Cornwall’s failure to support Mebyon Kernow ensures that the policies of London can override the decisions of local people

Cornwall Council welcomed an historic [sic] Cornwall ‘Devolution’ Deal but in reality, and unlike Welsh devolution that has done much to enshrine Wales identity, the council has merely accepted a watered-down form of continued ‘English’ devolution; retaining the current English identity that fails to address one of the major issues facing Cornwall – planning.

Cornwall Council leader, John Pollard
The housing policy House Planning Policy Framework (HPPF) was designed by Westminster  to be carried out by Cornwall Council in a Cornwall of finite resources.   Cornwall Council accepted Westminster’s ‘Local Plan’ assertion that supposedly makes the planning system more local, less complex and more accessible.  If this means giving developers the power to over-rule the decisions of local people – then it has been successful.  The council has accepted a form of ‘devolution’ for Cornwall that means not opposing Westminster’s housing target policy.

Cornwall Council’s ‘Devolution’: Health and Social Care

“Cornwall  faces  demographic  challenges  that  are  likely  to  put  pressure  on  resources  in  future  years.  For  example, the  population  of  Cornwall  contains  more  residents  over  the  age  of  75  than  the  average  for  England.  This group is expected to continue to  grow significantly”.

That statement suggests that the council has some understanding of the problem.  But It’s not just the over 75’s, it concerns all inward migration to Cornwall, and its happening now, not in ‘future years’.  We see the evidence in the decline of Cornwall’s delicate infrastructure (hospitals, surgeries, dentists, care homes, etc) creaking under pressure of Cornwall’s current population; along with, as some suggest, the homeless people of other regions that are purposely sent to Cornwall.  Yet, rather than focussing on Cornwall’s current growing population, the council has supported the HPPF housing numbers that encourages  MORE inward migration to Cornwall.

What are the people of Cornwall doing about it?

Over the years various media, websites, social media and blogging sites, have highlighted the negative effects mass housing is having in an area of creaking infrastructure and finite resources.

It has become regular feature to see people protesting against the mass housing that is being imposed upon Cornwall.  Residents of St Ives are expected to vote on a new plan which could stop people from buying a ‘second’ home in the seaside town.  The term ‘second home’ has become somewhat of a misnomer as these people can have multi-property portfolios; life’s achievers?

Cornwall’s electorate voted for these people. All of whom responded by voting to cut £30 a week from their disability ESA claims

But these protesters are very likely to vote (if indeed they do vote) for the Tory/Lab/Lib etc; political parties of Westminster. An over-centralised administration that imposes the very policy they are protesting against! The old cliché remains true that people get the ‘government they deserve’ – along with its policies.

Does Cornwall have a political party?

Yes. Cornwall has its own political party, Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall.  It is leading the campaign for a Cornish Assembly (not an independent Cornwall) that will deliver to the people of Cornwall powers to make bespoke policies for Cornwall – including planning.

MK has always fought against mass housing in Cornwall.  Only last Thursday, MK councillor Andrew Long again condemned the London government’s enforced ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ following last week’s Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee meeting and its approval for over 600 houses to be built on two sites at Helston and Callington.

Andrew Long MK

Like all political parties, MK requires support to make it effective for the people and the area it exists to represent.  Until the Cornish and the people of Cornwall reject the political parties of Westminster, their enforced planning policies, and to then offer their support/vote for MK, they must expect policies devised in London, supported by officers in Bristol, and carried out by Cornwall Council.

Loveday Jenkin Mebyon Kernow for those who care for Cornwall

Join/Support MK in their campaign: Mebyon Kernow
Download: “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall

Related Links:

The Cornish: state housing policy and the FCPNM
Our Cornwall Statement on Population Growth
Our Cornwall: Penzance & Penwith: Threat From Council Of Huge Increase In Development
Our Cornwall: Grim future looms as Cornwall Council gives up
Cornwall: a developer’s paradise?
Cornish Housing: What’s Planned for Your Town?

Will Cornwall remain relegated to the backyard of someone else’s region?

Mebyon Kernow: Towards a National Assembly

On the 2nd of April 2016, Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall, held its Spring Conference at Lys Kernow (New ‘County’ Hall) and launched the revised version of its key policy document “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall”.

