Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Enemy Within

Cornwall and her people have a lot to contend with day to day: low wages; high unemployment; house prices beyond the reach (and then some) of the ordinary hard-working Cornish person; the usual misrepresentation of who they are and where they are; crass overdevelopment in our towns for the benefit of others, (not the folk of Cornwall but the folk from Anytown, England); visitors who, not content with their idyllic holiday, feel the need to spout the virtues of their ideal i.e. a ‘nice hotel’ built smack-bang on the cliffs of one of West Cornwall’s stunning vistas, thinking that would be better than fields, burras and an unspoilt view of the Atlantic looking toward the Scillies!

Wading through that mire, is tough enough but made particularly tougher when you suddenly find yourself fighting a fellow countryman – the enemy within.

There are in Cornwall today, certain folk who are regarded by many, myself included, as Quislings. There is a long antecedent in Cornwall – types like John Kessell, who in the 1549 Anglo/Cornish War betrayed his employer Humphrey Arundell by supplying the English Army with the military plans of the Cornish forces of whom Arundell was Commander. Others of that period included Sir William Godolphin. Later; the oft sung bishop, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, relayed Cornish Stannary Parliament proceedings to the English Parliament in London.
In terms of today, of the many, one sticks in my craw more than most. Councillor Graeme Hicks.
Years ago as an Independent councillor in Redruth, Hicks stood by the people and fought for them, giving them a voice, making changes and generally being, what a good local boy turned councillor ought to be.
Fast forward to the juggernaut that became the unwanted Unitary Authority and suddenly, the Hicks we all knew and loved, turned in to some festering monster, dinged up behind a desk at Duchy Hall with a new title and a bewildering, new outlook. The new ‘Cabinet Member for Transportation and Highways’ was to become a figure of hate, particularly in West Cornwall.
Of the many things he is responsible, (these days, his abuse and strange descisions, flying in the face of Kernow, history and heritage, seem to know no bounds!) most will associate him with the ferry-link debacle in Penzance. Not content with abusing the electorate and those who dared to disagree, he rode rough-shod over democracy – when plans for his farcical Option A were rejected by the Council’s own Planning Dept. (an overwhelming majority of Cornish residents had objected), he smacked them through again, though this time to be, somewhat, suprisingly granted. ‘Surprisingly’, as the same people had objected yet again!
More abuse toward the electorate followed and it finally came to a head a few months ago when the Department for Transport refused to fund the by now maniacal Hicks’ and cronies’ plan.

The whole farce cost the rate-payer of Cornwall £724,606.32!
Broken down, it looks like this:
ECI contractor (design preparation) £463,507.96
Legal & internal consultancy £227,326.81
Other Costs £33,771.55
(All history of the above can be found online)

Curious to know what those ‘other costs’ included.

So, how does this make Cllr. Hicks a Quisling? Good question!
What turns a man who fought and spoke for Cornish folk in his ward? A man who seemed to want to make their lives better and to see a better environment surrounding them and no doubt had the same outlook for the rest of Kernow? How does the same become what has been described above? What happened?
Presumably with the foundation of the UA some councillors were give a set of cloth ears as standard, (with Hicks at the front of the queue). Perhaps being given a grandiose title and being part of a ‘cabinet’ went to their heads?
Or maybe something else…
I’m not saying any councillor including Hicks was tapped by a certain jug-eared secret monarch of a certain Celtic Nation but I bet I know what’s in his biscuit tin


Flambards and the flag of St. Piran

Driving past Flambards in Helston the other day, I was dismayed to see, at their new entrance, five flags flying in the wind. Dismayed because out of the five, only one was the flag of St. Piran. The others? Two Union flags and two St. George Cross.
What are Flambards trying to say? ‘Hello visitors, yes, you are in England but we’ll fly this funny little black and white flag to keep the locals happy.’
It’s just not good enough!
When a lot of work is being done to get Cornwall recognition; the language back into schools and everyday life; heritage and identity promoted etc. this, from a major visitor attraction is frankly, a disgrace.
It is tokenism incarnate.

