A modest proposal of autonomy for Cornwall

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Re: A modest proposal of autonomy for Cornwall

Post by Rosko » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:19 am

Although trying your best to stir us Cornish into waking up to the broader longer term issues facing Cornwall, Factotum, you do make some valid points, not least because you obviously know and understand Scotland better than most here.

But I completely disagree with you re. Wales, as I don't believe the English establishment can derail the Welsh devolutionary train any more, regardless of the lack of political independence precedent; only the Welsh themselves can do that.

I know the English are doing their best at erasing Cornish distinctiveness and turning the Duchy into another London borough or quaint English shire county, and one that blandly and blindly funds the coffers of a corrupt, half-breed/half-witted Prince of Wales, but Cornwall does have something that Wales, and even Scotland don't have, and that is recent legal & constitutional arguments to prove that it remains ex-territorial to England.

The fight goes on...

You're dead right about the petition, however; we should be blocking the bloody Tamar bridges...

PS trevorPen?? What are you talking about, you sad, ignorant little weasel?!! Learn to listen, learn to read, learn to research, before 'writing' such utter nonsense; you make everybody laugh, you tool...

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Re: A modest proposal of autonomy for Cornwall

Post by Mark » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:15 pm

I don't see anyone 'hating the Welsh' Factotum. You're starting to sound like Trev! :roll:
As long as a hundred of us remain alive, we shall never give in to the domination of the English. We fight not for glory, not for wealth nor honours but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life...

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Re: A modest proposal of autonomy for Cornwall

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:01 pm

I find it incredible that anyone should post such pejorative comments about Wales and the Welsh with seemingly no real knowledge or understanding.

Firstly, the concept of a nation state is itself a modern construction born from the late nineteenth-early 20th century break up of antiquated empires such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, the results of the 'Scramble for Africa' and the end stages of the British, Dutch, French and Spanish Empires. The Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 pre-date nation-statehood and were predicated on a bankrupted Scotland finding no other viable way of continuing its existence but to join with England.

Secondly, Wales's identity as distinct from England remained throughout the Middle Ages and the Norman and Edwardian conquests. The number of revolts against English rule is testament to this. Wales had its own legal system before the fourteenth century. Industrialisation obscured Welsh identity on paper--for example much of the statistics of Welsh output, e.g. of mines were lumped with England and by this time much of South Wales resembled its English neighbours more than those of North Wales. There remain tensions in Wales about how Welshness should be expressed. The bilingual policy of the Welsh Assembly Government has been both praised and criticised in equal measure (there was an excellent programme on Radio 3 called The Dragon with Two Tongues on Sunday--you might catch it on iPlayer) but there is a majority who are wholeheartedly behind the Welsh project even if they disagree about how it should be pursued. I thoroughly enjoyed my time living and working in Wales. It felt like a country where the distance between electorate, workers and representatives was much closer than it is in England, or indeed Cornwall.

Thirdly, as has been pointed out, the constitutional basis for Cornwall being a territory extra to England is indeed stronger and deeper than Wales but the trajectory and arguments for Cornish devolution need to be on its own terms. There is no model to follow in Wales or Scotland (or even the Channel Islands as I have recently heard) even if inspiration and support can be brought to bear from these countries. If it was properly and unemotively explained many English people would be sympathetic to Cornish devolution. Many of the assumptions and attitudes are born of ignorance. Let's educate them sensibly and maturely, not like disenfranchised kids on a street corner.

The single greatest obstacle to Cornish devolution is the peculiarity of the Duchy and the Duke, not because of being the titular figurehead (as in Wales) but because of the link between his income, landowning and power to influence legislation in secret which he does not have in Wales, Scotland or England to such a strikingly large extent.

Let us learn and support the work being done to expose this and repeat all the reasons why Cornwall is not just different but is of itself its own country and deserves to be treated as such. We know all the arguments, it is not difficult to refute claims that Cornwall is just another shire county. Repeat them ad infinitum. We also know all the contemporary reasons why devolution would be good for Cornwall and the Cornish people--let us not forget these and be told we are making arguments based on the past, not the present.

Ignorant statements about other people and places will really not help the cause. I am particularly offended by the reference to 'backward areas of Glasgow'. Someone recently commented in the comments section on thisiscornwall or another site that the people of Penzance were 'backward'. In the 21st century why do we need to express ourselves in this appalling way?

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Re: A modest proposal of autonomy for Cornwall

Post by factotum » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:49 pm

Scotland as a political entity wasn't bankrupt, rather a number of rich and influential people had had their fingers burned, partly by English dirty tricks, and so were easily bribed into doing England's bidding, the Parcel of Rouges. The populace were not of course consulted and rioted a bit. Nevertheless, legally the Union was by international treaty between two technically equal parties, and the terms preserved the Scottish legal system and constitution (e.g. the ultimate soverignity of the people not parliament or the monarch). Either party was theoretically able to sue for divorce at any time, but the suppression of a separate Scots parliament effectively prevented that. In any case Scotland probably benefited from the Union during the 'Age of Empires' when it was a case of 'better the devil you know'. In modern Europe that is no longer the case. Although the Scottish parliament was created by English devolution legislation, it immediately declared itself to be the successor of pre-union parliament, a very smart move that the English somehow missed :-) The recent Edinburgh Agreement is simply a facesaver for Cameron (whose name means 'Crooked Nose' btw) where he gave in to the inevitable. It does however smooth the way, especially with the EU etc.

None of this applies to Wales, they have their assembly at England's pleasure. Wales was conquered and annexed by England, and the Welsh gained civil rights by being declared legally Englishmen. Wales is more a cultural than a political entity, but less than half of the geography is Welsh speaking and painting 'Araf' all over the roads isn't going to change that in a hurry. I must yield to those here who understand the Welsh situation better than I do, but it looks like their path to self-determination will be a lot rockier that Scotland's. Indeed Cornwall ought to be better placed constitutionally, which is sort of ironic. Cornwall I imagine should have a status similar to the IoM and CI's.

My fear is that with Scotland gone (1) the rump UK will be more right-wing, and (2) more determined to stifle any further devolution and even try to reverse the status quo, since they see this as undermining their international standing. And in this context they'll need Cornwall as the only viable place for 'their' USA owned nukes.

Welsh revolts? Nothing serious after Glyndŵr afaik? Just 'industrial unrest' and suchlike same as in many of the poorer parts of England. The native Welsh legal system was completely set aside, same in Ireland.

Agree with the need to educate the Cornish population, but hasn't this been going on for decades without any visible political dividends?

The Duchy, a two-edged sword?? Is the Duke an absolute ruler or do the Cornish have any traditional rights to representation. Of course in practice it's ultimately down to numbers. Myns a vynn wodhvoz oll an kas? Even in Scotland it's an uphill battle to get the truth across in the face of a heavily biased BBC and print media. Still they no longer have the monopoly they once did, with the internet, social media etc. But the Cornish presence online is still relatively weak. Also the loss of the Cornish language as a community language way back when considerably weakened Cornish identity.

Backward areas of Glasgow. As in, 'still living in a past age'. I've been there, I've worked there, I've see the sectarian graffiti. The Scots government and people as a whole are dead against these embarrassing throw-backs. Scottish nationalism is modern inclusive civil nationalism, not sectarian or racist. Mostly Cornish nationalism is too, but there are outbursts from 'more Cornish than thou' types once in a while. Like the nice true Cornishman who depicted my face on a baboon's backside, I don't forget!

Rosko, since you've brought up barricades, here's a nice piece from a small nation that defied a superpower and can do something we Celts will never do (for better or for worse) namely sing from the same hymn sheet. :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... D7rVu95lYU

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