Cornish granted minority status within the UK

This is The West Country: Cornish granted minority status within the UK Cornish granted minority status within the UK

Delight has greeted news that Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has today announced that the "proud history, unique culture, and distinctive language of Cornwall" will be fully recognised under European rules for the protection of national minorities.

The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. For the first time the government has recognised the distinctive culture and history of the Cornish.

Speaking on a visit to Bodmin, Cornwall, Danny Alexander said: “Cornish people have a proud history and a distinct identity. I am delighted that we have been able to officially recognise this and afford the Cornish people the same status as other minorities in the UK.”

Cornwall Council has welcomed the Government’s decisions, saying this means that Government departments and public bodies will now be required to take its views into account when making decisions.

Dick Cole, leader of Mebyon Kernow said: “This is a fantastic announcement for Cornwall. As the Leader of Mebyon Kernow, I am absolutely delighted that the Government has recognised the Cornish people as a National Minority and it is great to see that all the Celtic peoples of these Islands – the Cornish, Irish, Scottish and Welsh – afforded protection under the Framework Convention.

“I would also like to play a heartfelt tribute to everyone who played a part in the long running campaign to secure National Minority status.”

“It is with surprise and great delight that we heard today that the Government will fully recognise the Cornish as a national minority under the Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities“  said Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard.

The main aims of the Convention, which was first ratified 15 years ago, is to ensure that the rights of national minorities are respected by combating discrimination, promoting equality and preserving and developing the culture and identity of national minorities.  Three previous attempts to include the Cornish in the Framework Convention were unsuccessful; the last attempt was made in 2011.

The Council has stated its support for the Cornish as an ethnic minority in its Equality and Diversity Framework. A working group of Members and key figures within Cornwall has been working on the paper setting out why the Cornish should be recognised as a national minority. 

One of the leading Members of the working group is Bert Biscoe who said “I very much welcome that the Cornish as a group can stand equally beside all other groups in British society”.

Inclusion in the Convention will:
• Recognise the distinctiveness of the Cornish and enhance the United Kingdom’s reputation as a country that celebrates and supports the diversity of its inhabitants.
• Further the economic interests, not just of Cornwall, but of the United Kingdom as a whole.
• Help strengthen the confidence of our young people that they are encouraged to identify with their cultural identity, and that this is valued by the rest of the country.
• Help strengthen the ‘Cornish’ brand and provide a mechanism whereby the Cornish can establish and strengthen links with other groups accorded similar status across Europe and around the world.  
• Create stronger links between communities and a greater understanding of shared values to help create more vibrant communities than can shape their own future.

“National minority status will not initially bring any additional funding or powers to the Council or to Cornwall” said John Pollard. “We will need to work with partners to make this clear to people in Cornwall.

“However, there are obviously significant benefits for Cornwall in being included within the Framework Convention which is worth celebrating and I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this status” .

The Cornish language has already been recognised under European rules for minority languages. In March this year, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that the Government would be investing a further £120,000 into the Cornish Language Partnership (MAGA) to promote and develop the language.

Communities minister Stephen Williams said: “This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially.

“The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing Saint Piran's Flag flying with extra Celtic pride on March five next year.”

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:23am Thu 24 Apr 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

This is good news, does this now mean that displaying the Cornish flag on ones car registration plates will be actually legal?
This is good news, does this now mean that displaying the Cornish flag on ones car registration plates will be actually legal? Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 5

7:41am Thu 24 Apr 14

Kernowkarmann says...

I hope that anyone who agrees with this doesn't vote UKIP now.......
I hope that anyone who agrees with this doesn't vote UKIP now....... Kernowkarmann
  • Score: -32

9:02am Thu 24 Apr 14

SRix says...

MK & indies were ignored for decades, Tories opposed it, but Cornish finally given protected status today ONLY because of Lib Dems in government. Both government ministers quoted are Lib Dems and they have done this because of the influence of Cornish Lib Dem councillors and MPs.
MK & indies were ignored for decades, Tories opposed it, but Cornish finally given protected status today ONLY because of Lib Dems in government. Both government ministers quoted are Lib Dems and they have done this because of the influence of Cornish Lib Dem councillors and MPs. SRix
  • Score: -29

12:20pm Thu 24 Apr 14

ronedgcumbe says...

As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority.
As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -12

6:42pm Thu 24 Apr 14

CousinJack says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority.
Cornish and British, as it always should have been

Kernow bys vyken
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority.[/p][/quote]Cornish and British, as it always should have been Kernow bys vyken CousinJack
  • Score: -8

6:02am Fri 25 Apr 14

Sassyanne says...

I think it is brilliant that Cornwall has been recognised whether a minority or not. I am proud to be Cornish.
I think it is brilliant that Cornwall has been recognised whether a minority or not. I am proud to be Cornish. Sassyanne
  • Score: -7

11:14am Fri 25 Apr 14

Kernowkarmann says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority.
I agree, am proud to be Cornish and am proud to be English, British, European and World citizen.

I see my last comment got voted down lots, probably by the UKIP supporters (or closet racists as I prefer to call them....)
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: As a proud Cornishman and an equally proud Englishman not realy keen on being a minority.[/p][/quote]I agree, am proud to be Cornish and am proud to be English, British, European and World citizen. I see my last comment got voted down lots, probably by the UKIP supporters (or closet racists as I prefer to call them....) Kernowkarmann
  • Score: -17

1:54am Sat 26 Apr 14

molesworth says...

