Cornwall wakes up

The recent European elections were one of the strangest elections in UK psephological history……

The Tories won the popular vote in Wales. That’s the first time since 1918 that Labour have failed to win the popular vote in a Welsh election.
Sinn Fein topped the poll with you – first time ever. Here’s the result.
The most interesting result, however, was in the Cornish part of South West England, where Mebyon Kernow managed, astonishingly, to beat Labour and come in fifth11,500 votes

They revolted in 1497 – now they are at it again.
Good article from yesterday’s Indie. The Cornish language is taught in 50 primary schools in the country. Excellent PPB by Mebyon Kernow (Thanks to Vaughan for that).
Plaid support Cornwall becoming a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly
Best of luck to them.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Pity the Cornish mistimed their attack on Henry or even yet they could have been separate.

    Glad to see this start to Cornish national spirit rising.

    Best wishes to them in their struggle for freedom.

    Brittany next.

  • the dowie

    With 89 million pasties a year exported, who knows what the future may hold.

  • Cornwall, of course, was never fully assimilated into the Roman empire: there are (as I recall) fewer than a handful of proven Roman sites. It was an outpost of Celtic Christianity long after Whitby, requiring a special bishop to be dispatched as late as c. 840; and was not accepted as part of “Saxon” or “English” territory until the time of the Confessor. The Kilbrandon Report was emphatic in describing Cornwall as a “Duchy”, rather than a “County”, to mark its distinction from the rest of the Saxon Empire, as late as 1971. I particularly relish that quotation from William of Malmesbury, dug up by Philip Payton, about Exeter being cleansed of the Cornish “defiling race”. [Since that was written about 1120, describing events of 936, it suggests old prejudices died hard.]

    Even the Normans stepped warily: it was one of the fiefdoms reserved for Robert of Mortmain, William the Bastard’s Conqueror’s half-brother and all-round hard-man. Since then, apart from 1497 (twice), 1549, 1642-6, 1648, and 1715, the Cornish have eschewed armed insurrection. One might speculate whether repeated plagues and famines (sound familiar?) — or, if all else fails, a dose of aluminium sulphate in the water — didn’t constrain action.

    As for the politics of modern Cornwall, surely that derives from the Methodist tradition more than Marxism (shades of Harold Wilson’s axiom). As with other enlightened regions, the sell-by date for “New Labour” has expired: rebranding and a return to first-principles overdue. Shucks! — whoever thought that LibDimmery would be regarded as “left” of the People’s Party?

    My good friend, Bob from Kinnegad, once expatiated at length (at least the length of two pints in O’Neill’s, Suffolk Street) on the curious propensity of the Big Islanders to periodic rebellion. He suggested that it was almost metronomic.

    He examplified the Isle of Wight, which might seem to be the most quiescent, conservative — even revanchist — spot imaginable. Yet it was the last to hold out against those interfering Christians (as late as 686); went for Cromwell, and for the Liberals at all moments of key political chance (1847; 1880; 1906; 1922; 1974 and 1997). And the Isle of Wight doesn’t even have a nationalist tradition.

  • Dewi

    “With 89 million pasties a year exported”
    The Dowie – we have integrity here – what’s you source please?
    Malcolm – cool – btw – loved your stuff on Post- Roman East Anglia the other week. Tried to look up the book you referred to the other day – but comments closed – fancy selling it to me? (Or at least blogging about it?….)

  • Dewi @ 06:54 PM

    If it’s Rainbird Clark’s East Anglia to which you refer, sorry — not parting. “We’ve been together now for fifty years, and it don’t seem a day too much.”

    I suspect Clark (who was the director of the Norwich Castle Museum and a fine archaeologist in his day) has long been superseded by more recent authorities, especially in his interpretations. I know, for just one example, that the Sutton Hoo find alone has been re-written wholesale. Off-hand, though, I cannot think of a single text exclusively on East Anglia.

    To illustrate the problem further: the Oxford History of England used to have a single, fairly-handy, volume for Roman Britain and the English Settlements by Collingwood and Myres. That represented the quantum of ready-knowledge available to and expected of undergraduates in my day. By the ’80s, though, it needed to be updated in two far-more-hefty tomes: Peter Salway on the Roman period and Myres greatly expanding on the English settlements. So, anyone know which text is the “last word”? In a different direction, but perhaps relevant to that earlier thread, thanks to Amazon (and after a trip to Northumbria and Lindisfarne) I’m about to get into Alistair Moffat’s two books on the history of the Borders — I don’t know if he covers the early period in any detail.

    Off topic (which is what I have been much of the last couple of days), Virginmedia are mucking us about. My server seems to be dropping repeatedly; and line-speeds are glacial. For just that reason, I cannot work out what invisible is/was causing some curious lay-out in the above. Apologies, then, for oddities and if I miss out on debate here.

  • Gorhemmynadow!

    Greetings to our friends in Northern Ireland!
    Here in the liminal land of Kernow, our language, history and identity so often eclipsed by the juggernaut qunagos of ‘South West England’ (sic) we are always heartened and helped by expressions of support from the diverse peoples of these islands.

    More power to your elbow in your own endeavours!

    oll an gwella

  • Cornish Patsy

    Too much inbreeding for you west coast yokels methinks.

  • Feel free to visit my blog: The Cornish Democrat to learn more about the Cornish movement.

    Here is an article supplied to the Centre of World Indigenous Studies (USA) that may interest:

    And here can be found an article on the Republic blog:

  • Please visit the Keep Cornwall Whole campaign website: Your support would be welcome.

    Equally you can vote for our campaign here on 38 Degrees:

  • Greenflag

    malcolm redfellow ,

    ‘Even the Normans stepped warily: it was one of the fiefdoms reserved for Robert of Mortmain, William the Bastard’s Conqueror’s half-brother and all-round hard-man.’

    Was’nt William the eh Bastard’s entourage of conquerors made up off all sorts of chancers , ne’er do well’s and mercenary thugs from all over Europe out to grab some loot with the Pope’s blessing and at Harald’s and Anglo Saxon/Celtic Britian’s expense ?

    I seem to remember that a large number of Bretons ( fi.e frenchified cornish folk were on the field at Hastings in William’s service not to mention the Sicilians , Burgundians and various other ‘investors’ in the conquest ?