The Duchy is a sovereign land – not a private company

Posted: November 6, 2011 in constitution, duchy of cornwall, republicanism
 
The Venn Diagram above, borrowed from the the fascinating Grey’s Blog, is perhaps the best way of understanding what Cornish constitutionalists have been claiming about Cornwall and its relationship to the Duchy of Cornwall and the wider UK. 
Clearly Cornwall is part of the island of Great Britain and, on a day to day basis, is largely run as a county of England. However, as explained in this article by Bert Biscoe of the Cornish Constitutional Convention, Cornwall also has a second hidden constitutional life. Hidden? Well perhaps not for much longer.
If I’ve followed correctly the arguments of our Cornish constitutionalists, rather than an English county, Cornwall has a legal position similar to that of Crown Dependency (see diagram). So, geographically part of the Island of Great Britain but, constitutionally legally, not part of England, the UK, or EU. Put Cornwall in the box with Jersey, Guernsey and, our brother Celtic nation, the Isle of Mann.
Cornwall leaping to such a degree of autonomy would change a great deal in how our little land is governed by hugely increasing how policy is decided in Cornwall.
Before anybody asks why a republican is requesting Cornwall be recognised as a Duchy let me explain. Our choice is between a Monarchy and a Duchy. The former relegating us to being a peripheral county of a much larger centralised nation, England, that cares not one jot for our identity or culture. The latter, whilst being far from perfect, would still see Cornwall obtaining a much increased degree of self-determination. Give Cornwall the autonomy first then we can open the debate on republicanism.
However this ends I hope the UK’s well meaning democratic reformers, human rights campaigners and the public in general manage to take away one clear message. In Cornwall, for decades now, those ‘loony Cornish nationalists’ amongst whose number I count myself, where the only ones telling the truth about the feudal undemocratic powers of the Duchy of Cornwall.
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