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The sooner the better for a new Cornish parliament

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 10, 2012

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I feel I must respond to the recent outbursts on Cornish self government by George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth and his colleague, Sarah Newton, MP for Truro. As with most Westminster politicians, his rather patronising pronouncements are not just shot through with inaccuracies but outright falsehoods.

Firstly, Mebyon Kernow has never proposed that a Cornish Assembly, should co-exist alongside Cornwall Council but replace it, and in my opinion the sooner the better. The idea he propagates that the Localism Act or any kind of devolution of power to Cornwall council represents giving power to the people of Cornwall is an insult to both my intelligence and that of your readers.

The Localism Act is a tawdry piece of legislation which allows councils and communities to make minor adjustments to local decisions including planning, while with the other hand your government strips local authorities of the power to make real decisions on planning matters. Indeed in an attempt to kick-start an economy your government has stalled, your ministers are now attempting not only to allow property speculators to build on good Cornish farm land but on greenbelt destroying the countryside for our children and our children's children. The truth is that such strategies got us in this mess as they create more debt as people take out mortgages they can't afford. The only people who gain are profiteers, bankers and developers. The ordinary people are asset stripped and left with a lifetime of debt.

I was one of the people, along with members of your party, who campaigned against the set up of the unitary authority; since I have been on it I have seen nothing that has made me change my mind. I have always believed that power should be in the hands of the people and that I as an elected member should have a right to cast a vote on important matters which effect my community. Yet on Cornwall council, most of the important decisions are taken by a handful of cabinet members.

The decision to part privatise council services has been taken by the cabinet over-ruling the democratically expressed will of full council. Democracy? – not in my book.

Democracy is not about presentations, it is not about being consulted, it is not about being able to speak at meetings but not vote, it is not about being part of a advisory body, it is not about devolving power to unaccountable bodies, it is dirty, messy and sometimes makes the wrong decision, but it is the best system we have, and tinkering with it as has happened over the years, only undermines it.

I look forward to the establishment of an assembly or parliament which will truly represent the democratic will of the people of Cornwall.

Your party wants to repatriate power from Europe yet your party denies the people of Cornwall the right of self determination.

To me there is only one word for that, hypocrisy.

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