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Cornwall: The Crimes

Friday, March 17, 2017 19:34
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(Before It's News)

This is some copy and paste of the fourth Opinion on the United Kingdom adopted on 25 may 2016,
authored by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities, concerning the Cornish Minority people. It does raise the point of anyone
Cornish having to obey Westminster law since Westminster breaks the law against anyone Cornish.
Don’t think of the Cornish as a few people who want power, we’re normal people who want
some say in what happens here, its certainly no exageration when I say the only thing that
happens here is development and nothing done for jobs or low cost housing. To prove that
point “Similarly, it is felt that Cornish history is distorted, and worries are high
that the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site could lose its status owing to new
building at the site.” Developers profits mean more than history and tourism.

Some of the facts below point to the fact that we weren’t paranoid people, there really is
inequality in Cornwall. Remember, Cornwall is only a population of 500,000, we’re easy to ignore,
just because we weren’t granted devolution with Wales and Scotland doesn’t mean we weren’t
asking for it, its a fact we were. It isn’t just the Cornish that aren’t taught about Cornwall, noone is.

“The recognition of the Cornish minority in 2014 is an important step in acknowledging the
 unique identity, culture, language and traditions of the Cornish people. This should now
be nurtured by the adequate policy and financial steps necessary to ensure that persons
belonging to the Cornish minority have access to the rights protected by the
Framework Convention.
Take all necessary steps to ensure access to the linguistic and cultural rights provided by
the Framework Convention to the Cornish minority, in particular by reconsidering the
decision to cut all funding for the Cornish language in view of the disproportionate impact
such a measure will have on the delicate process of revitalising a minority language when
access to other public financial resources is limited.

Recognition of the Cornish minority in 2014 is an important step in acknowledging
the unique identity, culture, language and traditions of the Cornish people, which should
now be nurtured by the adequate policy and financial steps necessary to ensure that
persons belonging to the Cornish minority have access to the rights protected by the
Framework Convention.
Recognition of the Cornish
people in 2014 has resulted in delegating some tasks to the Cornish Council in the context of
decentralisation in England. The national referendum in June 2016 on membership of the
EU has caused some uncertainties within the Executives and Assemblies and in the Cornish
Council.
The
Advisory Committee welcomes the 2014 decision to recognise the Cornish as a national
minority in England, by virtue of their unique identity, and to afford them the same status
under the Framework Convention as the UK’s other Celtic peoples, that is the Scots, the
Welsh and the Irish. This is an important political step,7 building on the previous recognition
of Cornish as a minority language8 and paving the way to enhanced protection and access to
rights for persons belonging to that minority. At the end of 2015 a Cornwall Devolution Deal
was signed; the UK Government devolved to Cornwall a “range of powers and
responsibilities”, which however are only loosely connected with recognition of the Cornish
as a minority.
Representatives of the Cornish minority believed that the steps taken so far at the
level of central government and local authorities have not been sufficiently meaningful to
substantiate recognition of the Cornish as a national minority. In particular, they expressed
concern that local authorities would not show ownership of the recognition process but
rather act in compliance with it, while the UK Government would not provide the means
required to implement recognition. Local authorities emphasised the limited decisionmaking power due to the constitutional set-up10 and the current territorial arrangement,
whereby Cornwall is grouped together with Devon and other counties in the Southwest
region, as elements preventing further progress (see also Article 16).

Recommendations: The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take all the legal, policy, and
financial steps necessary to ensure access to the rights provided by the Framework
Convention to persons belonging to the Cornish minority, irrespective of any constitutional
set-up.

The Advisory Committee also understands that, in 2011, data on Cornish identity
were gathered for the first time, thanks to the write-in facility. In England and Wales, 83 000
people (0.1% of the population) identified as Cornish, on its own or combined with other
identities, but in Cornwall 13.8% of the population declared themselves to be Cornish.
Representatives of the Cornish minority believed that the introduction of a dedicated ‘tick
box’ represented a more appropriate way to record persons belonging to a national
minority
 Recommendations: The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take the necessary measures to
include the possibility to self-identify as Cornish, through a ‘tick-box’ in the next census, and
to facilitate the expression of self-identification of any other group because data collection
is relevant to the application of minority rights.

The Advisory Committee appreciates the efforts made so far by the central
government, Cornwall Council and the Cornish people to ensure revival of Cornish language,
culture and heritage. The status of the Cornish language and culture as officially recognised
by the UK Government since 2014 is a step forward in UK obligations under the Framework
Convention. The Advisory Committee considers it important that the government now
implements relevant policies to improve access to these rights for persons belonging to the
minority. The Cornish language is generally seen as central to the sense of Cornish identity
as expressed by the newly conferred status (for language revitalisation, see Article 10).
The Advisory Committee notes that, so far, funding for the Cornish language has
come from a combination of the UK Government (£150 000) and Cornwall Council
(£30 000). One of the main problems facing those tasked with revitalisation of the language
has been the annual basis of funding from the UK Government. Cornish representatives
were vocal in stressing how this arrangement made it difficult to plan for the long-term
recovery and wider use of the Cornish language and how a regular stream of funding was
necessary to ensure the viability of language activities. It also expressed the opinion that the
central and local funding level for the promotion of Cornish was insufficient to ensure a
realistic programme of revitalisation for the language.
The Advisory Committee was disconcerted to learn that the UK Government decided
in April 2016 to cut all funding for the Cornish language with immediate effect.44 The
Committee strongly regrets a decision which is considered to have a major impact on the
continued revitalisation of the language and the educational activities carried out so far with
public funding. The Advisory Committee recalls that, as a signatory of the Framework
Convention, the United Kingdom has undertaken to promote under Article 5 the conditions
necessary for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities to, inter alia, preserve the
essential elements of their identity, including language. When access to other public
financial resources is limited due to the constitutional set-up, public support remains
necessary.
Cultural events and festivals, such as St Piran’s Day on 5 March, are developing an
increasingly high profile and give prominence to the Cornish language and culture
throughout the year. However, subsidies for cultural projects are considered not to be
enough and have recently been reduced in the Cornwall Council budget by 50%. The
Advisory Committee also understands from its interlocutors that the way Cornish culture is
currently approached by the English Heritage Trust fails to appreciate its distinctiveness and
shifts between “culture in Cornwall” and “Cornish culture”. Several small museums deal
with Cornish history and culture, but they are scattered and there is no overall agreement
yet with the English Heritage Trust on how to portray Cornish culture and heritage, though
consultations are ongoing.45 Similarly, it is felt that Cornish history is distorted, and worries
are high that the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site could lose its status owing to
new building at the site.

Recommndations: The authorities should reconsider their decision to cut all funding for the Cornish
language in view of the disproportionate impact such a measure can have on the delicate
process of revitalisation of a minority language when access to other public financial
resources is limited.
The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to engage in a dialogue with
representatives of the Cornish minority to ensure that cultural policy is developed in a way
respectful of the traditions and identity of the minority.

The Advisory Committee regrets the minimal profile of Cornish on mainstream
media. The 5 minutes a week of Cornish programmes broadcast by the BBC on Radio
Cornwall was criticised by interlocutors as being totally insufficient – in terms of style,
content and length. Independent Internet e-broadcasting and local community radio
stations provide a platform for a further one hour a week of Cornish. The ongoing revision
of the BBC Charter is perceived by the minority’s representatives as the occasion to improve
the situation, since so far the BBC has tended to group Cornwall as part of South West
England and in an arbitrary manner blending out Cornish issues. Finally, there is no Cornish
language newspaper in Cornwall due to lack of funding.
The Advisory Committee regrets that certain media outlets continue stereotyping
and counterproductive messaging on national and ethnic minorities (see Article 6). Although
it acknowledges the delicate balance to be struck by the authorities between freedom of
expression and hate speech, the Advisory Committee emphasises the relevance of
enhancing ethical journalism without encroaching on media independence. To this purpose
it is important that training is regularly carried out and that access to and presence in the
media of persons belonging to minorities, including in supervisory organs of (public)
broadcasters, is ensured.

Recommendations: The authorities should take resolute action to ensure that revision of the BBC Charter
improves access to the media for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities,
increases funding, ensures a variety of programmes in minority languages, in particular the
Irish language, involves minorities in their production and introduces BBC support for the
Cornish language.
The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to establish an independent
press regulator, responding to the criteria enunciated by the Leveson Report, and to ensure
that training is regularly carried out and there is access to and presence in the media of
persons belonging to minorities, including in supervisory organs.

The Advisory Committee welcomes the revitalisation of the Cornish language and the
way it has yielded encouraging results as Cornish appears to be increasingly visible in
cultural events, on social media, on bilingual street signs and in marketing material
throughout Cornwall. It started with the publication in 2004 of the “Strategy for the Cornish
language 2004-2014” by the Cornish Language Partnership, composed of Cornwall Council,
the UK Government and various voluntary groups. Several policy documents cover further
development, such as the 2013 Cornish language policy and the Cornish language
partnership plan 2014-2017; the 2004-2014 Strategy is still under evaluation, which has
delayed adoption of a new 2015-2025 Strategy.
Cornwall Council has adopted the “Cornish language plan 2016-2018”. The Plan sets
out the way in which the Council will promote and incorporate the use of Cornish in its own
polices, practices and services, and encourage other public bodies and government
departments and partners to consider using it. The Advisory Committee welcomes the Plan,
as well as what it understands to be an increased ceremonial use of Cornish by Cornwall’s
public bodies and institutions. At the same time it emphasises how the use of the language
is still limited and recalls that the promotion of different languages in public places, such as
in local administration bodies, enhances their visibility and recognition in society at large.
The Cornish minority’s representatives and other interlocutors indicated to the
Advisory Committee during its visit that the efforts to revitalise Cornish have always greatly
depended on the voluntary efforts of committed individuals and key voluntary
organisations. Despite the most welcome support of Cornwall Council and the UK
Government’s Department of Communities and Local Government until this year, it was
their opinion that further development will continue to rest, to a great extent, on the
voluntary efforts of the Cornish people themselves and that a Cornish Language Act is
necessary to strengthen the process. In the view of the Advisory Committee, the recent
decision by the UK Government to cease funding will shift the burden onto voluntary efforts
even more, with a risk of jeopardising what has been achieved so far (see Article 5).
Recommendations: The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take measures to improve the
use and visibility of Cornish in public life, and it calls on the UK Government to reinstate
immediately the previous level of funding and to consider the possibility of adopting a
Cornish Language Act.

In Wales all road signs are bilingual, while bilingual street names depend on local
authorities. However, there is no additional cost for local authorities to set them up. In
Cornwall, the visibility of Cornish on place-name signs, street and housing estate signs and
Cornwall Council buildings was highlighted by all interlocutors as one of the most significant
developments for Cornish in recent years. Although bilingual signs currently represent only
16% of the total, there is a policy to replace old and worn signs with bilingual signs where
appropriate. Finally, the Advisory Committee appreciates that part of the London borough
of Tower Hamlets shows bilingual signage in English and Bengali.
Interlocutors of the Advisory Committee indicated that the current piecemeal and ad
hoc provision of language and cultural awareness sessions and language teaching in primary
and secondary schools in Cornwall is the consequence of education being centrally
organised by the government and the lack of dedicated funding. The curriculum is entirely
English and this has prevented, on the one hand, the introduction of the Cornish language
and Cornish Studies on schools’ curricula, and, on the other hand, the establishment of
immersion education in Cornish. Any inclusion of Cornish issues is on a voluntary basis
initiated by a teacher and not incorporated on a permanent basis in the teaching. Finally,
there is no pre-school provision through the medium of Cornish, though there are parents
expressing such an interest. In view of the recognition of the Cornish as a national minority,
its representatives expressed readiness to begin a dialogue on education policies with the
UK Government. Finally, educational resources in Cornish are very limited and there is a lack
of teacher training in terms of language awareness, their own language skills in Cornish and
their ability to teach Cornish.

Recommendation: The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to renew and intensify their efforts
to develop Irish-medium education and Irish language teaching. They should also engage in
a dialogue with the Cornish minority to consider flexible and pragmatic solutions to allow
for a more systematic provision of teaching in and of the Cornish language, as well as taking
measures to develop the teaching of minorities’ first language.

