– The truth over Cornish language funding loss finally revealed!
Following a protracted two year legal battle with the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG), the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and others, Cornish campaigners have finally established the hidden truth which lies behind the Government’s decision to halt proper funding for the resurgent Cornish language.
Unlike Wales and Scotland where those country’s parliaments properly support the indigenous languages, Cornwall is governed from afar and just a few years ago, minimal funding for the language was brought to a sudden stop by the Westminster government.
So, despite several requests to find out why the Westminster Government had been so brutal with the Cornish, some made under the Freedom of Information Act, which pointed out the fact that Cornish folk pay taxes too, ongoing support for the Cornish language fell upon Cornwall Council already reeling as a result of the government imposed austerity cuts and the incredible enthusiasm of the Cornish language users, pupils and teachers, and the small number of voluntary Cornish language societies and volunteers which exist by charitable fundraising and personal donations.
Cornish campaigners realised that something dramatic had occurred behind the scenes to suddenly halt funding and made several requests to the DCLG who refused to disclose material relating to the decision. Taken to appeal which was refused, the matter was then pursued to the ultimate with the ICO and a full tribunal set after initial obfuscation and delaying tactics.
Eventually after 2 years of requests the communications were made available to the campaigners who were seeking the truth. Two letters and other correspondence is now in the public domain and two are attached hereunder which reveals the messy and underhanded truth behind the decision.
Copies of correspondence between the DCLG and Cornwall Council are also attached. When viewed together, all reveal the highly unsatisfactory manner in which the Cornish people and language have been handled.
The letters speak for themselves but it would appear that one written by the MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray in early 2016 and sent to the then Minister responsible, James Wharton MP sealed the fate for language funding.In fairness, Sherryl Murray had long been a suspect following a deal of controversy about her decisions and remarks which have resulted in open protests outside her constituency office.
( Sherryl Murray Exposed https://www.facebook.com/shezzaexpose/ )
(none of these websites or publications are under KMTU control)
Despite Mrs Murray’s disparaging comments about the Cornish language which are blatantly untrue, over a million words of Cornish have appeared in dozens of books by scores of authors published down these past years including a translation of the Holy Bible made by Professor Nicholas Williams, thus righting a wrong dating back to the reformation which cost the lives of 11% of Cornwall’s population at that time.
Hundreds of people attend Cornish language classes and local and even national businesses have played their part in celebrating this living heritage which is to be found across Cornwall in the many place names and in an incredible voluntary radio station Radyo an Gernewegva ( http://anradyo.com/ ) and a new Cornish language TV project again struggling to raise funds by a funding appeal ( https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cornish-language-tv ) as well as the weekly news on BBC Radio Cornwall.
A Cornish language nursery school exists and some schools are running introductory sessions in the language.
Mrs Murray does not appear to have questioned the millions of pounds of public money expended on creating a theme park at Tintagel, decorating Big Ben or massive multi million pound overspends on armaments programmes amongst other official and semi official funded projects.
It is good indeed to reveal that Cornwall’s five other MPs have given their support for the language as evidenced in a letter obtained and attached which shows as much. We thank them sincerely.
We congratulate those persistent and heroic Cornish campaigners who tackled the mammoth and distant structures of the Westminster Government in a bid to reveal the truth.
As one explained ‘A decision was made over our tax pounds and we have fought long and hard to reveal the truth which the system did its best to hide from us. The way the Cornish are treated by Westminster and certain bigoted politicians is disgraceful and does not compare well with the indigeneous peoples of Wales and Scotland who are quite properly and rightly looked after by their own governments.
We sadly depend on Westminster [UK Government] to distribute our tax monies and are treated as second class citizens in so many ways. The Cornish people and the Cornish language are now officially and lawfully recognised. Cornwall is far more than a tourist theme park and we pay plenty of taxes too.’
We pay tribute to all those who have given freely of their lives, time and personal monies to keep Cornish alive despite the best efforts of a few of our elected representatives to starve it out of existence.
We thank our vibrant Gorseth Kernow, many Bards of which have given years to the cause of voluntarily teaching the language.
We thank those who organise Cornwall’s Cornish language entry in the international Pan Celtic Song Competition, an event Cornwall has won many times.
We thank the organisers of our Cornish language radio and other projects who have to constantly beg for funds to continue.
We thank all those who have tried their best to support one of Britain’s indigenous languages; one which predates the English language by generations.
Making the Cornish beg for crumbs from the table is demeaning and insulting. It causes us to distrust and despise the ever distant Westminster Government which takes our tax pounds.
Kernow bys vyken!
Media release issued by Kernow Matters to Us! 2nd August, 2018
Note: Obligation for funding the language lies with central government, not the local government authority. It was UK central government that signed the ECRML and FCNM, and accepted their conditions, not the local authority. Conversely, responsibility for public conveniences, etc. rests with the local authorities and not with central government.