It was good to finally start our conversation with the people of Cornwall with meat on the bones of our ideas for a national Cornish government.
The document is comprised of 28 pages packed with 71 numbered facts, ideas and principles concerning a Cornish Assembly.
It was good to see a television crew from Wales as well as newspaper reporters from Cornwall.
EDIT - Find a download of the document here
Below is my speech:
Myttin da puponen ha goolperran lowen.
Good morning everyone and happy St Piran’s Day.
George Bernard Shaw once said that:
“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”
Well, here in Cornwall, we must have done something very bad to end up with the government that we have.
Mebyon Kernow believes that the people of Cornwall definitely deserve better government.
Mebyon Kernow believes that democracy - in Cornwall -should be a device which insures that we are governed as well as we deserve.
And that is what our White Paper - “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” is all about.
It’s the beginning of a conversation with the people of Cornwall - and with the UK government - which we expect will end with a better form of government for Cornwall - the form of Cornish government that we deserve and which can make the difference to the lives of people living here. “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” has 28 pages.
It has 71 numbered paragraphs, each of which contain an idea, fact or principle that we believe should form the basis of a discussion. A discussion as to why Cornwall deserves the democratic tools that it needs - and a discussion as to how to best to use those tools to make the difference.
We want to hear from anyone who believes, like us, that Cornwall should have enhanced powers to take democratic decisions on the matters that affect us most of all.
We recognise that there are groups and organisations that may believe in Cornish self-government but who think differently to us about exactly what we should be aiming for and how we should achieve it – well, let’s talk!
Let’s talk about our ideas and yours. Let’s see where there is an existing consensus and where we can work towards achieving one.
Let’s talk about what Cornwall deserves and how we can present that both to the people of Cornwall and the politicians of Westminster.
Let’s talk about how we craft a new settlement which will recognise the sovereignty of the Cornish people and provide government which understands the unique challenges that face us. Government which can use the distinctive characteristics of our people to meet those unique challenges.
Let’s demand a new democratic settlement for Cornwall instead of always talking about how we are too small, too poor or too stupid to make decisions for ourselves.
What we believe to be essential is an Assembly which has strategic national powers - a truly national government rather than just a supersized local authority.