Cornish Stannary Parliament tackles English cultural aggression in Cornwall.
The Background to the removal of English Heritage signs
On 20th November 1984 a member of CSP questioned English Heritage's administration of Tintagel Castle.
From 18th July 1977 to 7th May 1999 the CSP entered into correspondence with the Home Office in an attempt to secure for Cornwall the benefits of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. A meeting was even arranged on the 22nd of June 1998 but cancelled by the Home Office on 17th November 1998. In its submission to the Council of Europe on 10th February 1999 the Home Office declined to include Cornish people within the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
30th June 1998 - "The Times" article, "Racism - the English disease". The article analyses the behaviour of English football fans abroad. Reference is made to "England's shame", and continues, "Yet for the English abroad alcohol acts as a truth drug, exposing the racism otherwise concealed under our national strip of reserve".
26th August 1998 - In response to our letter of 13th August 1998 the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport replied, reference 98/17100, stating "We have no plans to create a separate organisation for Cornwall, but EH (English Heritage) will continue to finance the preservation and promotion of the built heritage in Cornwall to the same degree as for other parts of the country". (Country, presumably meaning "England" not Britain).
From 25th March 1999 to 23rd December 1999 the CSP entered into correspondence with English Heritage. There was no favourable reaction to the insistence of the CSP that English Heritage was an English organisation and therefore completely unsuitable in promoting Cornish and Celtic archaeological sites as Cornish. CSP correspondence was consistently heading "English Cultural Aggression in Cornwall" and this also appeared on al English Heritage letters of reply virtually conceding that the subject matter title was applicable.
9th February 1999 - West Country Television presents a program on the large landowners of Cornwall but excluded the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles, the largest landowner who claims personal ownership of Cornish heritage sites Tintagel, Restormel and Launceston castles currently leased to English Heritage.
20th March 1999 - Article in "The Spectator" magazine of London entitled, "Cornwall or Conwell" (To 'con' meaning to cheat or swindle) sub-title; "How the Celtic peninsula's natives are exploiting visitors". The article includes various racially motivated insults including, "The Cornish... ready at every turn to fleece the tourists". And, " The original 'emmet' was probably King Arthur looking for Excalibur at Tintagel castle". This gratuitous remark is intended to convey the false impression that the Celtic hero, King Arthur, was actually an English visitor and not Celtic. A similar comment about, for example, St George would not be printed in the English media. Such expressions of England's theatrical heritage are only directed at foreigners. (See further attacks on the Cornish by 'The Spectator', at entry for 13th July 2000)
26th April 1999 - The Times, London, "Cornwall told it's ancient sites will stay 'English'. The chairman of English Heritage has issued a "stern warning" and rejected a demand by the Cornish Stannary Parliament that if the signs are not removed by 31st July they will do it themselves.
June 1999 - Cornish Stannary Parliament members distribute leaflets at various English Heritage sites calling for the transfer of the sites to a Cornish organisation.
On 20th January 2000 the English Heritage sign at Chysauster near Penzance was removed and returned to the Bristol office of English Heritage. Subsequently, no attempt was made by English Heritage to enter into meaningful dialogue.
15th May 2000 - An invoice for £20 billion sent to Prince Charles as Duke of Cornwall for recovery of excess tax levied on tin production by his predecessors at twice the level for Celtic Cornwall as that applied to Anglo-Saxon Devon from 1337 - 1837. Rejected. No explanation offered for possible racial motive for the overcharge.
18th May 2000 - Admission by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit that English Heritage had omitted in it's press report on a discovery on the Isles of Scilly that the artefacts concerned were "Celtic". Thus deliberately hiding Cornish Celtic history in typical English Heritage and School History Curriculum fashion.
8th June 2000 - Inexplicable letter of reply from the "English Tourism Council" in response to CSP letter to the "British Tourist Authority". The letter states that "All of us are very well aware of the Cornish Celtic identity". However, the answer continues with reference to, "the regions which together make up "England" ...embracing the whole of the geographical and political "England". There is no mention of Britain.
21st June 2000 - Reply from Sir Michael Lickiss, Chairman, Regional Development Agency, "I am not willing to respond to the historical perspective on the cultural issues you have raised". "Western Morning News" carries CSP letter in it's 'Views' column under the heading "There's no bigotry in the Cornish Parliament".
13th July 2000 - Local Police refuse to take action under section 17 and 18 of the Public Order Act 1986 against "The Spectator" magazine article of 24th June 2000 entitled "Cornish Loathing" which included such remarks as "The Cornish have no desire to work" etc. The police were also referred to the implied racist slur of the pride of Cornish nationalism in the Carlton TV programme of Friday 7th July 2000 entitled, "The seven deadly sins". (See previous entry for 20th March 1999 re reluctance of police to react).
1st August 2000 Telephone call by CSP to general Sir Richard Trant, Chairman, Cornwall Heritage Trust, Response, "Where did you get my number?" "This number is ex-directory. This is a security matter". "Where did you get my number?" CSP caller; "I was hoping to discuss your heritage plans in particular, for the Duchy/Stannary Palace at Lostwithiel". Trant; "I have no comment to make, goodbye".
12th August 2000 - Reinstated English Heritage sign removed and confiscated as evidence of English cultural aggression in Cornwall. EH notified and press release faxed the same day.
21st August 2000 EH sign at Tintagel Castle removed and confiscated. English Heritage notified and press release faxed same day. CSP spokesman interviewed live on Carlton TV. BBC TV, although promoting itself with the slogan "Honesty and Integrity" failed to make a report. Reported by the Western Morning News.
23rd August 2000 - Response from English Heritage, "The removal of signs constitutes both an act of theft and vandalism and we have as a result informed the local police of your actions". (See entry for 13th July 2000).
29th August 2000 - Complaint to the Royal Town Planning Institute regarding mal-administration of European Objective One funds by the Government Office for the South West and the Regional Development Agency.
30th August 2000 - Submission of claim for £2.75 million from European Objective One funds for the transfer of the English Heritage function in Cornwall to a visibly Cornish organisation.
7th September 2000 - English Heritage signs at Carn Euny, Bollowall and Tregiffian in West Cornwall removed and confiscated. EH notified press release faxed same day. No Western Morning News press report.
10th September 2000 - English Heritage sign at Restormel Castle in East Cornwall removed and confiscated. EH notified and press release faxed Monday 11th September 2000.
2nd October 2000 - The European Convention of Human Rights became incorporated into British domestic law.
The Seizure of "English Heritage" Signs. "Right to seize infringing copies and other articles"
(from Section 100, Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1998)
By what authority did the organisation known as "English Heritage" arbitrarily change its statutory name from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, contrary to the provisions of the Act of Parliament, the National Heritage Act 1983? By what right does the organisation known as "English Heritage" claim to posses Cornish intellectual property rights and to manage Cornish sites? How could it reasonably protest about mere damage to sign posts when its own record of wilful damage to, and misinformation about, a considerable number of Cornish archaeological sites is beyond question? Why are the legitimate actions of Cornish people to preserve their own cultural heritage and intellectual property within the context of the multi-cultural U.K. not recognised? Why is the historic constitutional position of Cornwall being exploited by Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall by leasing Tintagel Castle to the organisation known as "English Heritage"? Why are the indigenous Cornish people not able to administer and promote the intellectual property rights of their own cultural heritage? The fact that the three defendants were found not guilty of the theft of 18 signs, allegedly belonging to the organisation known as "English Heritage", means that they were morally justified in taking their action to protect Cornish cultural heritage. Is it not time, therefore, for the organisation known as "English Heritage" to pack up and move out of Cornwall? What confidence can one have in a system which has no statutory guarantee of equality before the law to provide cultural equality for the Cornish minority to retain their own property and the intellectual property rights appertaining to it? Why was there such cavalier disregard for legal integrity, when firstly, a judge was dismissed from the case for pronouncing the guilt of the defendants before the case commenced and then his successor expressed the view that the last minute "deal", which had been agreed between the prosecution and defence, was "sensible and pragmatic", (when it could have been resolved twenty five months earlier), next the defendant's team of barristers resigned and finally the Crown Prosecution Service applied for and obtained a Public Interest Immunity Certificate?
See Also On the Road to Justice for the Cornish
See Also Sanctioning by the Stannary Parliament of the removal of the English Heritage signs