Pulling in all directions and pulling apart

Posted: September 16, 2010 in cornish democrats, cornish unity, republicanism

Following the last blog post suggestion have been made that a Cornish republican party (presumably socialist?) should be formed. Much of the comment has come from people connected to the Cornish Celtic League.

Pressure groups like the Celtic League, Stannary Parliament and Constitutional Convention should rest at a comfortable distance from party politics. Of course there will be inevitable overlap in membership between MK and the groups mentioned but, nonetheless, such groups must stay open to the pro-Cornish from all political backgrounds excepting the extreme right. They should provide welcoming environments not just for MK members but also Cornish Liberals, Libertarians, Communists, Greens and, why not, members of LibLabCon undergoing pro-Cornish rehab? Equally those non-aligned, independents sceptical of all political parties, who still want to campaign for Kernow should be welcomed with open arms.

Cornish pressure groups have the incredibly important role of producing unity of cause and consensus for action across party political lines. This role should not be jeopardised by too strong a connection with one party or loose talk of the creation of another.

The purpose of –The Cornish Republican– was to nail my colours to the mast in support of republican democracy. That being said I do not support the creation of a new pro-Cornish political party. Previous parties, Cornish Nationalist Party, Ang Gof etc, have been and gone leaving little trace except perhaps some bitterness, division and disappointed supporters. Those that have lead the dance for change in Wales and Scotland have been the mainstream and hard-working Plaid and SNP. While I don’t doubt the sincerity of the smaller republican groupings in these two countries it is not them who have brought change.

Another Cornish party to dilute the already limited amount of supporters is not what we need. Mebyon Kernow already exists and needs peoples commitment and sweat. I hope people really do understand this. If you are serious about change then join MK and work your dam guts out because that’s what’s needed.

That being said, if a Cornish Republican Socialist Party was formed I would wish them the best of luck. How could one not? Perhaps a more radical and in-your-face approach to politics would attract those in Kernow that might otherwise have shown little interest. A like role perhaps for the Kernow Anarchists Network. Supporting absolute grass-roots self-determination and ‘bio-regionalism’, I salute their actions and hope for a neighbourly and cooperative synthesis between our efforts.

To the right of the political spectrum exists already a grain around which a new Cornish party could form. The Cornish Democrats currently have an unusual mix of Cornish cultural nationalism, UK political unionism and  Anglican morality. Not what I would vote for in a million years but, with some changes, perhaps a potentially successful formula.

Currently the party seems dominated by its creator and his ideals. To build a wider base of support and a larger membership he is going to have to let go a little and tone down certain politico-religious tendencies.

A majority of residents support the promotion and protection of Cornish culture and language and would agree to some form of recognition for Cornwall’s distinctiveness. Left-of-centre political nationalism and self-government are clearly (unfortunately) less popular. Here the CD’s have an interesting angle in supporting Cornish cultural particularity but also UK unionism. Their Euroscepticism will also appeal to many a Cornish voter. It’s sad however that the parties leader feels the needs to bang on about the English Monarch and the Anglican church completely snubbing Cornwall’s own constitutional Duchy and attachment to Methodism.

I’m not going to lose too much sleep over the bizarre policy directions of the Cornish Democrats but It would be good to see a more credible right-wing Cornish party competing with UKIP and the Tories on their own ground. That being said a Cornish party competing with the British right is one thing but another Cornish party competing with the Cornish left, Mebyon Kernow, seems like an exercise in futility.

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