal and benevolent decree of a far-off, London-centred, Westminster parliament.

I have come to believe that this fear mongering and mockery is simply a device. It is a device which masks the inability to hold a serious debate and it is a device to make people unwilling to be linked to Cornish nationalism for fear of being branded as violent or stupid.

That Cornwall is a nation is, in my opinion, beyond question. I acknowledge the right of others to disagree with my opinion. What I ask is that I, and anyone who agrees with my opinion, not automatically be labelled a mindless, stupid, violent extremist.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My First Meeting

Having arrived early in order to make my affirmation of acceptance of the duties and responsibilities of a councillor I sat down with some trepidation to await the start of my first Illogan Parish Council meeting.

It was a lively enough meeting - there was evidence of tensions between various groups of Councillors - a sign of things to come I suppose.

I had submitted two motions to be voted on. I had asked IPC to take the appropriate action to sort out a verge on one of the main roads into Ilogan. The embarassing state of this verge had been raised several times when I was knocking doors during my election campaign. The council agreed to take action to sort this out.

Another issue that had been raised by parishioners was the vegetation encroaching on a footpath along Bassett Road. The vegetation (as well as looking untidy) is becoming a health and safety issue as it was narrowing the footpath. I am pleased to report that appropriate action to sort this problem out was also agreed.

During the meeting the progress on the Illogan Parish Plan was discussed. I pointed out that the original questionnaire contained no references to the celebration of Cornish history or culture. It was stated that as it was the Illogan Parish Plan the intention had been to concentrate on what was happening in Illogan. I was pleased when it was confirmed that Illogan was at least in Cornwall and I was subsequently assured that the people of Illogan had brought up ideas around Cornish history and culture, during the recent roadshow, and that there would be scope for including events and activities around this important subject within the plan.

Over the last few weeks I have discovered the answer to the question that I was posed on numerous occaisons before the election. The reason that the people of Illogan were not sent ballot cards or informed about the election was because IPC had decided not to pay for this to happen.

On one hand I can understand the need for good housekeeping and keeping costs down. However, I think it is difficult to put a price on democracy and I will not vote in favour of this policy for future by-elections.

On a final positive note IPC has recently agreed to support an application to Cornwall Council to supply a street sign for Tregullan. For some strange reason there isn't one at the moment which causes residents all sorts of problems!