[Celtic League] Cornish: Discrimination concerns continue



The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written an article in a Cornish newspaper
about a group that has been recently set up on Facebook. In the article the GS argues that the
racial discrimination against the Cornish that is prevalent in the comments being made by
followers of the group, show once again that the Cornish are defenceless in the face of such

The Branch Secretary of the League in Kernow (Cornwall), Mike Chappell, has been pursuing a
campaign in Cornwall to have the offending group removed and has not only written to Facebook
to complain about the site, but has also contacted the Equality and Human Rights Committee (EHRC)
and Cornwall Council to ask if anything can be done. At the end of the article – published in
the West Briton newspaper last Thursday - the GS asks Cornish people to write to him if they
have been the victim of racial discrimination, in order to try and get the issue resolved once
and for all. An edited version of the article from the GS can be found below, with the name of
the group removed so as not to give it any further publicity than necessary.

 "Hate is a powerful word and a destructive one too. Last month a Facebook group … was brought
to my attention by Celtic League members and I was asked to try to help get it removed.

It wasn't necessarily the fact that this group had been created that was causing outrage, but
some of the comments that had been posted on the page by its 200 plus followers. These comments
were not only bigoted and discriminatory, but also threatened violence and as one person who
contacted me said, clearly "incited racial hatred". Apart from the fact that it is not
particularly easy to get a group on Facebook removed, the biggest difficulty of all is getting
anyone to take racial discrimination against Cornish people seriously.

Late last year the Celtic League complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
to say that as an organisation we were too under resourced to follow up all the complaints that
were being made to us by Cornish people who felt that they been discriminated against. The
Cornwall Branch Secretary said in his letter to the EHRC that it was they who should be dealing
with the complaints and not the League, only to be told several months later that the EHRC were
powerless to act, because the Cornish are not a distinct racial group according to the UK law!

As you can imagine this comment by the EHRC opened the Cornish up to all sorts of ridicule and
further abuse, as this new hate-filled Facebook group has testified. What the EHRC did not say
in their letter was that there are a number of other racial groups in the British Isles that
have not been designated a racial group according to the law either, but that has not stopped
the EHRC from defending the rights of these groups.

If the Cornish do not exist, the Celtic League would like to know why Cornish people are
discriminated against and even threatened with violence. I have recently been informed that
after a number of complaints about the Facebook group, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have now
said that they will take up the case and a couple of Cornwall Councillors have said that they
will raise the issue with the Council. Whether this issue will be resolved in the long term is
another matter.

Sadly with the ineffectiveness of the EHRC to address discrimination against the Cornish, I
would like to invite any Cornish person who believes they have been the victim of racial
discrimination to contact the Celtic League at gensec@celticleague.net, to see if we can get
the issue resolved once and for all."

This article written for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League.
For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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