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Chons da, Kernowyon! Cornish granted national minority status in UK

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Walshicus

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Cornish people will be granted minority status under European rules for the protection of national minorities. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will make the announcement on a visit to the county later. Dick Cole, leader of Cornish independence party Mebyon Kernow, said: "This is a fantastic development. This is a proud day for Cornwall." The Cornish will gain the same status as other Celtic communities the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Mr Alexander, who is due to visit Bodmin, said: "Cornish people have a proud history and a distinct identity. "I am delighted that we have been able to officially recognise this and afford the Cornish people the same status as other minorities in the UK."

Mebyon Kernow leader Mr Cole said: "A lot of people have been working for many years to get Cornwall the recognition other Celtic people of the UK already receive. "The detail is still to come out on what this might mean, but make no mistake that this is a proud day for Cornwall."

A group of key figures within Cornwall has been working on the paper setting out why the Cornish should be recognised by the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Campaigner Bert Biscoe, an Independent councillor who is a member of the group, said: "I very much welcome that the Cornish as a group can stand equally beside all other groups in British society."

Cornwall Council leader John Pollard said: "There are obviously significant benefits for Cornwall in being included within the framework convention, which is worth celebrating, and I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this status." He said national minority status would not initially bring any additional funding or powers to the council or to Cornwall.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams added: "This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially. "The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing St Piran's Flag flying with extra Celtic pride on 5 March next year."

Three previous attempts to include the Cornish in the Framework Convention had been unsuccessful, with the last made in 2011. In March this year, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the government would be investing £120,000 into the Cornish Language Partnership to promote and develop the language.
  • The Cornish will be afforded the same protections as the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish.
  • This means that government departments and public bodies will be required to take Cornwall's views into account when making decisions.
  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU ensures that the rights of national minorities are respected by combating discrimination, promoting equality and preserving and developing the culture and identity of national minorities.
  • The status does not attract extra money.



Seems like a fair enough move to me; the Cornish have had a distinct identity (however eroded) for centuries.


Shameless Wiki quoting:

Polydore Vergil in his Anglica Historia (1535)
"the whole Countrie of Britain... is divided into iiii partes; whereof the one is inhabited of Englishmen, the other of Scottes, the third of Wallshemen, [and] the fowerthe of Cornishe people, which all differ emonge them selves, either in tongue, ... in manners, or ells in lawes and ordinaunces."
Arthur Hopton (1616)
"England is... divided into 3 great Provinces, or Countries... every of them speaking a several and different language, as English, Welsh and Cornish."
William Borlase (1769)
"Of this time we are to understand what Edward I. says that Britain, Wales, and Cornwall, were the portion of Belinus, elder son of Dunwallo, and that that part of the Island, afterwards called England, was divided in three shares, viz. Britain, which reached from the Tweed, Westward, as far as the river Ex; Wales inclosed by the rivers Severn, and Dee; and Cornwall from the river Ex to the Land's-End".
 

Nikodemos

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May 25, 2013
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How many many Cornish speakers are left in Britain? I thought it was a dying language.
 

Sneds

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Feb 4, 2009
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This means that government departments and public bodies will be required to take Cornwall's views into account when making decisions.
What does this mean in practice?
 

Walshicus

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How many many Cornish speakers are left in Britain? I thought it was a dying language.
Oh hardly any. But they've recently upgraded it from "extinct" to "severely threatened" I believe.

That said, there was an article on the BBC a while ago showing how more and more children there are self identifying as Cornish rather than English and taking up the language to study.
 

Qasiel

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Apr 9, 2010
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How many many Cornish speakers are left in Britain? I thought it was a dying language.
I read that a recent study said that 557 people identified Cornish as their "First Language".

Good for Cornwall! Hopefully going to be moving there in about 5 years as I absolutely love the place.
 

Simplet

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Feb 14, 2010
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Oh hardly any. But they've recently upgraded it from "extinct" to "severely threatened" I believe.

That said, there was an article on the BBC a while ago showing how more and more children there are self identifying as Cornish rather than English and taking up the language to study.
Yay! I love that stuff. Language revitalization is way fun.
 

CyclopsRock

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Jul 6, 2012
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I wonder how many very intelligent and well educated people spent man-hours doing the legwork required for this to happen? I wonder what else they could have been doing, like emptying bins and picking up dog shit in parks?
 

