English friends.

Posted: June 13, 2010 in english nationalism

Within the world of English nationalism most Cornish campaigners will not expect to find support.

Quite the opposite is the sad reality. The venom with which English nationalists, even the supposedly more moderate ones from the Campaign for an English Parliament, not to mention hard-right and fascist groups such as the EDP or EFP respectively, attack Cornish nationalists can be quite startling.

A clear sign of the maturity of any nationalist movement, and indeed of any nation, is its treatment of minorities, specifically historic national minorities, within what it considers its territory.

Historic minorities such as the Cornish can pose as much of a challenge to the dominant national group identity as populations issued from recent immigration. Not only is it a question of rejecting the dominate national identity but also the geography of their nation. A challenge on all points.

Of late there has been much made of the search for a new ‘civic’ English nationlism to snatch back talk of Englishness from the far-right [1][2]. A nationalism based around inclusivness that wishes to give political expression to the people of England, usually via the creation of an English parliament.

Sadly even amongst such civic English nationalists resentment towards Cornish aspirations is never far away? Even the more enlightened of them fain disinterest in the Cornish question hoping, in some way, that we’ll just disappear. And make no mistakes about what certain of them pretend to be disinterested in! The only part of what they consider their country that has a competing national identity, its own language, constitution and sense of territory.

However, take heart! A growing number of exceptions to the rule can be found.

England Left Forward -Addressing the English Question from a Left perspective- has this to say on the Cornish question in the article Culture and Regions.

Cornwall, I always believed should have its own autonomous assembly to resolve the issues surrounding its status. We should support the campaign for a Cornish Assembly, as they are after what we want for ourselves, self-determination. Who the autonomous assembly is under the auspices of is another matter of debate.

Regarding a federal Union, if you can get hold of a second-hand copy, read Common Sense – A New Constitution for Britain, by Tony Benn and Andrew Hood. Tony Benn didn’t advocate the end of the Union, but he advocated a Parliament for England within a federal structure, plus greater powers for local government. It’s an interesting read, and makes, pardon the pun, common sense in a lot of areas. With regard to the Cornish issue, maybe a Cornish Assembly comes under the auspices of the Federal Parliament and Government…

Nation of England -a blog about England and Cornwall- supports Cornish ‘independence’ in its article: English Should Support Cornish Independence.

Following some comments left by me on the site the blog author wrote back with the following kind words and invitation:

Thank you for leaving a comment on Nation of England.

Since setting up the Nation of England blog I have wanted it to be far more inclusive and varied than just what I think about things and therefore I have decided to open up my site as a community for fellow bloggers and writers.

I wish to invite you to join the England Blogging Community. Yes, I know it is called the England Blogging Community but I have added a separate Cornwall category and links box because I do support 100% Cornwall’s aims for recognition as a nation in its own right.

When I set up the site I was torn between including Cornwall or not because I have always supported that Cornwall is a separate nation, although not recognised as yet by the UK government. I decided to include Cornwall because I wanted to show my support and I felt it would be an affront to act like it did not exist, but I have tried throughout my site to distinguish it from England.

As I do not live in Cornwall I thought it would be great to have actual Cornish writers add their articles to the Cornwall category instead of it coming from me secondhand. All bloggers who are part of the community can showcase their articles in full and add links back to their own blogs. I also hope this will bring the Cornish debate into the eyes of English bloggers and readers and perhaps even spread support for Cornwall and show that we can work together as neighbours.

The aim is to grow a large English/England community where readers and bloggers can share their views, knowledge, love and passion for England all in one place. I would also like it to be a place for debate even if that includes issues which are not particularly pro-English. This is not about dancing around the St George but about people sharing their views and opinions about the real England – warts and all. This could include the English attitude towards Cornwall and the Cornish.

I would like Cornwall to be part of that community more to up the profile of the Cornish debate and give the Cornish people a chance to air their views and opinions in a predominately English environment. Cornwall is still the ignored part of the UK and blocked in with England all the time. I am inviting Cornish writers to share their arguments and opinions even if the English bloggers and readers do not like what is written. The Cornish debate and Cornish question are very important issues both for the Cornish but also for the English because so many do not acknowledge or understand the validity of the arguments.

The Nation of England community is not exclusive but inclusive – you do not have to be English or even pro-English to be a part of it.

If you would like to join us, and I hope you will, then please do so here. Please feel free to invite other Cornish bloggers and writers to join and share their views and opinions, also.

Yours truly,

Tom

As mentioned here before the two sites –Britology Watch– and –A National Conversation for England– also treat the Cornish question but do so with much more reserve. 

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