If you drill down into any attitude survey in recent years done in Cornwall and about Cornish identity, you find a remarkably consistent statistic. About 20% of people are vehemently anti-Cornish, 30% are just as vehemently pro-Cornish while the remaining 50% are mildly pro-Cornish. This division of people in Cornwall occurs in surveys by Cornwall Council as well as other bodies, and appears too often to be dismissed. I would say this is a good reflection of attitudes in Cornwall towards Cornish identity.
When you look at the people in these surveys it goes a bit odd though; 75% of people who say they are Cornish are pro-Cornish, but up to 25% of “Cornish” people are not! These nay-sayers have become known as the “Plastic Cornish”. They claim to be “Cornish + Proud” and are willing to argue the toss over pasty crimping and cream teas till the cows come home, but they are intent on turning Cornwall into little England. These “Plastic Cornish” tend to vote tory, or in extreme cases even UKIP (whose councillors regularly vote against Cornish culture in Cornwall council) and they are keen to see Cornish culture disappear. They seem to see Cornwall as an (inferior) English county; and take every opportunity to denigrate our status within the UK.
True Cornish people know that although we are governed as if we were a county, our status is legally that of a Duchy; extra-terrestrial to the crown. Charles, Duke of Cornwall, only directly owns about 2% of Cornwall, but he legally owns the “fundus” of the entire territory of Cornwall; which means if you die without leaving a will, it goes to Charles and not the state. For all of the legal jargon, you can read the written works of Cornwall’s Stannary Parliament, John Angarrack and more. In fact, take a moment to look at this https://www.celticleague.net/kernow/useful-information-for-the-people-of-cornwall/
Among non-Cornish people living in Cornwall there is about a 50/50 split between those who want more Cornish culture, and those who want less. And why not? Those who come here and want to celebrate our culture are most welcome, and those who are not may just not know about it! Of course, the Campaign to Eradicate Cornwall (CEC) is intent on diluting us Cornish by swamping us with 47,000 extra houses for more people to come and make the Cornish minority even more minor, in our own country. However, better an honest enemy than a false friend, and those who are so vociferous against Cornish language, culture, history and identity include far too many “Plastic Cornish”. They hate being reminded that the issues we face (Kernow concreted by upcountry developers, net loss of £300million per year paid to Westminster coffers, infrastructure decay and council cuts, all resulting in more poverty and violence) are a direct result of their own voting choices.
Save us from the “Plastic Cornish”!
Useful Information For the People Of Cornwall « The Celtic League
2013 – The Duchy of Cornwall – A Feudal Remnant? An Examination of the origin, evolution and present status of the Duchy of Cornwall, PhD thesis by John Kirkhope
Myghal Map Serpren Bio Myghal lives in Resrudh, Kernow and regularly contributes articles and poetry written in Cornish, English and Castellano to several magazines.
He serves as an independent local councillor and is a member of several Cornish and Celtic committees and organisations as well as of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids.