Tag Archives: Duchy

Water, water everywhere…

If anyone was in doubt about the rates we are paying for water services in Cornwall, here’s a little revelation I had a few weeks ago talking to two lovely couples, one from Somerset, the other from Cumbria. The couple from Somerset pay £180 a year to their water provider, the couple from Cumbria £300 and we, in Cornwall pay up to £1200 a year?
What’s the rationale for such difference? Really… what?

As we know, Cumbria and Cornwall both have more water than Somerset in terms of lakes and beaches. Yes. Therefore more tidy up, more spending on xxx.
And clearly the usage in Cornwall rises massively during the silly season, likewise in visitor-rich areas such as the lakes in Cumbria.
It is still a massive disparity.

As we are talking water, why then, are places like Wheal Jane mine near Truro – an incredibly wet mine – under the auspices of the Environment Agency, looked after by (previously) Hyder Water, United Utilities and presently Veolia?

Is it that, with all their tireless work within Cornwall, SWW couldn’t compete with other operators around Britain? After all, they’re too busy fleecing the likes of me and you to worry about getting involved with dirty stuff! They can’t even dig the roads up anymore without farming it out to someone else!

The people of Cornwall are being taken for a ride, left, right and centre and the water problem is one of many.
I’m sure a better person than I, can and will answer the questions posed but really it comes down to the fact we’re all paying over the odds for services here in Cornwall (for the benefit of others) and water, that most of the time, tastes just like the water up Carn Brea swimming pool!

Carlyon Bay


Carlyon Bay

or something like this:

Carlyon Development

Maybe developers and their Cornwall Council bedfellows could build here?


After all, it’s only a beach…

The Duke, the Statue and the Money

Some weeks ago, Charles Saxe Coburg-Gotha or ‘Windsor’ as he likes to call himself, aka The Duke of Cornwall, very ‘kindly’ sent a cheque, for an undisclosed amount (£500 according to An Helghyer’s sources) to the people raising money to erect a statue in memory and honour of the countless miners who lost their lives or suffered debilitating illness from their work underground in the St Just and Pendeen districts.

Now, the good people of St Just and Pendeen have, for years, been doing all they can to raise money to have made and erect this fine statue.
It is expected to cost around £40,000 and they, through various auctions, public events etc have raised thousands towards it but are struggling to reach the target.

My point, is this: I find it a bit sick that the Duke of Cornwall couldn’t have coughed up the remainder in order for this statue, which was first mooted in 2000, to be made.
Since the creation of the Dukedom in 1337, the successive Dukes have made a pretty penny out of Kernow over the years, with Charles being the latest leech.
For all the Duchy of Cornwall’s contemporary talk of a ‘Private estate’, anyone with an ounce of historical knowledge knows this to be blatantly not the case. (see here for more info)

In terms of why this is relevant to mining and a miners’ statue is as follows: for a five hundred year period, ‘tribute’ or ‘coinage’ was levied against the tinners of Cornwall by the successive Dukes of Cornwall. This meant vast sums of money worked for, by Cornishmen in blood and sweat, leaving the country and going into the pockets of the gad-about Dukes to lead excessive and lavish life-styles.

It has been worked out, that in today’s money, the revenue from tribute over the five hundred year period it lasted, is around £20 billion.

Even after tribute had ceased, vast sums still poured (and still does) from Cornwall to the Duke.
Edward Albert Saxe Coburg-Gotha (Edward VII) was Duke of Cornwall from 1841 until he became King in 1901. At 19, his wealth from the Duchy stood at, in today’s terms, £60,000,000. Huge amounts of Duchy income were spent on his gambling and the debts there accrued. In 1847, whilst the Cornish men, women and children from whom the spoils were drawn, were dying in the streets from starvation, the Duke was living it up, sailing down the Nile, accompanied by an entourage of boats containing some ten thousand pints of beer, three thousand bottles of champagne and four thousand bottles of claret!

And so to today. Ol’ Charlie can only spare a donation. You’d think that out of some sort of thought for the common man, whom over the centuries has created the wealth and paid for the homes this peculiar man now enjoys, he might see his way to shelling out forty grand (a paltry sum) in order to honour some of the bravest men who ever lived (and who actually knew what a hard day’s work was!).
Alas no. After all, he’s only the head of a Private Estate, isn’t he?

Recognition at last..?

