Monday, 31 December 2007

I am proud to be a Cornish nationalist

As the Leader of MK, I always release a New Year message. To mark the start of 2008, I have appealed to local people to become more politically active and to join Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall.

The first part of my message considered what it is to be a Cornish nationalist, as follows:

“People often ask me what it is to be a Cornish nationalist. To me, the answer is quite simple. Cornwall is a historic entity with its own distinct identity, language and heritage – it is a nation. Every person who seeks the greater recognition of the nation of Cornwall or campaigns for self-government for Cornwall or promotes the Cornish language, is therefore, by extension, a Cornish nationalist.

“What is important is that the nationalism of Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall is inclusive and outward-looking. I am particularly proud that we campaign for a better deal for all the people of Cornwall and are never afraid to make a stand on global issues with significance far beyond our borders.

“As we enter 2008, I would like to extend an invitation to the people of Cornwall to join MK and help us to build a strong pro-Cornwall alternative to the London-centred political parties.
“Joining MK is a positive statement of commitment to Cornwall and about making a real difference to our local communities.”

I also took the time to look back over the last twelve months and contrast what has happened in Cornwall to developments in Scotland and Wales.

“2007 was a landmark year for democratic renewal in both Scotland and Wales. The Scottish National Party has formed an administration in the Scottish Parliament, with all parties now actively debating the devolution of extra powers.

“In Wales, Plaid Cymru is in coalition with the Labour Party, with both parties committed to law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly.

“But here in Cornwall, we have had to suffer the undemocratic disgrace of Liberal Democrat county councillors and MPs retreating from their commitment to a Cornish Assembly and forcing an unpopular unitary authority onto Cornwall.

“Whereas the people of Scotland and Wales are progressing further along the path to greater political powers, here in Cornwall we are preparing for the backward step that will be the centralisation of our local government structures and the growing influence of unelected, undemocratic bodies and agencies.

“At the same time, we continue to suffer under-investment from central government, threats to our public services, the growth in inequality in Cornish Society as well as the ever-worsening housing crisis

“We must make 2008 a year of real political activism and fight back against those who have so failed Cornwall over the last 12 months.”

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