The document is wide-ranging and gives the understanding that a Cornish Assembly is NOT independence.

The document introduction begins:

“Mebyon Kernow believes that the historic nation of Cornwall,

with its own distinct identity, language and heritage, has the

same right to self-determination as other nations such as

Scotland and Wales”.

MK Conference 2016 1
MK 2016 Spring Conference  (Photo Niall Curry)


A legislative National Assembly of Cornwall with powers to create primary legislation that would include Agriculture, fisheries and food; Arts & Culture; Housing; Environment & Heritage; Planning (that would include a National Planning Policy Framework for Cornwall) etc.

A Cornish Assembly will also serve to enshrine Cornwall’s identity as Cornish.  Cornish people have long maintained that Westminster deliberately undermines Cornwall’s unique identity by imposing an English administration that enables assimilation, which is contrary to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM) which states:

Article 5

2) Without prejudice to measures taken in pursuance of their general integration policy, the Parties (in this case, UK) 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.

But the assimilation is evident.  Cornish heritage becomes ‘English’ heritage. The school curriculum is an ‘English’ curriculum to the extent that, even though the Cornish people preceded the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, they are ignored. Also, a Cornish Assembly would dispense with the ignominy of Cornwall = ‘England’.


Cornwall Council

Mebyon Kernow leader Dick Cole, has explained Cornwall Council’s so-called ‘Cornwall Devolution Deal’:

“Extremely feeble and lacked ambition.  It only allowed very, very limited new powers to the unitary authority, while giving other responsibilities to unelected bodies with little democratic legitimacy such as the Local Enterprise Partnership.”

What is the point of Cornish recognition if Cornwall itself isn’t recognised?

Cornwall Council leader John Pollard, announced at a full Council meeting that the Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBC) has agreed to the Council’s request to vary the terms of the forthcoming electoral review of Council divisions (Devonwall = further assimilation) to allow for fundamental appraisal of governance arrangements in the Duchy.

Will Cornwall’s leader assert the case for a Cornish administration to the LGBC?  Or simply acquiesce to the current English administration, and to then later proclaim a victory for Cornwall?

Without a new democratic settlement to deliver devolution, a distinct Cornish administration, then no matter how Cornwall Council ‘dress it up’ it isn’t Cornish devolution at all.  It’s merely watered-down English devolution that ensures Cornwall and the Cornish remain relegated to the backyard of someone else’s region.

BBC Kernow (Cornwall) should sit in it’s rightful place alongside BBC Cymru and BBC Alba on the iPlayer

Enable a BBC KERNOW and sign the petition today!

BBC Kernow

To: Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Give Cornish language and culture the equal status, recognition, respect and prominence in public service broadcasting that it deserves.

We believe the Cornish should have equal status with the other indigenous languages and cultures of Britain.

We want BBC Kernow (Cornwall) to sit in it’s rightful place alongside BBC Cymru and BBC Alba on the iPlayer.

We want appropriate commissioning and editorial processes to be established within the remit of the BBC Royal Charter from 2017 to develop and grow Cornish language and cultural programming.

Why is this important?

Every culture should have their own voice represented in the world’s media, particularly in public service broadcasting.

In 2003 the Cornish language (Kernewek) received official recognition under the European Charter for the Protection of Regional or Minority Languages.

In 2014 the Cornish were granted protected national minority status under the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

This means the Cornish have the same recognition as the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish.

See Cornwall Council’s BBC Charter Review Consultation Response from the Members Working Group on Cornish Minority Status here / Gwel an Konsel Kernow Keskussulyans Daswel Chartour an Kortyb Gorthyp dhyworth Bagas Oberi an Eseli war Savla Minoryta Kernewek omma:

Tweet: #BBCKernow #yourBBC

Please sign this petition to pledge your support for the establishment of BBC Kernow.

How it will be delivered

This petition will be delivered in person to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport


Further reading:

Who do the Cornish think they are?


Can the Cornish minority survive alongside an English majority?

“The uniqueness of Cornwall rests on the survival of a distinct people – the Cornish people.”