In an article today, the This is Cornwall website reported, that the long-awaited second stab at getting Cornwall recognised as a national and cultural minority, within the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, was going ahead.
Previously we had been denied this status on account of not being, according to the EHRC, a ‘racial group’. In order to become such, we, the Cornish (an indigenous people), would have to be successful in bringing a prosecution of ‘Racial Discrimination’ to the courts. The EHRC would not countenance such cases brought to them and so the Cornish were in limbo. (Incidentally, the English have said status.)
Meanwhile other groups, such as Travellers were recognised by the UK Government, albeit having likewise, no racial discrimination case brought to court. Go fathom…
(John Angarrack’s book ‘Scat t’Larrups? – Resist and Survive’, details the whole experience.)

Yesterday, ‘The Cornish National Minority Report 2’ was launched, with Bert Biscoe at the helm. We can only hope, as clearly much work (again) has gone into this, that this time we won’t be sidelined/ignored by the UK Government, who also ignored the Council of Europe last time round.

Andrew ‘on the fence’ George and Dan ‘piss my pants’ Rogerson presented the report to the ‘Communities and Local Government’ minister Andrew Stunell at Westminster, which probably means that’ll be that, from their end.
Copies have also been handed to Alec Robertson’s old trough buddy Eric Pickles, as well as Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dumber – Cameron & Clegg…

We, the Cornish, however, will not and must not let this pass. In twelve years, things have changed. The fact you’re reading this is a testament to it, (the internet has brought a greater awareness and accessibilty to all things Cornish). Things can’t subtly slide, quylkyn-like under the rug (or silk tie) of Duchy Hall.

Copies of the report are available from Duchy Hall or by e-mailing Bert Biscoe: bertbiscoe@btinternet.com

There’s no Future in England’s Dreaming

Sometimes you have to wonder, why the English establishment are so threatened by a small, repressed nation like Kernow?
Or for that matter, Scotland, Wales, Ireland etc.

You might say they’re not threatened at all, how could they be?
If that is the case, why is so much done by them to try and keep the status quo?
Is it for the benefit of Cornwall to be denied her inalienable rights to be an independent, free nation? Is it in Scotland’s interests to be a part of an unbalanced, out-dated act of Union? And despite 300 years of formal annexation by England, is it in Wales’ best interests to continue in this way for another 300?

For centuries England has trampled across indigenous nations, waged war and interred dissidents but what makes the English establishment and certain English people so resistant to give back what was never theirs to take?
In the case of Cornwall, it never was taken. No formal records exist of annexation. Cornwall always existed separately from England and earlier Wessex. In 936,  the ethnic cleanser Athelstan forced the boundary of Cornwall from the river Exe in what is now Devon, back to the eastern bank of the river Tamar where it remains, in constitutional law, today. Maps showed Cornwall as a separate country. Many writers, ambassadors and historians wrote of Cornwall and the Cornish alongside England and the English. At his coronation, the maniacal mass-murderer Henry VIII listed Cornwall separately from England, while his daughter Elizabeth apparently spoke nine languages: five were the languages of Britain and Ireland which included Cornish and she had stated that she didn’t rule Cornwall.
So what happened? After the war of 1549, England, in a fit of spite, “forgot” Cornwall existed as a nation and proceeded its insidious assimilation agenda which continues to this very day.

So why is this carrying on? Why are groups and individuals ridiculed and denigrated for speaking of such things?
It is because it has been erased from the collective consciousness, meaning those that do are loonies and fantasists. But who are the fantasists when the history is there for all who want it?
Go on any Cornish fora and see the abuse levelled by English participants who blatently refuse the evidence put before them yet offer none to support their end. The same goes for sites like Wikipedia.
What difference does it make to them?

Is the English establishment and those individuals who persist with this agenda frightened of groups of people with a strong identity?
Why can’t England exist peacefully alongside the other constituent nations of the British Isles? Perhaps they’re afraid we might all get together and give ’em a taste of their own medicine?
But this is 21st century Britain. What Cornwall and the other Celtic nations want is not enmity and strife, only to take care of their own affairs, not be controlled by power-hungry puppets hundreds of miles away, who have no concept of the issues affecting the people of said nations.

As we see from happenings in Scotland, things are changing, for the better. Kernow’s day too, will come.

The establishment don’t like it, the quasi-facist dream is coming to an end. They’re afraid and England is shaking like a shitting dog.

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!