Thanks to the MK Facebook page for bringing this article by Sarah Newton to my attention.
I can't believe how shortsighted and plain wrong Ms Newton is.
Here is my reply:
I have recently
read an article by Sarah Newton MP concerning the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities and how the UK should not include the Cornish
people within this Convention.Unfortunately Ms
Newton seems to have misread or misunderstood the Convention. In her article
she claims that the Convention seeks to “to protect from persecution what the
EU calls 'minority groups' living within its borders”. In actual fact the
Convention’s purpose is “to promote the full and effective equality of national
minorities by creating appropriate conditions enabling them to preserve and
develop their culture and to retain their identity.” As you can see the
official Convention view of its purpose is a lot more positive than the
divisive interpretation given to it by our local MP.
Ms Newton goes on
to say that she wishes to see the UK’s interpretation of the Convention
revisited. Unfortunately, any detail of exactly what she is proposing in its
place is only conspicuous by its absence.
than being wrong about the Convention, Sarah Newton is wrong in her view that
it is not right to promote the celebration of Cornish ethnicity. To celebrate
ethnicity in itself is not at all discriminatory and, in my view as an
Englishman, it is something that is done in an warm and inclusive way here in
Cornwall. A view that Ms Newton acknowledges herself.
people who come to live in Cornwall have been included in and adopted by
Cornish communities. In a reciprocal way the new ideas that new arrivals bring
have been assimilated within ever developing Cornish culture. I would argue for
Ms Newton to claim that “The definition of identity as a matter of race can
exclude people, and restrain cultural expression.” is simplistic in the
Further it also denies
Cornish people their basic human right to define themselves as they would wish.
Whether Ms Newton agrees or not, many Cornish people define themselves as
Cornish in terms of race and nationality. This is their right and it is this
right that the Convention sets out to protect. If you reinterpret this right
you are in danger of doing away with it – or is that the intention?