That is a quote taken from Bernard Deacon’s excellent book, ‘The land’s end? The great sale of Cornwall’ and the ‘survival’ of the Cornish people is no exaggeration.  In 2011, a Duchy-wide campaign aimed at those people who identify as Cornish were urged to write ’Cornish’ on the 2011 Census. The result was 73,200 people from 532, 273 of Cornwall’s population (14%) recorded their ethnicity as Cornish.  The Cornish are a minority group in their own homeland of Cornwall.

The remaining 459,073 people, of which most will be the English who, during earlier centuries of their inward migration to Cornwall, learned the Cornish language and continue promote Cornwall’s history and culture that  has ensured the Cornish will never be in a state of mere ‘survival’.

Of course the last paragraph isn’t what really happened .  Assimilation has always been demanded from the English.  All is fine just so long as immigrants arriving into English communities become ‘English’ but this is contrary to their arrival in Britain and their own failure to assimilate.   In Cornwall during 1549,  an English language prayer book was forced upon a predominately Cornish speaking nation.  The Cornish, fighting against a professional army were eventually put down, but the ensuing slaughter of hundreds of bound & gagged prisoners ensured the Cornish were effectively subdued, or at least enough to prevent further uprisings.  Cornwall was to become a place where all things English were deemed ‘superior’ while all things Cornish were branded ‘inferior’ – particularly their language.

This assimilation remains today and becomes apparent when the Cornish face derision from all quarters (including Cornwall’s tabloids) when having the temerity to ask that their history and language be taught in Cornish schools.  ‘It’s a dead language’ is the cry from those who killed it.  ‘Ancient history’ is the term used to negate Cornwall’s early charters that state Cornwall is ‘extra-territorial’ to England, while the English feel entitled to promote an ‘ancient’ 13th century Magna Carta as a ‘symbol from oppression’.  They should have shown that document to the Cornish people of 1549.


Cornish schools are ‘classed’ as English schools and the Anglo-centric curriculum takes precedence over all things Cornish.  The history of Cornish people is ignored until an English presence has been firmly established, ensuring Cornwall’s school children have little choice but to ascribe to an English identity.  The Royal Cornwall Museum doesn’t allow for the appearance of the Cornish in its timeline until a reference is made to the inventor Richard Trevithick in 1804.

There are English people, particularly those that have moved to Cornwall, that have the intellect and a shared empathy with Cornwall and the Cornish who do much for Cornwall’s identity.  Sadly, and similar to the Cornish, they are in the minority.  An early article by Hywel Williams could explain why most English people, or those described by Williams as ‘Anglo-celtic Uncle Toms’  have a sneering, belligerent attitude towards Cornwall as being anything other than ‘English’.

The Enemy Within?


Cornwall’s Tory MPs see a Cornish Assembly as a ‘nationalist’ agenda rather than being a positive mechanism that will enshrine Cornwall’s identity as Cornish in a similar fashion as the Framework Convention enshrined the identity of the Cornish themselves.  Instead, they prefer the current ‘English’ administration that serves to further assimilate Cornwall’s identity into an ‘English’ entity.

bloody nationalistsCornish MP, Scott Mann says “There have long been calls in Cornwall to pull up the hypothetical drawbridge over the Tamar and to cut ourselves off from Plymouth and the rest of Britain”. He goes on to say that while he’s “rightly proud of our heritage, traditions and culture, but we do ourselves a disservice if we continue to naval-gaze. Our young people deserve better than that.”

Maybe Mr Mann would have directed derogatory accusations of ‘naval-gazing’ against India when it claimed independence, or indeed any other former colony that required their independence  be returned.  In this case he has has contrived to conflate aspirations of a Cornish Assembly with independence when it’s NOT about independence.

Westminster’s Plans are EVEL

Some people remain unaware that on Wednesday 12th, December 2001, a delegation from Cornwall presented a declaration consisting of over 50,000 signatures for a Cornish Assembly.  The Labour Government at that time did not respond to the petition but continued with its aims of placing Cornwall within a ‘South West region’ that is indicative of a Westminster determined to keep Cornwall ‘English’.

The government has now pushed through plans for ‘English votes for English laws’ (EVEL).  Wales has its own government with devolved powers,  Scotland is knocking on the door of independence, and an overwhelming majority of MP’s represent England, Westminster is now virtually an English parliament and unlikely to acceed to aspirations of a Cornish Assembly.

