It was the time when we Cornish thought our day had come when on the 24th April 2014, the UK government finally recognised Cornish ethnicity:
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 similar to that of our Celtic counterparts in Wales.
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. We are deluding ourselves if we think otherwise.
If Cornish players, and the Cornish in general, are in anyway 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 ethnicity 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 clear assertion for any demand for change now, or anytime in the near future.
We are proud to be Cornish, but only on England’s terms.