People of Cornwall demand change – by voting for ‘more of the same’.


It’s what we do in Cornwall, we moan, get angry or get a ‘bit teazy’ as we d’say down here and our anger manifests itself when people buy-up Cornish housing stock.  Often referred as ‘2nd homes’  they can form part of a larger multi-property portfolio of a single individual.   The fact that these portfolio holders are depriving someone in Cornwall of their first home, is not worthy of  consideration;  their ‘bolt-holes’ are their priority, not some uppity individuals in Cornwall trying to get on the housing ladder.



We get annoyed about planning and the unsustainable housing targets directed upon Cornwall by central government.  New housing built that does little for those earning the average wage in Cornwall, but more to accommodate the more affluent east of the Tamar.  Attracting population growth that affects climate change, imposes negatively upon our finite resources and infrastructure, is not only unsustainable, but also detracts from our quality of life.


Holiday homes

The latest target of our anger are holiday home owners that have taken full advantage of a loophole and have claimed over £50 million of grants.  These grants were made available to small businesses in Cornwall to help them survive during the coronavirus pandemic. 

These holiday home owners have taken advantage of a business rate loophole  that has properties valued for business rates when the owners declare their property is available to let as ‘holiday accommodation’ for 140 days or more in a year.  Any property registered for business rates, rather than Council Tax (Cornwall Council loses thousands of pounds in lost Council Tax) is likely to qualify for small business rate relief. This provides 100% relief from business rates, so no tax is due on properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.  



We are angered at the poverty in Cornwall and how it impacts upon our children and future generations.  Cornwall, (despite denials from Westminster) continues to suffer underfunding to the extent that the council has to impose exponential council tax rises just to keep our essential services running – not to make them any more efficient.  

The aforementioned issues are nothing new and all the main political parties are guilty.  Also, apart from appealing for more funding, Cornwall Council is virtually impotent.   It can do very little but remain culpable in directing the policies of Westminster upon the towns and communities of Cornwall.  


People vote for ‘More of the same’

People complain to councillors, make protests and start petitions – all to little or no avail.  Yet (and perhaps the most bizarre and ultimately self-defeating action) they insist upon voting for the parties that impose those unsuitable and unsustainable policies upon Cornwall that impacts heavily against them.  Can they therefore expect any support, or indeed sympathy, when they essentially vote for ‘more of the same’?  


Devolved Cornwall

Many decades have proven that Cornwall cannot make the  changes required by voting for the main political parties that deliver ‘more of the same’ – more second homes, more holiday homes, more unsustainable housing targets, more development and more underfunding that contributes to more Council Tax rises.

We require real change – and that requires real devolution – drawing down powers from the halls and chambers of Westminster, to the streets and communities of Cornwall.

Although not full independence, a Cornish Assembly would allow devolution to the extent that affords the people of Cornwall to have more say in how their lives are run. Locally elected politicians can take the key decisions about Cornwall’s future, not the unelected bureaucrats or MPs  at Westminster, who are dedicated more to their party and retaining their £80,000 salary plus expenses than their constituents.



Despite recognition, the Cornish remain recipients of state discrimination

After many years of campaigning, the Cornish language received formal recognition on 5th November 2002.

After further campaigning, the UK government finally recognised the distinct identity of Cornish people under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on 24th April 2014.  A legally binding instrument under international law affording Cornish people the same status of protection as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Now consider the following:

Articles of the FCNM

Section II

Article 4

1 The Parties [UK] undertake to guarantee to persons belonging to national minorities the right of equality before the law and of equal protection of the law. In this respect, any discrimination based on belonging to a national minority shall be prohibited.

Article 5

1 The Parties undertake to promote the conditions necessary for persons belonging to national minorities to maintain and develop their culture, and to preserve the essential elements of their identity, namely their religion, language, traditions and cultural heritage.

2 Without prejudice to measures taken in pursuance of their general integration policy, the Parties shall refrain from policies or practices aimed at assimilation of persons belonging to national minorities against their will and shall protect these persons from any action aimed at such assimilation.

Article 6

1 The Parties shall encourage a spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and take effective measures to promote mutual respect and understanding and co-operation among all persons living on their territory, irrespective of those persons’ ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, in particular in the fields of education, culture and the media.

Article 12

1 The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the culture, history, language and religion of their national minorities and of the majority.


And yet, even though the UK government signed up to those articles, the Cornish language and history continues to be excluded from the school curriculum in Cornwall.  Children in Cornwall, taught the state-imposed curriculum that ignores the articles of the FCNM, remain the unwitting subjects of state assimilation. 


Office for National Statistics

Discrimination against the Cornish is extended further by the ONS.  The FCNM is ‘A legally binding instrument under international law affording Cornish people the same status of protection as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scottish, Welsh and Irish’.  Yet, unlike the Scottish, Welsh and Irish, the ONS refuses to include a Cornish identity ‘tick-box’ on the UK Census.  

