It will be well known that Cornwall faces a threat to its ancient border and that a cross border Westminster Parliamentary Constituency, commonly known as ‘Devonwall’ is proposed, bringing together Cornish towns and parishes such as Launceston, Tintagel, Camelford, St Teath & St Breward, Poundstock, Bude, Grenville & Stratton and countless other villages and unnaturally combining them with Devon towns and villages such as Bideford, Clovelly, Monkleigh and many others.
There has been widespread condemnation of this proposal put forward by the unelected quango, the Boundary Commission, and many have spoken out against it giving a widespread number of reasons why it is a disastrous idea. Devon Conservative MPs, members of the House of Lords, Councillors at all levels and from most all parties, Mayors, organisations, townsfolk and parishioners alike have criticised this plan and Cornwall Councillor John Pollard, of no party affiliation and Leader of Cornwall Council is on record as calling ‘Devonwall’ ‘inequitable and unlawful’ and so it is, for all those reasons which have been detailed elsewhere.
The Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Dr Merv Davey has said ‘This proposal ignores Cornwall’s history, culture, distinct constitutional status and 1000 year old border.’
We wholeheartedly agree with all those criticising the proposal and express our thanks to them for bravely stepping up to the mark and speaking out against this nonsense.
Our hundreds of members across the UK and overseas have been writing to their MPs, politicians and to Government Ministers with their concerns. We have even written to the Duchy of Cornwall and have received an acknowledgement and confirmation that they will examine this outrageous proposal.
But from our own six MPs here in Cornwall, there has been relative silence other than what appears to be a standard and identical response outlining the usual tiresome reasons for constituency equality. We ask why?
Why are our MPs refusing to speak out for us?
During this current anti Devonwall campaign, we have received many messages from our wider support base which numbers tens of thousands on social media. Many are telling us that despite living in the constituencies of Cornwall, they are not receiving any response to their letters and emails sent to Cornwall’s MPs.
This is alarming. This is not Democracy.
Another item of information has come our way and we are concerned to hear of it. From more than one source, and very well placed sources at that, we have been informed that at least one of Cornwall’s MPs rushed to meet with James Wharton, then the 32 year old Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Communities and Local Government just before the Cornwall Devolution deal was signed off in 2015 and demanded that he suspend funding for the Cornish language. We have been passed the name of the MP in question but choose not to release it – yet. James Wharton has now moved on and been replaced in this role by Sajid Javid. But it is surprising what information has been let slip along the way.
The small Cornish language budget of up to £150,000 a year since Cornish was legally recognised as a minority language by the Government in 2003 compares with millions and millions of taxpayer pounds being spent on bombing campaigns of dubious legality in the Middle East, on a railway system in the north of England, a Ministerial ‘biscuit bill’ of £3 million, the Arts Council spending £2.5 million to decorate the side of inter-continental trucks to promote the Lincolnshire Fenlands in Europe, more than £20 billion lost through public sector fraud, £15 billion on duplicated procurement across Whitehall departments and is even overshadowed by some MPs expenses claims.
Yet, in an act of malice and treachery which we can never forgive, our language funding was stopped and the agreement made by the Government cast to one side. It is worth remembering that this is our tax money which the Government has refused to let us have back. No other British indigenous language or indeed legally recognised National Minority, as the Cornish have been since April, 2014, has been treated with such utter contempt.
Meanwhile, and bearing in mind the crisis that our health service faces, we wrote to Boris Johnson MP, now the Foreign Secretary, and asked him where was the £350 million pounds a week extra funding he personally promised us when he came to Cornwall waving a pasty around like someone possessed whilst asking us to vote to leave the European Union. That letter was passed to a civil servant in the NHS who denied all knowledge of this promise. And so the cuts continue. More untruths?
During July 2007, David Cameron appointed Mark Prisk MP as Shadow Minister for Cornwall, although there is no government post of Minister for Cornwall for the opposition to formally shadow. The party said that the move was intended to help place the Cornwall’s concerns ‘at the heart of Conservative thinking’. Mr. Cameron said he wholeheartedly endorsed the appointment and it would ensure that the voice of Cornwall was heard.
The post was conveniently discontinued following the 2010 general election, and currently there is no ‘minister for Cornwall’. But later, in 2010, Mr. Cameron was heard to say off camera but still being recorded
‘It’s the Tamar, not the Amazon, for heaven’s sake’ when referring to the historic Cornish border, so causing a major upset with the Cornish people. Another insult, another failed promise!
So, in these increasingly bitter times when even Conservative Party members are turning to us and supporting what we are saying, we ask, are Cornwall’s six Conservative MPs serving themselves and their own political ambitions, the political party to which they belong or the electorate of Cornwall in all its historic, cultural and current diversity?
We are left asking, what do Cornwall’s MPs and this current Government have against the Cornish?
John, Teresa, Craig, Tony, Matt, Mike, Clive, Ronan & Samuel
Elected Members of the KMTU Steering Group
Our bio: Our Steering Group members are a mirror of our wider membership. Of all ages, skin colours, ethnic backgrounds, countries of residence, occupations, vocations and professions, religious beliefs, political persuasions, sexual orientations and gender identification, we are drawn together by a common cause. We believe that Cornwall matters.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance Big Bumper Book of Government Financial Waste
HM Govt Media Release 2002 Cornish officially recognised as a minority language by the UK Government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
HM Govt Media Release 24 April 2014 Cornish granted minority status within the UK
‘Kernow Matters’ is Cornwall’s newest NGO. Formed during 2015 to proclaim and celebrate Cornish culture, history, language and music whilst speaking out unashamedly for the Cornish, our members are proud to be members of the Cornish National Minority.
Follow us on twitter @kernow_matters / on Facebook @ The Cornish are a Nation / visit our website at
We also administer the International Cornish Association which has a Facebook page @ International Cornish Association and the Pan-Celtic Confederation
Postal address: An Rom Kernewek, The Venue, Unit 1 Jewell House, Tolgus Wartha, Redruth TR15 1DG Kernow, UK