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 September 2011


The Cornish word 'azook' is used by the pilot of a gig when he wants his crew to pull hard together.

It is something that Cornish nationalists need to learn to do.

Today I spent a glorious couple of hours in the company of Claire White of Azook CIC.

"Azook is a UK based not for profit Community Interest Company, dedicated to strengthening cultural confidence and social cohesion across communities." A major part of Azook's work is providing learning resources for schools across Cornwall.

Claire, who was previously a teacher, became frustrated with the way that educational resources seemed to take children away from their Cornish communities in order to learn. She believes that children need to learn about the world in a way that also teaches them about their roots and where they live.

Claire and Azook have developed a unique way of providing learning resources that cover the whole of the national curriculum. Azook is a shining example of traditional Cornish innovation being applied in a modern and forward looking way. Their work is steadily providing a massive online source of resources for teachers. 'A Sense of Place' is "a flagship project in Cornwall delivered by Azook CIC in partnership with Cornwall Council. It enables teachers in primary and secondary settings to deliver the curriculum with distinctiveness and diversity."

Cornwall deserves a network of well-funded, high-quality primary and secondary schools, under
local authority control that all provide a consistently high standard of education. Teachers should be allowed to teach and students to study in ways that ensure that our young people are properly equipped for their adult lives.

The marketisation and fragmentation of the education system through the creation of academies and free schools has to be stopped before it does irreparable damage.

As Public services spokesman for Mebyon Kernow I am helping to develop our policy on education and I hope to be able to follow Azook's example in creating a vision of education that has it's feet set firmly in Cornwall while giving children a chance to embrace the whole world.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

What Colour Do You Want The Front Doors?

The Tory government, with its Lib Dem side-kick is intent on gathering in power to Westminster. This is all being done under a cloak of 'localism' or 'empowerment'.

For example we are continually told that the localism Bill will give power to local neighbourhoods to plan how they want their development. This is quite simply not true. Unless a local neighbouhood actually desires to concrete over every square inch of green (in which case it can demand that the local planning authority does just that), it will have no greater opportunity than to say what development goes ahead than to (maybe) determine the colour of the front doors of the houses that have already been pre-destined for its locality.

I recently wrote to Cornwall Council to ask what help the Council would have to assist neghbourhoods in producing a local plan. Part of the reply included this telling phrase:

"Furthermore, I would ensure you are clear as to what you would be
seeking to get out of the process - to ensure that a Neighbourhood Plan
is indeed the right approach to be taking. A couple of points to be
clear on is that a Neighbourhood Plan has to be in conformity with the
Cornwall Core Strategy (i.e. the neighbourhood plan has to plan for
housing/economic growth which is at least of the same scale as the Core
Strategy is targeting for Illogan, or in excess of it)."

So there you go. At least the same scale as the Core Strategy, or in excess of it. Lys Kernow is under no illusion as to what powers neighbourhoods will have - isn't it about time our 'local' Westminster politicians were just as honest with us?

Local neighourhoods will only be able to increase levels of development which are set by Cornwall Council. In turn Cornwall Council will have to base their development strategy on a policy of a 'presumption in favour of development' imposed by London.

What colour should we paint the front doors?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Wow! I'm number 53

The Total Politics blog awards have begun to be announced.

I am absolutely amazed and thrilled that anyone at all would take the time and effort to vote for this blog - but it would appear that enough of you have to make me a new entry in the Top 75 Left Wing Blogs (in at number 53). Mur ras to everyone who voted for me, I really do appreciate it.

Congratulations also to:

Cllr Dick Cole - http://mebyonkernow.blogspot.com
Cornish Zetetics - http://cornishzetetics.blogspot.comLinkRob Simmons - http://robscornishblog.blogspot.com
Simon Reed - http://theinsaneramblingsofavillageidiot.com

All doing their best to put Cornwall on the map and all appearing in the Top 75.

I wouls also like to thank all of those people who have taken the time to Tweet, email and Facebook congratulations.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Pickles' Breathtaking Hypocrisy

A hat tip to @Tredhek for this. Apparently Eric Pickles, keen to override Cornwall's elected representatives when it comes to the installation of waste disposal sites, is not so keen on having similar facilities in his own back yard. Is this the definition of NIMBYism or just pure hypocrisy?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Jude Robinson - Queen of Empathy (part 2)

Jude Robinson, the Queen of Empathy, has struck again.

Perfectly demonstrating her lack of understanding of Cornish identity (and her selective amnesia on the subject) she voted with Tories at Lys Kernow in an attempt to further cement 'Devonwall Creep'

Just a year ago, Jude was extolling the value of Cornwall's proud heritage and historic national border and censuring MPs who "betray their contempt for local concerns" . Her amnesia (or is it her total lack of understanding of Cornish concerns) leads her to different conclusions this year.

The tone and content of her blog demonstrates her total contempt for any suggestion of Cornwall exerting her national identity and a lack of understanding of the evils of a creeping Devonwall. Clearly her posturing during the Keep Cornwall Whole campaign was just that. A blatant piece of party politics which she denounces so readily when it suits.

It seems, however, that Jude isn't just rude to me but also to any Cornish nationalist who might challenge her stance on Cornish issues.

For someone, who is often heard complaining about the uncouth and patronising treatment that she receives from political critics, it would seem that she is easily able to hold her own on this score.