Sunday, 2 December 2007

The Miseries of Cornwall, our Brythonic Neighbour

Over the last three centuries Cornwall has gone from being on the leading edge of the industrial revolution to being one of the poorest regions of Europe receiving objective one funding from the EU as a result. In the October 2001 Business Age Magazine Kevin Cahill, an author and investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, wrote the “The Killing of Cornwall”. He notes that the London Treasury extracts £1.95 billion in taxes out of Cornwall's GDP of £3.6 billion. The Treasury returns less than £1.65 billion, so there is a net loss to Cornwall of 300 million pounds, where the total earnings figure is 24% below the national average, is this some form of negative Barnet Formula? Low wages, unskilled Mac Jobs, poverty, social problems, and rocketing housing prices are the often hidden face of the optimistically named “English” Rivera. Coupled with this we have seen the centralisation of services, institutions and government (followed by the skilled jobs they entail) out of the Duchy much to the benefit of various undemocratic and faceless ‘South West of England’ quangos.

Due to a complex nexus of factors over recent years there has been an increase in Cornish ethno-regional awareness. In parallel to this development little respect has been shown by central government for Cornish territorial integrity or the Cornish identity, this is a phenomenon which sadly has a long historical precedent within the UK. Take for example the recent debate about the Union flag; not only are the Cornish excluded from the Union Jack but it is not so long ago that you needed planning permission to fly a Cornish St Pirans flag in Cornwall. Following government regulations one could have flown the flag of North Korea in the Duchy with no problems but not the Cornish flag.

Considering recent developments within the Duchy i.e. death threats sent to Cornish activists, the targeting of symbols of English identity for vandalism / protest and the creation of clandestine Cornish nationalist groups, I think it worthwhile posting the finding of a study on interethnic violence undertaken by M. Lim, R. Metzler, Y. Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute.

Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence, Science 317, 5844 (2007):

1 comment:

Charlie Marks said...

Good to flag up Kernow. Whenever I blog or comment on the nations of England I always have to check t o ensure I've mentioned Cornwall. I think that it's only a matter of time before Cornish self-government becomes a recognisable political issue.