The 2011 UK Census required those who wished to identify as Cornish having to tick ‘Other’ then write in ‘Cornish’.  The result was 14% recorded their identity as Cornish.

Apart from being discriminatory, excluding a specific Cornish tick-box undermines the purpose of the UK Census in accurately recording data for those wishing state their identity as Cornish.  For example, in 2001, the inclusion of a specific tick-box for “Welsh” increased the percentage of people identifying as Welsh from 14% (similar to the 14% that identified as Cornish) to 66%.   

The ONS continues to refuse recommendations from the Council of Europe to “Take the necessary measures to include a Cornish ‘tick-box’ in the next census in view of the Cornish people’s recognition as a national minority”.

The Cornish remain the recipients of state discrimination; the only group recognised by the Government under the Framework Convention that do not have the option of a tick-box in the UK Census.  

Cornwall was never formally incorporated into the English state, yet suffers the ignominy of a subordinate ‘county’ of England

‘The concept of the Duchy (Duchy of Cornwall) rests on the existence of a separate and ancient territory of Cornwall. That separate territory has never been assimilated [included] formally into England’.

Mr Recorder Paul Laity (1989)


Ancient Duchy Charters acknowledge Cornwall as a place extra-territorial to England subject to its own tax-raising powers.  Exemptions exist because, in law, the English summons of exchequer does not apply to the leader of Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall) and the territory under his command.

This situation is outlined in the third Duchy Charter in ‘Letters Patent’ Royal Command:

We have granted to the Duke [of Cornwall] that he forever have the Summons of the Exchequer of Us or Our Heirs, so that no sheriff, bailiff or Minister of Us or Our Heirs enter those fees to execute said summonses, or do any other official act [officium] there except in default of the Dukes of the said place.

(3rd Duchy Charter, January 1338)

Further to the 3rd Duchy Charter, Sir George Harrision explained:
A careful examination of the 3rd Duchy Charter shows that all remaining Crown rights were transferred to the Duke (of Cornwall).  The Crown of England therefore has entirely denuded itself of any remnant of sovereign authority which it once enjoyed in Cornwall.   Duchy Attorney General Sir George Harrison, 1857.





We Cornish are proud of our identity – but only on England’s terms.

It was the time when we Cornish thought our day had come when on the 24th April 2014, the UK government finally recognised Cornish identity: 

The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish now affords them the same status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.

Five years later and no such status for the Cornish has been afforded.  The Cornish and Cornwall itself remains  under an assimilating English administration. 

Rugby for instance, one of the main sports in Cornwall, has clubs that fall under the governing body of the English RFU, not a Cornish RFU.

Cornwall plays rugby at county level against Devon along with the other English counties.  Waving and flying the Cornish flag of St Piran; the singing of ‘Trelawny’ doesn’t change Cornwall’s position as that of being subservient under the English flag of St George and we are deluding ourselves if we think otherwise.

If Cornish players, and the Cornish in general, are in any way aggrieved at the current situation, it’s not evident.  The pride demonstrated among those Cornish players selected to play for England, and their joy when England wins, shows Cornish identity seemingly counts for very little, except perhaps to wave  St Piran flags after victory.

Supporters too are thrilled when fellow Cornishmen are selected to play for England.  Cornwall’s local news papers, Radio Cornwall and online social media, delight in highlighting those Cornish players that are playing, or have previously played, for England.

With Cornwall’s top rugby club ‘Cornish Pirates’ aspiring to play in the English premiership, Cornwall’s MPs, Cornwall Council and local rugby clubs choosing to remain subservient to England, there is no demand for change now, or anytime in the near future. 

We are proud to be Cornish, but only on England’s terms.

The Surnames of Cornwall – by Bernard Deacon

‘The Surnames of Cornwall’ by Bernard Deacon


The latest book by Cornish historian Bernard Deacon covers the unique Cornish surnames.   Of the famous rhyme by Richard Carew  ‘By the names Tre, Pol and Pen you will know Cornishmen’  Deacon explains, “Actually, you won’t.  At most, you’ll only know about one in 20 Cornishmen (or women) by these criteria. Even in the later 19th century, only around 4-5% of people in Cornwall had surnames beginning with Tre, Pol or Pen.”

The famous Cornish inventor Richard Trevithick (he was not English, as described by some) took his high-pressure steam engines to the silver mines of Peru.  Large Cornish communties gathered all over the world.  The hard rock tin miners were established as far afield as Austrailia; South Africa; Mexico etc; and  it’s estimated that  60% of Cornish people formed the population of Grass Valley in California!

And of course Cornish surnames can be found around the UK not least in the mining district of Yorkshire.

This book is a must for Cornish people and the Cornish diaspora all over the world, and could prove invaluable to those researching their Cornish family tree.

The book can be purchased here: The Surnames of Cornwall