Tuesday 2 November 2010


One and All, Cornwall Forever

The Coalition last night voted down an amendment to protect the integrity of Cornwall as far as parliamentary seats are concerned in the so called Devonwall controversy, whereby parliamentary constituencies will cross the border between Devon and Cornwall. The vote was 315 to 257, a coalition majority of 58.

There are 6 Cornish MPs, 3 Liberals and 3 Tories. As far as I can make out all of them voted against the Government, but it seems that very few of their colleagues followed.

It seems very strange that if all the Cornish MPs were prepared to vote against their party whips on the subject, the feeling in Cornwall must be very very strong.

I would suggest that, given that the extreme North of Scotland is to be given exe
mption to the equal sized constituencies, the same might have been allowed in Cornwall. As has been pointed out, cross border constituencies would never be considered on the Scotland-England border, nor on the Wales-England border. Cornwall may not technically be a separate country in the UK, but it certainly is a separate nation with its own customs and language: a language which, although nearly dead some years ago, has found new life and popularity and whose daily use is spreading across Kernow rapidly.

By not being prepared to make this exception the government will have poured oil on the fire of Cornish nationalism.

This is a bad night for Kernow and a bad night for the Tory-Liberal Coalition Government. It's certainly the wrong decision. I hope that it comes back to bite them.


  1. It's an English county, the people there mostly identify themselves with England as the Bretons do with France. kernow is for the tourists and a ragtag band of fanatics,
    The Independent kingdom of Kernow died 500 years ago.

  2. Ah... I'm part of a ragtag bag of fanatics am I QM?

    LOL Thanks.

    OK... I can live with that.

    As I point out 3 Conservative and 3 Liberal Democrat MPs voted against their whips, so I'm suspecting that they are likely to be reflecting a fairly strong Cornish feeling.

    Don't underestimate the feelings of people who are at the ends of your beloved UK who feel that they get the worst possible deal out of being a very distant relative of London and the Home Counties.

  3. Oh, I think most Bretons would disagree with that statement too.

  4. Guess I'm not a tourist must be a fanatic!

    Nice to see some support from Scotland and quite glad that SNP like Plaid voted in favour of the Keep Cornwall Whole amendment.

    Anyway must go the ragtags and I have England to long for....

  5. Quite right, Tris - no-one is saying that there is a movement for outright independence on the scale that there is in Scotland, but the idea that Cornish and Breton people see themselves as nothing more than an "English county" or a "French region" doesn't stand up to much scrutiny either.

  6. Well the people of Cornwall could easily vote for Mebyon Kernow candidates in local and general elections, but they don't do they? They have a few local councillors, that's all. Perhaps in the next set of elections they'll get more, but I'll not hold my breath on that one, far more likely Salmond and the SNP will hold their promised referendum on independence first before Mebyon kernow gets into a position of power in a single town.
    The Cornish, like the Geordies, like the Mancunians all identify locally, but when push comes to shove, they identify with England, hence all the furore in Cornwall by nationalists about the residents flying England flags during the world cup, anyone remember the so called oooh, arrmy?
    Cornish nationalism is going nowhere.

  7. QM the people of Kernow have voted either Lib Dem or Tory that is true. But maybe that is because the Lib Dems had hitherto been strong supporters of some form of constitutional recognition for Cornwall and one of their MPs Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) had, to this end put forward on 14 July 2009,a Cornish 'breakaway' bill to the Parliament in Westminster - 'The Government of Cornwall Bill'. The bill proposed a devolved Assembly for Cornwall, similar to those in Wales Scotland. The bill states that Cornwall should re-assert its rightful place within the United Kingdom. "Cornwall is a unique part of the country, and this should be reflected in the way that it is governed. The Bill would provide Cornwall for greater responsibility in areas such as agriculture, heritage, education, housing and economic sustainability. The Lib Dems had recognized (hitherto) that there is a political and social will for Cornwall to be a nation in its own nation right. Constitutionally, Cornwall has the right to a level of self-Government, as demonstrated by the Cornish Foreshore Case in 1858 which confirmed that Cornwall is legally a Duchy which is extraterritorial to England. If the Government is going to recognize the right of Scotland and Wales to greater self-determination because of their unique cultural and political positions, then they should recognize the same right of Cornwall."

    The Tories on the other hand under David Cameron appointed Mark Prisk MP (Hertford and Stortford) as Shadow Minister for Cornwall on 26 July 2007. The party said that the move was aimed at putting Cornwall's concerns "at the heart of Conservative thinking".

    In light of this you can well understand why the people of Kernow would have opted for one or other of these parties in the 2010 election. After all it was only after that and the formation of their coalition and its “respect” agenda that these promises to respect Kernow’s integrity went straight out of the window. So yes maybe Mabyon Kernow will clean up after all who else have they to vote for now that the shallow promises of both coalition partners have proved to be so much Cornish mist?

    In addition Nick Clegg felt it necessary to have a meeting with representatives of the various factions in this debate a few months ago to discuss this issue. He would hardly do that for a tiny bunch of loonies now would he? So your suppositions are total rubbish.

  8. Please have a look at:


    A stunning piece of political sophistry by David Camron (or should I say another one).

  9. Aye Munguin...

    Another one of Dave's broken promises?

  10. It seems to me that there's an awful load of things "at the heart of Conservative thinking"... and I'm betting that Kernow isn't one of them. (with respect Dean)

  11. I suspect you're right James. There are, I'm sure, some who would have Kernow totally independent, but the feeling I get from reading around is that there is a majority feeling for recognition that Cornwall is more than a county of England, maybe with the status that Wales now has.

    As Munguin has pointed out the Cornish Foreshore case established that Cornwall is not a county, but a Duchy with extraterritorial status.

    It's time that that was respected.

    In this particular case, it seems to me that (depite Mr Cameron's vow to put Cornwall at the centre of Tory thinking) Cornwall has been sidelined; it's status as a Duchy has been ignored and some of its constituencies lumped in with Devon's, despite all 6 MPs from Cornwall voting against that.

    Remarkable in something so central to one's thinking...

  12. Hello Rob's blog...welcome to you, you old fanatic that you are.

    I'm proud that the SNP and Plaid voted with you guys, and out of conviction rather than simply voting against the government for the sake of it.

    I have to say that, if this is what is called being at the centre of the government's thinking, you must be pretty relieved that you're not being sidelined.

    Now off you go to the ragtags... they must be wanting to do some "God Save the Queening" by this time of the day.

    Kernow bys Vickan

  13. Now that I am assuming this Devonwall constituency goes ahead is there not a very real possibility that if the disillusioned people of Kernow vote for Mebyon Kernow as opposed to the two mainstream parties that have sold them down the river, and if MK get elected. That would mean that MK would represent people in Devon i.e. England?

    Or of course the whole thing could be a ploy to prevent MK ever getting elected in that constituency by assuming that people in Devon will not vote MK!

  14. Good point Munguin.

    If they had someone as bright and devious as Peter Mandelson working for them (do they?) they I would believe the latter.

  15. This will be slightly nasty, but - it is Cornwall, I frankly don't care.

  16. That was very nasty. You should care :) You're a one-nation Tory for heaven's sake!!