Saturday, 30 June 2012
Posted by Dick Cole at 10:41
Friday, 29 June 2012
Posted by Dick Cole at 21:43
An out-spoken and strong-willed councillor, Pam normally arrived slightly late for the PPAP meetings as she first had to complete her milk round. Following a suggestion from Lisa Dolley, we stood to remember Pam not at the start of the meeting but at ten-past-ten.
Posted by Dick Cole at 21:06
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Today marks the anniversary of the deaths of Michael Joseph
An Gof and Thomas Flamank, who were executed in 1497 for leading a Cornish
rebellion against the English crown.
Posted by Dick Cole at 22:54
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
On the Guardian’s website, there are over fifty comments
about the disrespectful article which appeared in the Observer on Sunday. Unbelievably,
many are both offensive and racist towards the Cornish. Printed below, however,
are three comments from people who have taken the newspaper to task.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:58
Monday, 25 June 2012
Mebyon Kernow has challenged the Coalition Government to
make a decisive statement confirming that they have ruled out introducing
regional pay across the
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:10
My article for this week’s Cornish Guardian will focus on
the tax avoidance of the super-rich. It is as follows:
The tax affairs of the rich and famous are once again under public scrutiny. This follows the shocking revelation that millionaire TV comedian Jimmy Carr and others have been using a “legal loophole” to dodge paying taxes.
It has been reported that Carr used a “wealth management” scheme called “
It has even been reported that some rich individuals have paid as little as 1% tax on their earnings, while working people struggling to make ends meet are still paying their tax bills in full.
It is unbelievable that such scams have been allowed to continue, with the perpetrators stating that their tax arrangements have been fully disclosed to HM Revenue and Customs.
Put simply, it is a disgrace that individuals such as Carr have been able to divert millions from the public purse into their own pockets. Instead of the money being used to fund public services such as the National Health Service, it was presumably used by Carr for things such as the purchase of his £8.5 million eight-bedroom home with cash – no mortgage needed!
The comedian has since apologised for a “terrible error of judgment” and promised to change his ways. But he has subsequently been exposed as the Director of another tax avoidance scheme called Romangate that was closed down by HMRC in 2009, and cynically he has made no offer to pay back any of the money he has amassed by underhand means.
It is to be welcomed that the Prime Minister has strongly condemned the actions of Carr as “morally wrong.” But it is ridiculous and hypocritical that he has since declined to condemn other individuals, such as prominent donors to the Conservative Party, who have used equally complex schemes to avoid paying tax.
I presume that David Cameron’s inconsistent approach to this issue has been influenced by the fact that his own father was one of the first Britons to move money overseas to avoid tax, thereby increasing the family fortune.
It is simply wrong that certain wealthy individuals, and those with access to well-paid accountants, can be treated differently to the rest of us when it comes to payment of tax.
Now, for once and all, the Government must take decisive action on all tax cheats and it must eradicate all avoidance schemes.
Posted by Dick Cole at 00:20
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Mebyon Kernow was today featured in an article in the
magazine section of the Observer newspaper. Sadly, it is a bad article. It
contains errors and badly misrepresents what Mebyon Kernow stands for.
It was written by Robert McCrum, but he clearly chose to ignore what I told him when he visited
In our interview, I explained to him, in considerable detail, that MK was not campaigning for independence, but greater self-government / devolution through a National Assembly for
I am angry that he chose to ignore this and base large parts of his article around vague and unsubstantiated notions of “separation,” “independence,” and an “independent
I am also appalled that in writing about the director of the St Moritz Hotel at Trebetherick, for example, McCrum states that: “he has a global vision and represents the polar opposite of Mebyon Kernow.” I find it objectionable that he infers MK is not an outward-looking political party.
For the record, he is also disrespectful about the Cornish language and writes that “the inconvenient truth … is that it is about as lively as Monty Python’s parrot.”
And in what century is it acceptable to describe Cllr Dr Loveday Jenkin, a respected professional woman, as “a charismatic MK pixie.”
I could dissect the article in even more detail, but have chosen not to. If you wish to read the article on-line, it can be found at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/jun/24/free-cornwall-independence-campaign?INTCMP=SRCH
In recent months, MK has had positive publicity through a wide range of UK-wide newspapers including the Independent, Telegraph and Times, as well as the Observer’s sister paper, The Guardian.
I have to say, it therefore saddens me greatly (as someone who has read the Guardian / Observer newspapers for most of my adult life) that it is the Observer that has done a hatchet job on the Party that I am proud to lead.
I will be buying the Observer next week to see if they publish my letter of complaint. After that …who knows?