Walshicus

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Aug 10, 2007
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I wonder how many very intelligent and well educated people spent man-hours doing the legwork required for this to happen? I wonder what else they could have been doing, like emptying bins and picking up dog shit in parks?
That's a very negative opinion. Do you not think constituent nations in the UK deserve recognition?
 
Apr 24, 2010
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How many many Cornish speakers are left in Britain? I thought it was a dying language.
It was a dead language, extinct according to UNESCO until 2011, with no use as a first language since (suspected) the 19th century. In the 2011 UK Census, around 500 people in Cornwall listed it as their native language, but that's more to do with the Cornish government's efforts to boost awareness of their culture's history than actual linguistic application.

That's a very negative opinion. Do you not think constituent nations in the UK deserve recognition?
This is more about the efforts to reconnect with their own history rather them actually feeling like a minority. But that's still important. The loss of a language (which underpins the larger culture) is more than just one social group’s replacement of one tool of communication with another (in this case, English), but with the loss of a language, the world also loses access to the culture and art already created through that language, and any potential work of art that a particular language might be able to facilitate that any other language could not (linguistic relativity). There are centuries of Cornish language works that were basically enjoyable by only about 3 people on staff at Oxford prior to 2011.
 

CyclopsRock

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That's a very negative opinion. Do you not think constituent nations in the UK deserve recognition?
What does "recognition" mean, though? I don't think government institutions should be required to take "Cornwall's" opinion into account any more than people who aren't Cornish. The same goes for Wales, Scotland, NI. It just seems so utterly arbitrary. If they want to march through the streets with flags, eating flakey morsels of grit, beating a drum and talking in their mad moon language, more power to them. What's that got to do with the government? I'm a Spurs fan (alas) - should the government take my view into account when deciding on whether to build a local swimming pool?

So I'm going to double down - I'd go as far as to say that the people who spent time actually doing all the necessary legislative leg work on this would have been better put to use composting in a bio-fuel heap to power hospitals' hot water supplies, because at least that brings a small modicum of benefit. The waste of human potential is the real crime here!
 

dapperbandit

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May 16, 2013
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What does "recognition" mean, though? I don't think government institutions should be required to take "Cornwall's" opinion into account any more than people who aren't Cornish. The same goes for Wales, Scotland, NI. It just seems so utterly arbitrary. If they want to march through the streets with flags, eating flakey morsels of grit, beating a drum and talking in their mad moon language, more power to them. What's that got to do with the government? I'm a Spurs fan (alas) - should the government take my view into account when deciding on whether to build a local swimming pool?

So I'm going to double down - I'd go as far as to say that the people who spent time actually doing all the necessary legislative leg work on this would have been better put to use composting in a bio-fuel heap to power hospitals' hot water supplies, because at least that brings a small modicum of benefit. The waste of human potential is the real crime here!
Straight to the ignore list
 

mclem

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Jan 16, 2007
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An economy based entirely on tourism and pasties.

Uh. That's the British definition of 'pasties', not any other definition.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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Plymouth UK



Seems like a fair enough move to me; the Cornish have had a distinct identity (however eroded) for centuries.


Shameless Wiki quoting:

Polydore Vergil in his Anglica Historia (1535)


Arthur Hopton (1616)


William Borlase (1769)
"Of this time we are to understand what Edward I. says that Britain, Wales, and Cornwall, were the portion of Belinus, elder son of Dunwallo, and that that part of the Island, afterwards called England, was divided in three shares, viz. Britain, which reached from the Tweed, Westward, as far as the river Ex; Wales inclosed by the rivers Severn, and Dee; and Cornwall from the river Ex to the Land's-End".
Wouldn't this include most of Devon as well? Cornwall is normally defined from the river Tamar to Lands End
 

RedShift

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Aug 23, 2007
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Yay I'm finally (partly) a minority.

Looking through some of my Grandad's stuff after he died I found out he was (or maybe used to be) a Cornish nationalist. So apparently those exist.

To be honest I feel more loyalty to Wessex.
 

SmokyDave

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Dec 8, 2008
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So, can we invade 'em?

I'd be up for invading 'em. It'll have to be Sunday though, I've got other stuff to do on Saturday.
 

Chunky

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Good for Cornwall, I suppose. One step closer to independence lol.
But Devon will always have the best Crealy Adventure Park!
 
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