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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:27 pm 
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Cornish independence is back on the menu

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 15/06/2007

Terrorist threats against Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver must be taken seriously, but so must the underlying causes of Cornish discontent, says Nigel Hicks

The chough has returned to the cliffs of Cornwall. This magnificent crow, with its distinctive orange-red beak and legs, is Cornwall's national symbol. It was once widespread but had vanished by the 1970s. Legend had it that the chough symbolised the soul of King Arthur, who would one day come to the rescue of Cornishmen (from the English, of course).

The chough is a natural symbol for Cornwall, pictured here on the Cornish County Council coat of arms
The chough is a national symbol for Cornwall

It was also feared that the disappearance of the chough would mark the decline of the Cornish. But for the past few years, two pairs have nested and bred successfully on the Lizard.

Cornwall has, indeed, seen a major decline in recent years with unemployment rates being among the highest in the UK after the closure of the last tin mines. In their place we have Rick Stein - and now Jamie Oliver - whose restaurants in Padstow and Newquay attract the gastronomes and tourists in hordes.

And now, it seems, the terrorists.

This week, a shadowy militant group calling itself the Cornish National Liberation Army allegedly threatened these two celebrity chefs in Cornwall, suggesting that their presence is not welcome.

The CNLA threatened to burn down one of Stein's businesses in Padstow and declared the cars of his customers as legitimate targets. Oliver, meanwhile, was branded an "incomer", accused of hurting local people by driving up house prices and the cost of living.

As a proud Cornishman, I can verify that most Cornish people are law-abiding and decent; but there is a feeling of disfranchisement among some who seek to protect and promote an indigenous culture of the UK.

Over the years, legitimate efforts to achieve Cornish recognition and official minority status have gone largely unheeded, producing circumstances under which extremism can take root. The lack of affordable housing and employment opportunities in Cornwall play a significant role in this, but there are other cultural, constitutional and historical factors.

Cornwall has a non-English culture, typified by its Celtic language, Kernewek, that was officially recognised by the Government in November 2002 under the Council of Europe's Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Yet the Government refuses to give it official protection or to support the culture of the Cornish minority.

The Cornish still retain a stannary legal system, but its legislative authority, the Cornish Stannary Parliament, is not officially recognised. The Cornish also have their own folklore, traditions and customs that differ greatly from those of the English majority.

The chough's return has coincided with a resurgence in culture. The Cornish flag - the black and white cross of St Piran - is increasingly prevalent, flying from public buildings and displayed on increasing numbers of car bumpers.

Cornwall's distinct history centres on its former status as an historical nation of the British Isles. The 14th-century Mappa Mundi defines what is now Great Britain as "Scottia, Wallia, Anglia et Cornubia".

This is today reflected in Cornwall's status as duchy and its special relationship to the heir to the throne, the Duke of Cornwall, who, unlike in any other part of the UK, can legally exercise the royal prerogative. In so doing, Prince Charles not only derives a significant private income but also strengthens Cornwall's claims to devolution or even independence.

In these times of world terrorism, no decent person will condone acts of violence by extremists. However, it would be foolish to ignore threats by groups such as the CNLA because they are symptomatic of a possible conflict in which the majority has ignored the legitimate aspirations of a minority.

If they continue to be ignored, we run the risk of possible violence in the future. The threats to Stein and Oliver are outrageous and should be taken seriously and investigated. But we must afford equal attention to the underlying causes of public disquiet here in Cornwall.
# The author is a member (stannator) of the Cornish Stannary Parliament

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main. ... all115.xml

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:05 am 
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The chances of Cornwall becoming independent are next to nothing.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:39 am 
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now thats been said before about other countries over the years, and proved wrong. their time will come too.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:05 pm 
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BonnieBlueFlag wrote:
The chances of Cornwall becoming independent are next to nothing.


So were the chances of Scotland becoming independent a hundred years ago... Or of puny places like Slovenia getting away from the Austro-Hungarian empire.

However, this is a gross misreading of the situation. The English, and the Scots who read English papers, tend to think independence is on the agenda. It may well be so in the end game, but the main aim now is for home rule. This is not quite as far away as you might think. One of the two major UK parties has at last got a shadow minister for Cornwall

I take it you'll be going to the next Lowendar Perran in South Australia then? :twisted:

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