I refer to the following article written by Chris Rundle on 11th March, 2015.
1. Rundle is vociferously anti Cornish. In the same newspaper, this so called South West Columnist of the Year for the Western Daily Press (based in Bristol), wrote an article dated 28 November 2007 entitled “Saints alive! Pasty eaters demand new bank holiday” and went on to describe his contempt for the “pasty eaters”, their Cornish indigenous language, Saint Piran’s day and describes Cornwall as “one of the most depressing places one can find oneself, with an economy barely more buoyant than that of Romania”. The article begins with the question “When is someone going to put the Cornish in their place?” and describes the Cornish language as sounding “like someone speaking Urdu with a mouth full of nails”.
2. Now again, he has published an highly offensive article.
3. I intend to pursue Rundle through the recommended channels for his bigoted racism. There is a set course of action for this. Firstly, I must lodge a complaint with the newspaper. If not satisfactorily dealt with, I must lodge a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). At that stage, I would also write to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Thereafter, I will approach the Council of Europe.
4. Rundle is factually incorrect in what he has written.
Here is why:
The language is growing in popularity thanks to the efforts of the language partnership and the various Cornish language groups
Cornwall enters many Pan Celtic competitions at an International level where the use of the Cornish language is a pre requisite
Cornwall has a fully functional Cornish language radio programme – Radyo an Gernewegva
Numbers of people learning Cornish are growing, despite malicious articles like this, and despite a 500 year old campaign to eradicate it
Cornwall pays more tax than we get back
Cornish taxes pay for salaries in Devon and not the other way round.
Writing malicious, petty and bitter articles about the Cornish is now a highly questionable practice in law.
His colleague from Bude mentioned in the article can now sue him for discrimination and harassment
5. These legal guarantees protect us:
Official and legal recognition of the Cornish language – 2002 – Government announcement here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/…/herita…/cornish/
Cornish granted minority status within the UK – 24 April 2014
Government announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/…/cornish-granted-minority-status-within…
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities into which the Cornish were included here: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/157.htm
6. I invite all members to write to the Western Daily Press to express their disgust at the contents of the article and that they feel personally insulted by it. That part is important. Here is the email address for your letters: The Editor in Chief Western Daily Press, Temple Way,Bristol,BS99 7HD
7. Please keep your letter clinically to the point with no abuse and disclose your name and in brackets underneath that, your address and copy the letter to me at email@example.com It is ESSENTIAL that you express your personal insult. Also include in the letter that your speak Kernewek if appropriate.
8. For the record and should the article be removed as happened in 2007, here is what Rundle has written:
“Cornish is not worth the prop
My friend and colleague Steve has had to put up with quite a bit of stick, one way and another, for the fact that he hails from Cornwall. Nothing personal, of course. Not his fault he was born in Bude, after all.
But were I to address him in the language of his native county he’d look as blank as virtually every other Cornish inhabitant – though a lot of them were born like that, of course.
So when even someone as chauvinist as he is confesses he can’t speak a word of Cornish one seriously begins to wonder what purpose the language serves. And why we should be at all concerned by the news that the Government is cutting grant funding to the Cornish Language Partnership from the end of this month.
The partnership was set up in 2005 to promote and develop the language and work on partnership with the country’s council and its schools. And the fact that it is about to have the financial rug pulled from under its feet could be seen as an indication that it hasn’t actually achieved very much, apart from whinging about (a) the fact that more people don’t speak Cornish; (b) those that do speak it are dying out; and (c) Cornwall always get a raw deal from England.
Can we just stop here and ask ourselves what use the Cornish language actually is when only around 11 people (last time I checked) can actually speak it? Particularly since just as there has been a mass migration out of the county in search of work and opportunities there has been a balancing mass influx of assorted hippies, second-home owners and antiques dealers – so you are as likely to hear the tones of Shoreditch, Perry Barr or Toxteth as you are any local accent in the granite streets of Bodmin and Truro.
And the more the Cornish language movement has withered the more outrageous its demands for recognition have become: Cornish language radio – which no-one could understand without subtitles; bilingual road signs – when a lot of visitors to Cornwall already have difficulty pronouncing the place names when they’re written in English.
Not that there aren’t those who defend Cornwall-speak. Such as South West Labour MEP Claire Moody who declares: “The Cornish language is a vital part of the heritage of Cornwall and it’s very important that we preserve it and hopefully encourage it.”
Why? What useful purpose will either serve? How can anyone justify, in particular, spending Government (taxpayers’) money keeping Cornish on a life-support machine when 99.9 per cent of the county’s inhabitants wouldn’t care if the plug were pulled tomorrow?
Cornish, we are told, is one of 24 European languages that are in danger of dying out. Mainly because we have moved on a long way when individual tribes spoke on their own grunted codes and a bloke from one valley would find it difficult to understand what they were saying in the next.
Mainly because we find it easier if we all converse in Spanish, Italian, French or German, or that apparent bête noir of the Cornish speakers, English.
Keep the Cornish language alive if you will. Organise your conversation classes on dark winter evenings by all means. But don’t ask for money and don’t for a minute pretend that it’s ever going to be of any practical use or deliver any kind of benefit for the economy because it ain’t.
You want to speak in the tongue of the Celts then go to Brittany. Breton is so close to Cornish that you’ll soon pick it up in a couple of weeks and you’ll find (thanks to the grants frantically shovelled into Brittany to appease the rebellious population who still regard themselves as a race apart) that there are bilingual schools and bilingual road signs.
And, much like Bodmin, you can wander the streets of Brest asking for directions in Breton and not one in a thousand will know what on earth you’re on about.”
Mur ras onen hag oll.
Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League
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