Cornwall Council is invariably held responsible for making cuts, but in reality the blame lies firmly with Westminster’s austerity measures. Cornwall Council is forced into making the savings in areas that helps to ensure  the funding of Cornwall’s essential services can continure.

  With the full effects of austerity still emerging in Cornwall,  maybe those who are feeling those effects more keenly will be encouraged to offer their support for Mebyon Kernow.

An upsurge of Cornish support for Mebyon Kernow would at least serve to make Westminster more respectful of Cornish aspirations.

Cornish Hevva Cake – NOT ‘Heavy’ Cake!

Hevva! Hevva! Hevva!

‘Hevva’ is the Cornish language word for ‘shoaling’ ‘swarming’ or ‘flocking’ that is also used to describe Cornish Hevva cake (not ‘heavy’ as sometimes heard).  It was the shout made by Cornish heuers that kept watch at various points around the Cornish Coast when they sighted the dark shoals of pilchards off the coast, and the call for the Cornish seine netters to put to sea.

Cornish Hevva Cake

1lb of self-raising flour (453.59g)

Pinch of salt

4oz Margerine (113.4g)

4oz Lard (113.4g)

4-6oz sugar 5oz = (141.75g)
6 – 8oz of mixed dried fruit (7oz = 198.45g)
Pinch of Nutmeg (or according to taste)


Cut the margarine and lard into smaller pieces and add to the flour. Very gently, using finger tips, rub the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. If rubbed together too heavy handedly you will end up with a dough!  This process can take half an hour, so be patient.


Then add the sugar, nutmeg, salt and mix together.  Add the mixed dried fruit, mix again, then gradually add water, mixing until a firm, dough-like consistency forms .


Let it stand for about 5 minutes.


Roll out to about 3/4 of an inch thick, brush with milk and make criss-cross marks on the top.


Bake at 180c (fan oven) in the middle of the oven for about 35 – 40 minutes.


The result should be a light texture – not heavy.  A heavy texture can be the result of over-kneeding the dough, or adding too little / too much water.

Cornish Hevva Cake

Hevva cake, along with *Cornish splits, forms part of the traditional Cornish cream tea and delicious either eaten on its own or spread with jam topped off with Cornish clotted cream. 

*Scones appeared from another place and not traditionally Cornish.

Note: English people are known to hide their cream under the jam but the Cornish, so proud of their Cornish clotted cream, give it pride of place – on the top!

Can Kernow/Cornwall lead the way towards a steady, sustainable economy?

We live in a world of finite resources.  Cornwall’s resources are becoming even more finite as we see greenfield sites such as Heamoor and Carbis Bay given up for development.  Cornwall, known for its natural, rugged beauty, is being urbanised.

At the rate at which Cornwall’s land is being developed, people are asking the question, ‘when will it all end’?  But end it will, and for the simple reason there will be no land left to develop. It’s time to say enough must mean enough, not more.

Instead of being what many describe as the end of the UK, the land’s end, Cornwall could be at the forefront of exploring specific strategies to conserve our natural resources, stabilise Cornwall’s population, create jobs with the aims of maximising our long-term well-being instead of short-term profits.

It won’t be easy. People demand choice; a sense of entitlement that demands them having more rather than enough; one house isn’t enough, one car isn’t enough, then one job isn’t enough.  But does having more make people feel happier when having more can bring its own set of worries and concerns?

Those who belive that exponential growth can continue in a rural Cornwall, of finite resources, are either  madmen or developers.

Cornwall is rural,  an agricultural land that is vital to sustain its population.  Yet for many people more is a good idea.  An employee can have more money; business managers, more revenue; politicians, more national income that may effectively attract votes.  But it’s beyond reason for people to work even harder to have more than enough.

Planned housing developments in Cornwall have become almost daily news in the local press.  Developers are given permission to build, not for the actual growing population of Cornwall, but rather on what the population will likely to become and based upon more inward migration.

How can it be ecologically sustainable to build in an area, dependent upon the farming that feeds our people, when we are constantly told ‘we need to build more’.  If the answer is to build on more land, for more housing, for more people, then the question must be asked: what to do when the land is full?

‘But it’s our right to live where we want’ is often the claim and in an earlier age that would have been entirely possible and likely required.  But in today’s Cornwall, were land is vital resource, it is becoming less possible and indeed, undesireable. Surely, these so-called ‘rights’ should rest with the people and children to where they are born?  For them have job security that ensures they have enough, rather than exacerbate the situation by building for more inward migration.  How do we reconcile Cornish people being left with no alternative but to move out, and becoming the problem ‘incommer’ to another area?

A Period of De-growth

For the good of Cornwall’s economy, its footprint must fit within the capacity of the ecosytems that contain it.  But it’s hardly possible with developers building more housing that encourages more inward migration.

To ensure Cornwall can make the transition towards an ecologically sustainable land, a period of de-growth is essential.  To continually build for more when Cornwall retains its reputation as having one of the highest number of rough sleepers is illogical to say the least; surely the exitising population has the right of a house to call  home.  The phrase ‘affordable housing’ has for decades been strapped to new development, but remains largely affordable only to more incommers.

At the first international conference on de-growth held in Paris 2008, a definition of degrowth was provided:

‘We define degrowth as a voluntary transition towards a just, participatory, and ecologically sustainable society. . . . The objectives of degrowth are to meet basic human needs and ensure a high quality of life, while reducing the ecological impact of the global economy to a sustainable level, equitably distributed between nations. . . . Once right-sizing has been achieved through a process of degrowth, the aim should be to maintain a “steady state economy” with a relatively stable, mildly fluctuating level of consumption.’

Cornwall Council has made much of its case for ‘devolved’ powers and should be at the forefront of devising policies that will enable Cornwall’s economic and ecological sustainability, rather than the continued, unsustainable development area that Cornwall has become – before it’s too late.

The Royal Cornwall Museum has it all – apart from the Cornish

There is no doubt the RCM has a fine collection of minerals and artefacts along with various sections about tin mining, but a visitor was heard to remark, ‘the museum has it all – apart from the Cornish’.

RCM Sign photo

While that may be a slight exaggeration, it’s not straying too far from the truth and promotes accusations of negativity towards Cornish people by a museum which, after all, is supposedly a Cornish museum that should represent the Cornish people.

Upon entering the ground floor, there are glass display cabinets that start with collections of early Britain and house the collections of that time. These cabinets that continue around the perimeter of the hall have timelines (thematic labels) across the top that have references and dates of a particular era.

Walking around the hall in a clockwise direction, visitors reading the timelines will note there is no mention of the Cornish until 1834. Although there is a reference to Richard Trevithick in 1804, there’s no explanation that the inventor was a Cornishman. The English are included, but are placed in a period of time  before the Cornish, which does not consider the contextural timeline, and gives the viewer a false impression of an earlier English presence.  Also noticed by a Cornish couple was the exclusion of the Cornish uprising against the imposition of an English Language Prayer Book; the book that ensured the demise of the Cornish language.


Rather than subsuming the Cornish under a ‘British’ identity, the RCM should be at the forefront of Cornish culture and consult widely with that aim. The Cornish (eventually recognised as a minority group, included within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities) should have their progression reflected within the timelines/thematic labels that will serve to inform of their continuity, in context, throughout British history, rather than making a sudden appearance during 17th century.

Romano - British PeriodThe book ‘Cornwall – A History’ by Professor Philip Payton, has late Roman, and putatively in early Roman times, that the lands west of the Tamar were those of the Cornovii – the early Cornish.  Yet the label ‘Romano-British Period’ gives visitors no information about the early Cornovii/Cornish presence, giving the unsuspecting reader the idea that a Roman Britain somehow gives way to an Anglo-Saxon England. Exclusion of the Cornish gives the museum a lack of credibility – not least in the minds of Cornish people.  The  museum seems to be affording more credibility to Winston Graham’s fictitious “Poldark” character that had a section on the first floor.

The RCM is a charitable institution and is in receipt of grant funding that includes Cornwall Council. The Council  also understands the Cornish are a minority group and continues to support the Cornish Language and the Cornish indigenous culture.  It is hoped that Kavita Winn, the marketing manager, will have Cornish identity as the main focus of the museum.

It must be realised that without the Cornish, there wouldn’t be a Cornwall.