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Cllr Dick Cole commits MK to "politics of Cornish nationhood"
In a wide-ranging speech, MK Leader Cllr Dick Cole emphasised how MK was different to the Westminster political parties and set out key campaigning priorities for the months ahead.

Dick Cole delivering his speech to the ConferencePrinted below are some four extracts from his speech:

1. London politics failing Cornwall

“Westminster political parties do not have the best interests of Cornwall foremost in their thinking.

“I am not saying that we do not have some allies in these other parties, or that these individuals are not trying to work for Cornwall. But inevitably, their views are submerged and lost, because of the priorities of the London-centric organisations that they belong to.

“Just look at the recent General Election. In the Conservative and Labour manifestos … there was not one mention of Cornwall in either document.

“It shows how local members of the Westminster parties have failed to influence their leaders in any meaningful way. And it is disturbing how these parties are not even paying lip service to Cornwall’s distinctive needs.

“This really does demonstrate why we need Mebyon Kernow to be a strong and effective champion for Cornwall. Because Cornwall is the very heart and soul of our politics, and standing up for Cornwall is what we do.”

2. Opposition to SW regionalisation

Cllr Dick Cole spoke against the latest attempt to promote a SW region, known as the “great SW proposition,” which was being pushed by the UK Government, unelected Local Enterprise Partnerships and various business groupings. He said:

“We need to be brave and bold for Cornwall, and that means always standing up for Cornwall as a distinct unit on all occasions and in all circumstances. And it means not allowing Cornwall to be regarded as merely the western tenth of a synthetic south west region.

3. The politics of Cornish nationhood

“The record of the Westminster parties shows that MK is the only political party that represents the ‘politics of Cornish nationhood.’

“Mebyon Kernow is a party of consistency, of integrity, with a solid and unbending commitment to Cornwall.

“Ours is the party which celebrates Cornwall as one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, and unashamedly seeks to give political expression to that nationhood.

“And ours is the party which rightly makes the argument that Cornwall must be considered on a par with Wales and Scotland.

“Friends, Cornwall is a great place and I believe that it is the people of Cornwall know what is best for our land. I believe in the men and women of Cornwall, who have the passion and the heart and the skills and the conscience to build a better future for us all.”

4. Campaigning for Cornwall

In his speech, Cllr Cole set out a range of campaigning priorities. These included:
  • A reshaping of the British state away from Westminster and the wealthy and the privileged – towards the nations and regions of the UK, and ordinary people like you and I.
  • A geographical re-balancing of the UK economy away from London and the wider South East of England.
  • Fair funding for our schools, health service, social services, and the public sector in Cornwall.
  • Greater investment in public works to boost local economic activity via projects that have the support of our local communities.
  • An end to the austerity agenda which is doing such damage to communities and people.
  • An end to the privatisation of the National Health Service and other public services.
  • A greater focus on combating inequality – in areas such as housing where many cannot afford first home and other spend £2 million on a second home.
  • An environmental action plan that backs action both local and global.
  • And respect for Cornish identity and culture, plus meaningful political control over our future.

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Published on 19th November 2017.

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