Westminster has contributed to Cornwall’s lowly status by decades of underfunding that has resulted in Cornwall being dependent upon funding from the EU. Over the last parliament, Cornwall’s position has been further eroded by Westminster’s austerity policy which in turn, has forced Cornwall Council to make ‘savings’ by making cuts to Cornwall’s services.
What remains incomprehensible about Cornwall’s situation is it that rather than Cornwall Council being seen as the underdog, a victim of Westminster’s policies that have had such a negative effect, it is seen more as a ‘council of incompetence’ and the council has done little to change that perception.
Council not portrayed correctly by the local media?
The majority of Cornwall’s newspapers, apart from the Falmouth Packet (Newsquest) are under the umbrella of Local World which includes the Western Morning News, Cornish Guardian, West Briton, Cornishman and the national Daily Mail.
While it’s important that the press hold Cornwall Council to account, headlines proclaiming Cornwall Council is making drastic cuts to various Cornish services, without reporting the reasons for making those cuts, has helped contribute to an overtly negative perception of the Council by the electorate.
One of the more amusing elements of the West Briton’s online site is the comments section that can be ‘rated’ by red or green arrows. Observations have been made that the system is open to abuse either by readers or employees of the paper. The intended use is for individuals to have a single mouse click on either a red/green arrow as to whether or not they agree with a certain comment. However, those with the knowledge can over-ride a single click with multiple clicks so as to give a disproportionate view of ratings that better reflects the individual’s particular agenda. The anomaly remains and apparently beyond the control of the newspaper.
A Cornish Assembly rejected for the less demanding ‘Case for Cornwall’
It must be re-iterated that the Cornish have their own identity, language, history and culture and, similar to that of Wales and Scotland, should be afforded the same right of autonomy. Enabling Cornwall to make the decisions that are best suited for Cornwall, rather than the failed decisions of Westminster, can be achieved by a law-making Cornish Assembly that will also serve to protect Cornwall’s own identity, as opposed to being eroded by a ‘county’ administration.
By opting for the less demanding ‘Case for Cornwall’ it would seem council leader and Cornishman John Pollard, has failed to understand those benefits of replacing a ‘county’ administration with a Cornish Assembly and how the Assembly would also define Cornwall in its own right. Maybe the Cornish minority is not sufficient enough in number to make the case to the non-Cornish majority. This majority could well prefer to have Cornwall’s position as a subservient ‘county’ to Westminster maintained with no consideration as to what the Cornish desire. If so, they will support John Pollard’s ‘Case for Cornwall’ as the answer to the ‘Cornish Question’.