Presumably those who run Flambards, (a place that has been served well by the people of Cornwall over the last thirty five years), are unaware that Cornwall was never a party to the Act of Union in 1707 and has NEVER been a part of England.
It is hard enough to battle through the day-to-day drivel of ‘you’re English, Cornwall’s a part of England’ etc, without local businesses reinforcing the idea. The fact that that they have the Cornish flag flying in the middle, makes them seem even more confused!

To my mind there is absolutely no reason fly the Cross of St. George. Not only is it offensive to Cornish folk, it is as ridiculous as flying the French or the USA’s flag.
People understand we’re part of Britain, so the Union flag I can just about get my head ’round (I’d still rather not see it but hey!)
Other attractions around the Duchy fly the Cornish flag loud and proud, Geevor Tin Mine for example, flies St Piran’s flag all over its site and its staff!

Come on Flambards, show you’re proud to be Cornish, do away with the Butcher’s Apron and make being Cornish part of who you are because at £20 a throw, people don’t need brainwashing on top of wallet-rinsing!

Shameful Cornwall Council

Now this is of course, a new blog, so what better way to start it than with a post concerning that most nefarious and self-imposed of entities – the unitary authority that is, Cornwall Council.
There will be many posts over the life of this blog regarding this shameful ‘Johnny Head-in-air’ bunch!

Today, however, a remarkable revelation has surfaced and is causing quite the controversy and no little wonder. The Daily Telegraph, published a list of Council expenditure on credit cards of over £500. It makes for shocking reading.
Cornwall Council (along with scores of other councils) released the information to the Telegraph through the FOI act.

The jokers in Duchy (I refuse to use the word County) Hall’s total credit card expenditure over the last three years comes in at nearly £9,000,000!

While you and I have to contend with frozen wages, ever increasing fuel bills, taxes, parking etc. the clowns in Truro are racking up bills into hundreds of pounds for such things as Nintendo Wii consoles and theatrical trips to St Ives. Worse still is when it goes into the thousands eg. pure silk ties; unlocked Nokia phones for a certain Andy Beckett to the tune of over £5,000; more than £2,000 over two months on shoe repairs, shining and hat cleaning (?!) and most unbelievable of all – a £60,000 stay at a four-star Spanish hotel and if you thought it couldn’t get worse then stop reading, for this is the most sickening: a trip to Bangkok and a stay in a luxury hotel totalling a staggering £350,000!
The Council have now come back with the apparent fact, that the figure for the Thai trip should’ve been in rupees and not pounds. Anyone told the ‘damage-limitation’ lackey pulled from his Bank Holiday weekend, the currency of Thailand is the baht?

As Father says, ‘Who’s takin’ the piss outta who?’
In travelling the Duchy, all I see (and have seen since the introduction of this insipid Unitary Authority), is dirty streets, un-kempt hedges and grassy areas, litter everywhere etc. At the same time, charges for everything are going up;  amenities such as public toilets are threatened with closure and all while the smug elite in Duchy Hall are living the life of Pascoe!

I’d like to say, they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery but I fear, at our expense, they could do it frighteningly well!

New Cornish Web Log

Dydh da,

Welcome to An Helghyer (The Hunter).

This is a blog on Cornish issues. Here I will attempt to dissect things affecting Cornwall (Kernow) and her people and name and shame all who make it their business to damage and disparage Cornwall, the people and the rich history and heritage of Cornwall.

Kernow has long been the target of groups wishing to incorporate her into some cosy, homgonised, ‘One State’. These groups ignore, hide and change history and geography to suit their own purpose and do not think twice about bandying propaganda to reinforce their agenda.

I wish to challenge this.

It may not always be pretty. You may not always like what’s written but then…
It also won’t be over-academic in its content. There are plenty of great Cornish blogs that do that already.
Here, will be issues and grievances laid out simply.


An Helghyer