The Advisory Committee notes that an agreement has been reached between the UK
Government, Cornwall Council and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to
decentralise a number of tasks and responsibilities to the Cornwall authorities. The so-called
Devolution Deal (2015) aims to empower local authorities in sectors such as public
transport, employment and skills, EU funding, business, energy, health and social care,
public estate and heritage, and governance. No fiscal powers are transferred, and all
delegated tasks are to be arranged by prior agreement with the UK Government. Moreover,
the deal does not delegate tasks or powers in the areas of education and language
revitalisation, the two most important issues to the Cornish people, according to the
Advisory Committee’s interlocutors. The Advisory Committee understands that these issues
were discussed but agreement was not reached. In spite of its title, it is questionable if the
agreement devolves any independent powers to the Cornwall Council. The Advisory
Committee realises that it is a first step, but it urges the UK Government to continue the
process, especially by expanding the deal to include education and language revitalisation.

Recoomendations:The Advisory Committee reiterates its call to the authorities to enhance
opportunities for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities to participate in public
affairs, and this should include measures that facilitate their engagement in broader political
processes and mainstream political parties. Similarly, their recruitment into public service, in
particular the police at central and local levels, should be promoted to send a clear message
that diversity is valued across the UK.
The UK Government should continue the good dialogue with the three devolved
administrations and ensure that negotiations progress in a transparent and democratic
manner. It should establish permanent ongoing dialogue with Cornwall Council and the
Cornish people through consultative and advisory mechanisms.

The Advisory Committee was informed by Cornish interlocutors that they were of
the opinion that the new housing policies geared toward increasing the stock available for
out-of-county buyers of second homes would make prices rise, thereby potentially pushing
Cornish and Cornwall residents out of the market, thus affecting the cultural balance
between Cornish and newcomers. The Advisory Committee reminds the UK Government
that Article 16 aims to protect national and ethnic minorities against measures that change
the proportion of the population in areas inhabited by persons belonging to national
minorities, including but not limited to expropriations, evictions and expulsions.
The Advisory Committee is also aware of the ongoing efforts to reform through
public consultations the parliamentary constituency boundaries for the entire UK, with a
view to reducing the number of seats in the House of Commons. Boundary Commissions
have published reviews for boundaries in 2011/12 and 2013. The reviews were heavily
criticised, in part for not respecting natural communities and from a concern about the
requirement to reconcile the fixed electorate tolerance (i.e. within 5% of the electoral
quota) with the need to respect local ties and/or existing constituency boundaries. It has
become clear that the reviews severely limited the extent to which the Boundary
Commissions were able to consider other factors, such as continuity with previous
constituencies and the reflection of local communities.139 Cornish interlocutors of the
Advisory Committee were particularly concerned by the proposed new electoral boundaries
that would establish one constituency comprising parts of Cornwall and parts of Devon,
which would potentially affect the rights of persons belonging to the Cornish minority.
While the Advisory Committee realises that this process is a UK process and a concern in
many other constituencies across the country, it wishes to draw the attention of the UK
Government to the fact that Article 16 prohibits restricting the enjoyment of the rights of
the Framework Convention in connection with the redrawing of borders. It also notes that
the Venice Commission in 2005 established that electoral districts (their number, size, form
and magnitude) may be designed with the purpose of enhancing minorities’ participation in
decision-making processes.

Recommendations: The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to ensure that any administrative and
constituency border reform follows an inclusive process, which takes into account the
presence of persons belonging to a national minority in the territory, their meaningful
participation and respect for their rights

The Advisory Committee notes that the British-Irish Council (BIC) is a multi-party
agreement organisation that addresses a number of issues (among others: special planning,
digital and social inclusion, housing, energy, environment, transport and languages) of
relevance for the co-operation between the Republic of Ireland and the UK. It has eight
members: in addition to Ireland and the UK, these are the governments of Wales, Scotland,
Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. The Cornish language is listed as an
official language in the UK member territory, and representatives of Cornwall are able to
participate in meetings of the Council.
One of the BIC’s working groups focuses specifically on indigenous, minority and
lesser-used languages, and the Welsh Executive takes the lead in this area. During the
reporting period, there have been two meetings on the topic (November 2011 and October
2014). The 2014 meeting addressed the issue of developing and supporting early years
education and childcare in indigenous, minority and lesser-used language communities,
including the important role that legislative, regulatory and/or policy approaches can play.
In this regard, the value of bilateral contacts between smaller BIC administrations was
raised.
Although the Cornish language is considered an official language in the UK
jurisdiction, Cornwall is not a member of the BIC, nor is its participation in the work of the
BIC visible. According to the Advisory Committee’s interlocutors, there has not been any
substantial discussion of the protection and promotion of the Cornish language in the
working group. Combined with the fact that the working group meets rather infrequently,
the Advisory Committee is concerned that the Cornish language is being neglected in the
work of the British-Irish Council in spite of the fact that it has been a recognised minority
language in the UK since 2003.

Recommendation: The Advisory Committee calls on the British-Irish Council to address actively the
Cornish language in its work and to endeavour to involve the Cornwall authorities, in part by
creating an institutional presence for Cornwall in the Council and by promoting bilateral
relations between the Cornwall authorities and other language communities’administrations.

The Advisory Committee considers that the present concluding remarks and
recommendations could serve as the basis for the resolution to be adopted by the
Committee of Ministers with respect to the implementation of the Framework Convention
by the United Kingdom.
The authorities are invited to take account of the detailed observations and
recommendations contained in sections I and II of the Advisory Committee’s Fourth
Opinion. In particular, they should take the following measures to improve further the
implementation of the Framework Convention:

Recommendations for immediate action

Take all necessary steps to ensure access to the linguistic and cultural rights provided by
the Framework Convention to the Cornish minority, in particular by reconsidering the
decision to cut all funding for the Cornish language in view of the disproportionate impact
such a measure will have on the delicate process of revitalising a minority language when
access to other public financial resources is limited.

Further recommendations
 Take the necessary measures to include a Cornish ‘tick-box’ in the next census in
view of the Cornish people’s recognition as a national minority.
Take resolute action to ensure that the revision of the BBC Charter improves access
to mass media for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities; increase funding and
ensure a variety of programmes for minority languages, in particular for the Irish language,
and introduce such support for the Cornish language.
Engage in a dialogue with the Cornish minority to ensure that cultural policies are
developed in a way respectful of the traditions and the identity of the minority; improve the
use and visibility of Cornish in public life at the local level and consider flexible and
pragmatic solutions to allow more systematic provision of education in the Cornish language
and of the Cornish culture.
Intensify targeted initiatives to maximise participation of persons belonging to
national and ethnic minorities in employment, training and career progression in line with
the Vision 2020 targets. Continue the good dialogue with the three devolved
administrations and establish permanent ongoing dialogue and consultative mechanisms
with Cornwall Council.”

And the Comments of the Government of the United Kingdom on the Fourth Opinion of the
Advisory Committee on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities by the United Kingdom (not sent to the Cornish
but concerning the Cornish, the Cornish recieved no reply)

“Cornish Language
The Government recognises the importance to people in Cornwall of their proud history
 and their
distinct culture and heritage, including the language.
The Government has provided substantial funding of over £650,000 since 2010 to support the
development of the Cornish language and is keen to work with Cornwall Council and its
 partners to
encourage the further development of Cornish culture and heritage, complementing the
 devolution
deal already reached with local partners.
On 2 February 2017, the Government announced the launch of a Cornish Culture Fund of £100,000

to be paid to Cornwall Council which will encourage the further development of Cornwall’s
 distinct culture and heritage, including the language. This latest funding is in addition
 to Cornwall Council’s core spending power of £1.7 billion over four years, from which they
 can allocate resources to their local priorities, including the Cornish language.”

And that was it, no other critiscism was addressed, nothing, zero, ziltch. So what use was
being added to the FCPNM? None, unless you want to speak Cornish, which I’ve seriously
considered doing if only to annoy ministers and tourists. So Westminster proves itself not
only to be a dictator but also a bunch of other evil things. The whole point of being added to
 the FCPNM was so that we, the Cornish, decide what happens in Cornwall and not Westminster
 but it seems as though Cornwall is such an important cash cow for Westminster that it
refuses to hand over any power whatsoever. But Cornwall and the Cornish being ignored isn’t
 something new, its what I call the Trevithick effect, after the great inventor
 Richard Trevithick. Only now is he being considered as the inventor of the first
 mobile steam engine, although its been known and proven since his death that he was. Fatcats
 just don’t like the Cornish, maybe its because we’re smarter than them?

http://www.coe.int/en/web/minorities/-/united-kingdom-publication-of-the-4th-advisory-committee-opinion

 

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