Monday, 15 September 2014

Quotes from the BBC Politics Show (South West)

Having just finished my piece for this coming week’s Cornish Guardian – which focused on the attitude of the London parties to more powers for Cornwall – I have just watched today’s edition of the Politics Show (South West), on iplayer.

There was a feature on the implications of the Scottish referendum for Cornwall, which included contributions from myself, my good friend Dr Joanie Willett and the Leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard. George Eustice MP (Conservative), Cllr Candy Atherton (Labour) and Cllr Alex Folkes (Liberal Democrats) meanwhile took part in the studio debate.

I found the whole thing very depressing. Listed below are some quotes from the programme.

John Pollard argued for more powers to the unitary authority, saying it could act as an Assembly, stating that Cornwall had “one geographical region, one culture, one history, one heritage, one language, and one council …” The Cornish Language Partnership, in particular, must be worried if the Council Leader thinks there is only one language in Cornwall.

Candy Atherton talked a lot about devolution to what she described an “appropriate area.” She stated that she opposed a Cornish Assembly, saying “we don’t need a whole new load of politicians, another layer, that is the last thing people want, but they do want to have control over what’s going on in their community. And not Whitehall bureaucrats or Whitehall politicians making the decisions.”

Alex Folkes said “we want to see a transfer of powers to individual regions based on what is right for those regions … Cornwall would be considered a region. It is explicitly made clear in our pre-manifesto that a Cornish Assembly is what we want to see … I think we should be seeing a wholesale transfer of powers … I think we should see huge powers transfer along the lines of the Welsh Assembly. Lets move those powers to Cornwall. We don’t need to have another layer of bureaucracy. We can enhance the Cornwall Council to become an Assembly …”

George Eustice confirmed that he did not support the case for a Cornish Assembly. Echoing Candy Atherton, he said “We don’t need a new Assembly paying lots of money for another tier of politicians. We just don’t need that in Cornwall.”

I am distressed how so many of Cornwall’s so-called “leading” politicians refuse to acknowledge the massive democratic deficit facing Cornwall and fail to see the difference between regional/national government and local government.

If you want to watch the piece – not to be recommended – it can be found at:

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