With the electioneering nearly over (and not before time most might say) the Cornish will go to the polls on Thursday and give their vote to who they wish to govern them over the next five years.
Coalition: Conservative / Liberal Democrats
The people of Cornwall have experienced a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with their policies of austerity; cuts to services; under-funding; Devonwall; pastytax; bed blocking; over-development . . . . . it goes on.
Arguably, Westminster’s more controversial policy ‘The National Planning Policy Framework’ (NPPF) is a housing policy that has pre-set housing targets. Good you might say, as we need more housing in Cornwall. But, Westminster’s housing targets are pre-set in a ‘presumption in favour’ of developers and not for the sustainable progression of Cornwall’s current population. Housing targets that will see further inward migration and 2nd house ownership from the east – east of the Tamar that is – that would wreak further havoc upon Cornwall’s fragile infrastructure.
There are those in Cornwall who are prepared to fight. People who refuse to become the sycophants of Westminster and campaign against the unnecessary over-development of Cornwall. Regrettably, those people are branded ‘NIMBYS’ by the uninformed and developers.
Labour; New Labour; Tory Lite;Tory Heavy
Prior to the coalition we had a Labour party that was re-branded as ‘New Labour’ under Tony Blair to increase the party’s appeal to ‘middle England’ – wherever that is.
Some have described the re-brand as ‘Tory Light’ or even ‘Tory Heavy’ as Labour dropped its more socialist policy of public ownership of industry and advocated “the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition” with “high quality public services” but not necessarily themselves in the public sector. Privatisation.
New Labour’s anti-Cornish agenda, it totally ignored a declaration of over 50,000 signatures from the people of Cornwall that stated their desire for a Cornish Assembly.
However, Blair’s government was more geared towards self-determination with the devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the re-creation of a city-wide government body for London, and the Greater London Authority with its own elected-Mayor.
But, and as usual, it was less accommodating to the people of Cornwall. In what was seen to be New Labour’s anti-Cornish agenda, it totally ignored a declaration of over 50,000 signatures from the people of Cornwall that stated their desire for a Cornish Assembly. The government preferred to have Cornwall, with its own history, language & culture, subsumed into the ‘Southwest Regional Assembly’ (SRA) which meant further assimilation of the Cornish, and a situation just as abhorrent to the Cornish today as it was back then.
Also, the SRA made Cornwall statistically invisible; effectively hiding the fact that Westminster was under-funding Cornwall. But it remains evident that due to Westminster’s under-funding, Cornwall remains dependent upon funding from the European Union and provides proof, for those who need it, that Westminster isn’t working and continues to have an adverse effect upon Cornwall’s economy and of course, the people of Cornwall.
A Cornish Assembly – but not Independence
The way forward is a law-making Cornish Assembly. Of course, an Assembly is not ‘Independence’ but it will be a body where policy can be made to take Cornwall forward; policies made for the benefit of Cornwall’s population, rather than the over-centralised and generic policies from Westminster.
Mebyon Kernow is the chance for the people of Cornwall to vote for Cornwall. MK is Cornwall’s own political party that exits to devolve certain powers from Westminster to Cornwall through an elected Cornish Assembly. What those devolved powers could be is for the people of Cornwall to decide through their elected Assembly Members (AM’s) but Planning (housing, development etc.) Transport; Health; Environment; Employment: Local Government etc., are likely to be high on the agenda.
Reserved powers such as Defence; Benefits & Social Security; Foreign Policy etc; would remain with Westminster.
Use your vote wisely; based upon your beliefs and principles, rather than ‘voting tactically’
“A significant vote for MK will strengthen Cornwall’s case in Westminster because whoever is the MP, he or she will need to listen. Mebyon Kernow is for everyone in Cornwall who cares about Cornwall,” she said. “Our aim is to put forward a distinctly local solution to Cornwall’s specific issues and problems. We believe the only way to do that is to have local control over Cornwall’s affairs by having a properly strategic Cornish Assembly that can have control over health services in Cornwall, that can have control over an integrated transport policy, that can control over housing numbers and types of housing, and that can have control over what is special about Cornwall and its environment.”
“Our aim is to put forward a distinctly local solution to Cornwall’s specific issues and problems”
As so often happens after an election, people become disillusioned and regret giving their vote to the governing party – usually a Westminster party – that merely claims to act in Cornwall’s best interests. At this election, give your vote to a party based in Cornwall that has no political masters in Westminster.
Mebyon Kernow’s masters are in Cornwall – the people of Cornwall.