Posted by Dick Cole at 18:12
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Earlier today, the Cabinet at Cornwall Council voted to
proceed with the purchase of land from Imerys for the construction of a land
for an access road to their preferred site for an unsustainable 240,000 tonne waste incinerator.
Posted by Dick Cole at 17:01
Mr Molac stood on a joint UDB-Greens-Left ticket and is a well-known campaigner for the Breton language. He is the chair of the Breton bilingual schools organisation Div Yezh and former Chair of the Breton Cultural Council.
Well done Paul. A fantastic first for the UDB.
The UDB, MK, Plaid Cymru and SNP are all constituent parties of the European Free Alliance.
Posted by Dick Cole at 01:08
Monday, 11 June 2012
The issue of waste continues to make the headlines in
Last month, the Council admitted it is responsible for 90 per cent of SITA’s legal costs in dealing with the legal challenges brought by local campaigners (£130,000). This is set out in the “Integrated Waste Management Contract” agreed between the former County Council and SITA in 2006.
The Supreme Court will announce in July whether the latest challenge will be allowed to proceed to court.
But at a meeting on 20th June, Cornwall Council’s ruling Cabinet will be deciding whether to exercise its option to purchase land (from clay company Imerys) for the access road to the proposed incinerator site.
This was discussed at last week’s Waste Panel, when it was announced that the option must be exercised by 28th June or it will expire. The cost of the land would be a massive £3,550,000.
As someone who opposed the incinerator at the 2010 Public Inquiry, I know that the former County Council was determined to dump the incinerator in the China Clay Area at St Dennis. They were not interested in other locations, and studies to “identify” the best sites for the plant were carried out after the Council had already decided on their preferred location.
Evidence presented at the Inquiry demonstrated that Cornwall Council had “chosen” the St Dennis site at an early stage and throughout 2005 were looking in detail at the site.
The contract was agreed in October 2006 and specifically included the construction of an incinerator at St Dennis.
But at last week’s meeting, one of the officers (who had been involved with the project for many years) admitted that it wasn’t until after the Council has signed the contract that they realised the road access was unacceptable. It was only then that they decided to find a new way to access the site with land purchase costs alone of over three and a half million pounds.
This is yet another example of the issue of waste management has been mishandled at County Hall. Shocking!
Posted by Dick Cole at 11:16
Friday, 8 June 2012
In the same week as the Jubilee barge Gloriana (below) proudly
flew the Cornish flag alongside the national flags of
Posted by Dick Cole at 21:54
It has been a considerable time since I last blogged. The
reason for this is quite simple – I have been away for ten days, on holiday in
My latest column for the Cornish Guardian – published on Fridays from now on – is on the “Pasty Tax” and the Coalition u-turn. It is as follows:
Congratulations to everyone who played a part in the campaign against the introduction of the “Pasty Tax.” It is fantastic news that the Government has changed its mind and decided not to impose this new tax, which has been described as “half-baked” and “unenforceable.”
Local MPs and activists from the Coalition parties are clearly relieved and are merrily trotting out the line that we are lucky to have a Government which “listens to what people have to say” and doesn’t always “plough on regardless.”
I am delighted with the u-turn, but I see it somewhat differently to supporters of the Coalition. It is my view that the Government has badly mishandled this issue.
Let us not forget that the “Pasty Tax” appeared as a fully-fledged proposal in a Government budget, even thought it had not been properly thought through. There was no prior consultation and it would be accurate to state that bakers, pasty-makers and local communities were taken by surprise.
Senior Coalition politicians then lined up to defend and justify the unfair tax-hike.
Prime Minister David Cameron claimed he loved a hot pasty, but then got into considerable difficulty remembering when he last ate one.
The Chancellor George Osborne was ridiculed by the Sun newspaper for “heartlessly” telling “hard-pressed Brits” to “avoid his VAT hike on hot food by buying cold pasties.” They branded him a “modern-day Marie Antoinette.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also gave Liberal Democrat support to his Conservative colleagues, making it clear that all proposals in the budget, including the “Pasty Tax,” had the full support of his party.
Worst of all, when Coalition MPs had an opportunity to vote down the tax in April, following a debate in the House of Commons, only 15 Coalition MPs took the opportunity to oppose the “Pasty Tax.” It was backed by 295 Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs.
I therefore consider the climb-down to be especially humiliating for the Government, given that over 95% of their MPs gave their full support to the “Pasty Tax.”
It is important that
Isn’t it time that central government (i) rethinks the nature of its austerity programme which has plunged the UK into a double-dip recession, (ii) reduces the depth and speed of its cuts to the public sector which is causing great hardship, (iii) scraps the tax break for millionaires contained within the budget, (iv) reverses its unpopular plans for the NHS … the list goes on and on.
Posted by Dick Cole at 21:06