A new wave of right-wing ethnic nationalism is spreading across Europe. Has it reached Kernow?
Worryingly for the Cornish movement, far from disparaging ‘regional’ identities, this latest version of the extreme right celebrates and promotes them.
Mixing the politics of regional autonomy and European federalism with far right ethnic nationalism and racial preference older forms of centralist state-nationalism are rejected in favour of a mixture of local identity and racial purity. That being said many of the founding figures of this new movement are old hands in various fascist groups and state-nationalist parties from around Europe.
The various identity groups often use the symbol of the wild boar as pictured above. With retrospect an unfortunate choice of image for the Cornish Fighting Fund from previous years.
Groups exist in a number of western European states notably France, Belgium and Spain. In the US a similar movement –national anarchism– can be found that mirrors many of the ideas of the identity groups.
Within France the Identity Bloc –Bloc Identitaire– has branches around the state. In Brittany for example can be found Jeune de Bretagne and Ti Breizh.
So how about Kernow?
Monkeying the English Defence League a group can already be found on Facebook calling itself the Kernow Defence League. The people behind the KDL make a point of claiming to be Cornish not English yet their sole purpose seems to be to stir up hatred against Muslims. The real economic, social, environmental and cultural problems facing the Cornish nation seem conveniently forgotten in favour bating religious minorities.
Within the BNP can be found members from Kernow who have pushed their Cornish identity to the fore and supplied articles on the Cornish language for the parties website. Unlike other far right state-nationalists the BNP seems intent on incorporating this new form of localist ethnic nationalism and to this end has recognised a ‘Celtic Cornish folk group’ amongst others.
One Kernow utterly rejects this ill founded form of racist ethnic nationalism.
The recognition of a Cornish ethnic group for the purpose of inclusion within the Council of Europe’s FCNM is a worthy goal, and one that would provide many benefits for the protection and development of Cornish culture. However such recognition should in no way be based on wrong headed concepts of racial purity or blood.
Equally, recognising the existence of the Cornish and promoting the culture of Cornwall does not have to be done to the detriment of other minority groups. Cornish culture must be open to change and welcoming to new arrivals in the Duchy if it is to have any future in an increasingly interconnected world.
A culture dependent on rejecting the other in order to survive has no future.
One Kernow calls on all within the Cornish movement to ensure that such xenophobia and ideas of racial purity are totally rejected.