If I was in charge I wouldn't give all that money away to the champions of a dead language. I'd use it to teach Cornish songs to children in schools. Youngsters today don't know the words and it's a crying shame. Singing Cornish songs together is something everyone can do and it builds a sense of community and Cornishness. And it's fun!
If I was in charge I wouldn't give all that money away to the champions of a dead language. I'd use it to teach Cornish songs to children in schools. Youngsters today don't know the words and it's a crying shame. Singing Cornish songs together is something everyone can do and it builds a sense of community and Cornishness. And it's fun! molesworth
  • Score: 9

12:22pm Sat 26 Apr 14

ucsweb says...

molesworth wrote:
If I was in charge I wouldn't give all that money away to the champions of a dead language. I'd use it to teach Cornish songs to children in schools. Youngsters today don't know the words and it's a crying shame. Singing Cornish songs together is something everyone can do and it builds a sense of community and Cornishness. And it's fun!
A fair point but, what will happen when they want to know what the words mean or go on to learn the language?
The Cornish names, the language and the people are not that easy to separate.

Literally "Onen hag oll".
[quote][p][bold]molesworth[/bold] wrote: If I was in charge I wouldn't give all that money away to the champions of a dead language. I'd use it to teach Cornish songs to children in schools. Youngsters today don't know the words and it's a crying shame. Singing Cornish songs together is something everyone can do and it builds a sense of community and Cornishness. And it's fun![/p][/quote]A fair point but, what will happen when they want to know what the words mean or go on to learn the language? The Cornish names, the language and the people are not that easy to separate. Literally "Onen hag oll". ucsweb
  • Score: -3

7:43am Tue 29 Apr 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

Trelawny is the Cornish Anthem but sung in English and many people do not know the English words. (Certainly not the Cornish words) I've found some Incomers that know it and some Cornish that don't.
Teaching children the English words of Cornish songs is a good idea.
Of course you can separate the Cornish from the language, how many Cornish speak Cornish? it doesn't make them not Cornish just because they don't speak Cornish.
It's great we've been awarded minority status, just a shame there's no special grant to go with it.
Trelawny is the Cornish Anthem but sung in English and many people do not know the English words. (Certainly not the Cornish words) I've found some Incomers that know it and some Cornish that don't. Teaching children the English words of Cornish songs is a good idea. Of course you can separate the Cornish from the language, how many Cornish speak Cornish? it doesn't make them not Cornish just because they don't speak Cornish. It's great we've been awarded minority status, just a shame there's no special grant to go with it. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 5

11:29am Tue 29 Apr 14

ucsweb says...

People speak some Cornish when the say place names!
Pendennis - Dennis head
Arwenack - on a marsh
Perran-ar wothal
A lot of place names are a description in Cornish.
People speak some Cornish when the say place names! Pendennis - Dennis head Arwenack - on a marsh Perran-ar wothal A lot of place names are a description in Cornish. ucsweb
  • Score: 3

12:36pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Gill Z Martin says...

ucsweb wrote:
People speak some Cornish when the say place names!
Pendennis - Dennis head
Arwenack - on a marsh
Perran-ar wothal
A lot of place names are a description in Cornish.
Pur gwyr.
[quote][p][bold]ucsweb[/bold] wrote: People speak some Cornish when the say place names! Pendennis - Dennis head Arwenack - on a marsh Perran-ar wothal A lot of place names are a description in Cornish.[/p][/quote]Pur gwyr. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 2

7:36am Wed 30 Apr 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
ucsweb wrote:
People speak some Cornish when the say place names!
Pendennis - Dennis head
Arwenack - on a marsh
Perran-ar wothal
A lot of place names are a description in Cornish.
Pur gwyr.
"Very true".

Many road names are also in Cornish.
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ucsweb[/bold] wrote: People speak some Cornish when the say place names! Pendennis - Dennis head Arwenack - on a marsh Perran-ar wothal A lot of place names are a description in Cornish.[/p][/quote]Pur gwyr.[/p][/quote]"Very true". Many road names are also in Cornish. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 2

11:20am Wed 30 Apr 14

thehound says...

Kernowkarmann, the irony of voting for UKIP whilst supporting these sort of European conventions will probably be lost on most UKIP voters. Even my UKIP councillor didn't appear to see any irony when he was interviewed for my village's newsletter and sang the praises of Tremough....
Kernowkarmann, the irony of voting for UKIP whilst supporting these sort of European conventions will probably be lost on most UKIP voters. Even my UKIP councillor didn't appear to see any irony when he was interviewed for my village's newsletter and sang the praises of Tremough.... thehound
  • Score: 2

11:31am Wed 30 Apr 14

Cornishalamo says...

It is always the same...Progress is made in the Cornish movement,and the the deniers of Cornish culture and history crawl out from under their stones.well all you deniers of our Cornish nation..You better get use to the fact that we Cornish have the legal right to be what we always were..And that is Cornish,and not English!
It is always the same...Progress is made in the Cornish movement,and the the deniers of Cornish culture and history crawl out from under their stones.well all you deniers of our Cornish nation..You better get use to the fact that we Cornish have the legal right to be what we always were..And that is Cornish,and not English! Cornishalamo
  • Score: 7

4:50pm Wed 7 May 14

Matt Stephens says...

If ukip had been around a lot longer, the question is would the Cornish be a minority in their own lands at all. Call irony all you like but it's the bigger parties trying to please America and Europe instead of the people who actually built this land into the place everyone else wants to come to.
If ukip had been around a lot longer, the question is would the Cornish be a minority in their own lands at all. Call irony all you like but it's the bigger parties trying to please America and Europe instead of the people who actually built this land into the place everyone else wants to come to. Matt Stephens
  • Score: 0

10:41am Thu 8 May 14

thehound says...

Absolutely Matt, if UKIP had been around at the time of the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, they would have kept the UK free of the forriners, I'm sure of it!
Absolutely Matt, if UKIP had been around at the time of the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, they would have kept the UK free of the forriners, I'm sure of it! thehound
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree