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Cornwall is a Northern fortress England's peripheries will always be united

A tin mine near St. Agnes, Cornwall (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A tin mine near St. Agnes, Cornwall (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)




August 25, 2023   5 mins

In the preface to Pax, the latest volume of his magisterial history of the Roman Empire, Tom Holland notes that the northern bank of the river Tyne was the furthest north that a Roman Emperor ever visited. What was so important about Hadrian’s visit to Tyneside in 122AD was his decision there to mark in stone, for the first time, the official limits of his Empire. North of this great wall, there was paucity and unspeakable barbarism, scarcely worth bothering about; below the wall was civility and abundance and the blessings of Romanitas.

To this day, those 73 miles of the Vallum Hadriani across the jugular of Britain still shape the common conception of where England and Scotland begin and end, even though the wall has never delineated the Anglo-Scottish border. For this colossal structure left enduring psychological as well as physical remains. To the Saxons, it was “the work of giants” and was often thought of as a metaphysical frontier with the land of the dead.

The Roman conquest of southwestern Britain was more ambiguous. For generations, scholars have assumed that the legions did not march much beyond the river Exe, leaving much of Devon and Cornwall as terra incognita. However, archaeological evidence now suggests that they may have penetrated further down the peninsula than many realised, probably attracted by the rich reserves of Cornish tin and copper.

Yet the perception that Cornwall, in particular, was a place apart persisted after the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. For a Celtic Kingdom of Dumnonii then emerged in Devon and Cornwall — with strong ties of kinship to the Celtic realms of Ireland, Wales and Brittany — and resisted the Germanic kingdom of Wessex for several centuries, until their eventual conquest by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours. But Cornwall’s culture did not become anglicised: place names remained mainly Brittonic, most of the people still spoke Cornish, and, after 1066, the new rulers of England thought it prudent to appoint a Breton from Cornouaille in Britanny as Earl of Cornwall. As late as the reign of Henry VIII, an Italian diplomat noted that “the language of the English, Welsh and Cornish men is so different that they do not understand each other”. He went on to give the alleged “national characteristics” of the three peoples, noting that “the Cornishman is poor, rough and boorish”.

Interestingly, the far north of England was often described in similarly condescending terms. “The miners and fishermen of Devon, Cornwall and Northumberland were as far away from London as the English could get,” wrote Robert Colls in Identity of England, “and were usually described in the same terms as their environment: hard, simple, natural.”

There are certainly curious parallels between Cornwall’s medieval and early modern history, and that of their countrymen in what might we call Angleterre pĂ©riphĂ©rique. Where Northumbria had the quasi-independent Prince Bishops of Durham and aristocratic warlords of Northumberland who held the frontier with Scotland as Lord Wardens of the Marches, Cornwall was governed as a royal duchy, under whom a “Lord Warden of the Stannaries” (from the Latin, stannaria meaning tin-mine) governed the mining districts of the county. To this day, the estate of any Cornish resident who dies with no will or surviving relatives passes by right to Prince William as Duke of Cornwall.

The Cornish Stannary Parliament (officially, “the Convocation of the Tinners of Cornwall”) was the representative body of the Cornish tin industry, whose ancient privileges exempted the tinners from any jurisdiction other than the Stannary courts. This mirrored the system of courts that the Prince Bishop oversaw in the County Palatine of Durham and had further parallels with the powerful “Newcastle Parliament” — the Opec of its day — that cartel of Northumbrian mine-owners who emerged in the 18th century to control the lucrative coal trade with London.

Despite Northumbrian pre-eminence in subterranean exploration, it was the engineers of Cornwall who were, for a time, at the leading edge of mining innovation: from the breakthroughs of Richard Trevithick, in steam engines and steam locomotion, to William Bickford’s safety fuse and the safety lamps of Sir Humphrey Davy (although Northumbrian miners always preferred George Stephenson’s “Geordie” lamp, which might explain the nickname). But the decline of Cornish copper and tin mining from the mid-19th century began a great exodus on a scale that is quite astonishing. It is estimated that between 1861 and 1900, 45% of the Cornish male population aged 15 to 24 left for mining districts overseas. One newspaper report of a riot in Ballarat, Australia, in 1857 described a melee involving “Tips” [Irish miners], Geordies and “Cousin Jacks”, as the clannish Cornish miners were known.

Yet the Cornish diaspora migrated within Britain, too. For those same Cousin Jacks streamed north to places such as the orefields of Cumberland and the coalfields of Northumberland and Durham. And in great numbers: in the Northumberland pit villages that I grew up in, there were families who were proud to carry sonorous Cornish surnames like Trewick, Kneebone and Penaluna. The great laureate of the northern coalfield, whose paintings celebrated the pitfolk of County Durham, was the miner-turned-artist, Norman Cornish.

But a specialisation in extractive industries is not the only shared inheritance between Cornwall and the North East. Northumbrian martial traditions are well-known, but as a finger of land pointing into the Atlantic, Cornwall still bristles with fortifications — much like Northumberland — from its role in the frontline of wars against Spain and France; and Cornwall was a much fought-over royalist stronghold (as was the far North) during the English Civil War.

Indeed, one account of the Cornish rebellion of 1497 notes Cornish grievances about crippling taxes, and that they had provided “more than their fair share of soldiers and sailors” for Henry VII’s campaign in Northumberland against the pretender Perkin Warbeck and his Scottish allies. Warbeck then landed near Land’s End to capitalise on Cornish resentment, and was proclaimed King Richard IV on Bodmin Moor before leading a Cornish army to besiege Exeter. Warbeck was soon captured, and later executed. But this rebellion can be seen as one of several uprisings against a centralising Tudor state based in the South East, which would include the “Pilgrimage of Grace” 40 years later, when the North mobilised under the banner of St Cuthbert of Durham in protest at Henry VIII’s suppression of the old religion.

Cornish national awareness re-emerged in the early 20th century, centred on reviving the Cornish language and attending bardic rituals in Celtic costume (Cornwall, like Northumberland, even has its own tartan). Yet Cornish political demands have only stirred intermittently.

Even Lord Salisbury conceded in 1889 that if Ireland were granted a Parliament, “the claims of Cornwall could not be overlooked to a separate and independent Government”. This was a view shared by Cornish nationalists. Their party Mebyon Kernow was founded in 1951, and has had some success in local government elections, leading to the launch on St Piran’s Day in 2000 of a “Declaration for a Cornish Assembly”, which was supported by more than 50,000 people.

Yet Cornwall’s most recent moves to secure a devolution deal, with an elected mayor — like that agreed for the North East — have now been abandoned. Cornwall may have been identified as the second poorest region in all of northern Europe in 2018, but political solutions and devolved power seem as elusive as ever. Even so, places such as post-industrial Cornwall, like much of South Wales, are really, functionally, “northern”. In English history, the divide between centre and periphery has been — and remains — as important as the separation between north and south. After all, Land’s End is further away from London than the River Tyne.


Dan Jackson is the author of the best-selling book The Northumbrians: The North East of England and its People. A New History, published by Hurst (2019)

 

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Simon Neale
Simon Neale
9 months ago

sonorous Cornish surnames like Trewick, Kneebone and Penaluna.

Are the Kneebones connected to the Shinbones?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

………….”and hear the word of the lord!!”

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

………….”and hear the word of the lord!!”

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
9 months ago

sonorous Cornish surnames like Trewick, Kneebone and Penaluna.

Are the Kneebones connected to the Shinbones?

William Cameron
William Cameron
9 months ago

I dont get the second home point. You go on holiday to have a change of scene, different food, different people.
So the wealthy buy the houses in places like Salcombe and go on holiday to eat the same food, meet people just like them – not locals, and basically move their normal places of life to a holiday place.
They may let out their second home – but not in autumn winter and early spring. So it sits empty – denying a local family a home because the outsiders money makes housing unaffordable on local wages. And because most of the houses are empty there are no shops out of season and schools etc struggle to stay viable.
Second homes in tourist places dont work for anyone really- and they make life much worse for several.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Since the heady days of the ‘Pax Romana’ people have sought to acquire a ‘Villa Rustica’ to act as a respite to urban life. Pliny the Younger was always banging on about his numerous Villas, particularly the one on Lake Como as I recall.

It is not ‘my’ problem/fault if a greedy, incompetent and possibly corrupt local authority has not built enough ‘affordable’ homes. Nor my fault that the local economy may have tanked because of government ineptitude, or ‘market forces’.

In fact I am always struck by the sheer ingratitude of people like the Cornish, although off course the Welsh are even worse. You spend a small fortune restoring some insanitary medieval hovel to something like a Roman Villa, employ perhaps five people to maintain it, and countless more to service and update it.
If you have a pastime such as chasing a species of ultra clever ‘red dogs’ across the countryside, so you employ yet more for livery etc.Yet despite all this the green eyed goddess Envy is never far away, and more so now than ever, thanks to social media (whatever that is.)

No doubt following your logic I will also soon have to make my 75’ yacht, which I hardly ever use, available to all and sundry? This whole argument smacks of Marxism, thinly disguised as ‘social Justice’. How have we become like this?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

OMG Charles you really are an insufferable prig, and that’s being kind. As I read this essay I thought ” Charles is going to have a field day with this” and you don’t disappoint.

Last edited 9 months ago by Clare Knight
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Praise indeed from such an insufferable old scold, such as your good self.
However I am delighted I didn’t “disappoint”.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Praise indeed from such an insufferable old scold, such as your good self.
However I am delighted I didn’t “disappoint”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

OMG Charles you really are an insufferable prig, and that’s being kind. As I read this essay I thought ” Charles is going to have a field day with this” and you don’t disappoint.

Last edited 9 months ago by Clare Knight
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

Indeed the same in Wales.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Surely you remember “Come home to a real fire, buy a cottage in Wales”!
Needless to say not a single prosecution!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Surely you remember “Come home to a real fire, buy a cottage in Wales”!
Needless to say not a single prosecution!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Since the heady days of the ‘Pax Romana’ people have sought to acquire a ‘Villa Rustica’ to act as a respite to urban life. Pliny the Younger was always banging on about his numerous Villas, particularly the one on Lake Como as I recall.

It is not ‘my’ problem/fault if a greedy, incompetent and possibly corrupt local authority has not built enough ‘affordable’ homes. Nor my fault that the local economy may have tanked because of government ineptitude, or ‘market forces’.

In fact I am always struck by the sheer ingratitude of people like the Cornish, although off course the Welsh are even worse. You spend a small fortune restoring some insanitary medieval hovel to something like a Roman Villa, employ perhaps five people to maintain it, and countless more to service and update it.
If you have a pastime such as chasing a species of ultra clever ‘red dogs’ across the countryside, so you employ yet more for livery etc.Yet despite all this the green eyed goddess Envy is never far away, and more so now than ever, thanks to social media (whatever that is.)

No doubt following your logic I will also soon have to make my 75’ yacht, which I hardly ever use, available to all and sundry? This whole argument smacks of Marxism, thinly disguised as ‘social Justice’. How have we become like this?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

Indeed the same in Wales.

William Cameron
William Cameron
9 months ago

I dont get the second home point. You go on holiday to have a change of scene, different food, different people.
So the wealthy buy the houses in places like Salcombe and go on holiday to eat the same food, meet people just like them – not locals, and basically move their normal places of life to a holiday place.
They may let out their second home – but not in autumn winter and early spring. So it sits empty – denying a local family a home because the outsiders money makes housing unaffordable on local wages. And because most of the houses are empty there are no shops out of season and schools etc struggle to stay viable.
Second homes in tourist places dont work for anyone really- and they make life much worse for several.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

“North of this great wall, there was paucity and unspeakable barbarism, scarcely worth bothering about”.
Scotland I presume, and has anything really changed?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

Edinburgh used to be an oasis of enlightenment and culture, but recent events (cancellations, in particular) indicate a reversion to tribalism.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes indeed, a real tragedy.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes indeed, a real tragedy.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

So much for the “union” lol

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Agreed, it’s dead and now putrefying, and must be buried asap.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Agreed, it’s dead and now putrefying, and must be buried asap.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

Nasty.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Possibly, but accurate all the same.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Possibly, but accurate all the same.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

Edinburgh used to be an oasis of enlightenment and culture, but recent events (cancellations, in particular) indicate a reversion to tribalism.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

So much for the “union” lol

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

Nasty.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

“North of this great wall, there was paucity and unspeakable barbarism, scarcely worth bothering about”.
Scotland I presume, and has anything really changed?

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
9 months ago

My father was Cornish my mother from Devon. Both born pre-WW1. I lived in Cornwall for several years round 2000. Second “homes” are indeed an awful blight and I’m not surprised people are angry. We are an overcrowded island and the wealthy are too wealthy and the poor too poor. Cornwall has more people living in villages than in towns so cars are essential. I’d charge 10x council tax but the 6 figure salaries will cover even that easily. I don’t know what the answer is but I’m so sad at the way things have changed since I was a child!

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
9 months ago

My father was Cornish my mother from Devon. Both born pre-WW1. I lived in Cornwall for several years round 2000. Second “homes” are indeed an awful blight and I’m not surprised people are angry. We are an overcrowded island and the wealthy are too wealthy and the poor too poor. Cornwall has more people living in villages than in towns so cars are essential. I’d charge 10x council tax but the 6 figure salaries will cover even that easily. I don’t know what the answer is but I’m so sad at the way things have changed since I was a child!

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

Where I live, there are no long-term rentals available any more. I’m not being hyperbolic – literally none. Anything that used to be available for rent at a fair price has now been spruced up and put on airbnb at c 6 times the return. Locals are being priced out in favour of big city weekend blow-ins. And, btw, they spend SFA locally either, other than to the Airbnb landlord.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

Where I live, there are no long-term rentals available any more. I’m not being hyperbolic – literally none. Anything that used to be available for rent at a fair price has now been spruced up and put on airbnb at c 6 times the return. Locals are being priced out in favour of big city weekend blow-ins. And, btw, they spend SFA locally either, other than to the Airbnb landlord.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
9 months ago

For a sweeping historical article it would have been nice to get some links…

Like Roussinos’ article on Corfu a month or so ago i think these are some of the best articles Unherd does.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
9 months ago

For a sweeping historical article it would have been nice to get some links…

Like Roussinos’ article on Corfu a month or so ago i think these are some of the best articles Unherd does.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

“Northern Fortress” 🙂 I’m a bit puzzled by this article. Other members of the Celtic fringe are still classed as emmets like everybody else visiting or moving in from over the Tamar 😉

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Are emmets the same as grockles?

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve Murray
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes. Devonian variant.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Ha! And you have the barefaced cheek to whinge about “Straw Dogs”!
You’re not Malcolm Bell in disguise I trust?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Ha! And you have the barefaced cheek to whinge about “Straw Dogs”!
You’re not Malcolm Bell in disguise I trust?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

And what is the correct equivalent an ‘outsider’ would use describe the inhabitants of Devon & Cornwall? Peasants I presume.

Alright Plebs then?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes. Devonian variant.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

And what is the correct equivalent an ‘outsider’ would use describe the inhabitants of Devon & Cornwall? Peasants I presume.

Alright Plebs then?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Are emmets the same as grockles?

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve Murray
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

“Northern Fortress” 🙂 I’m a bit puzzled by this article. Other members of the Celtic fringe are still classed as emmets like everybody else visiting or moving in from over the Tamar 😉

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Cornwall showed its true colours during the appalling COVID fiasco, when it virtually declared itself a ‘No Go Zone’.
The deep seated resentment against those fortunate enough to own second homes in the place could no longer be restrained.
All this against the fact that Cornwall is the most depressed region in England, thanks to the near destruction of the fishing industry, and the cessation of mining, and thus tourism is the mainstay of what’s left of the economy.
A classic case of “biting the hand that feeds you”, but very typical of the ‘chippy’ society we now live in.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

Cornwall is fairly xenophobic, yes. But it is also very self-reliant. A few years ago a gas explosion destroyed a home in the town I lived in until a couple of months ago. The owners couldn’t afford house insurance. Local people clubbed together and rebuilt the house.
During Covid the community came together incredibly to help the elderly.
It is very materially poor (though North Devon is even poorer), but it is not poor in spirit or community.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Foul-mouthed Malcolm Bell, former CEO of ‘Visit Cornwall’ didn’t do the place any favours.

He should perhaps consider moving to Scotland where the SNP welcome such xenophobic cretins.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Well said.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Surely you don’t believe his ‘chippy’ nonsense?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Surely you don’t believe his ‘chippy’ nonsense?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Foul-mouthed Malcolm Bell, former CEO of ‘Visit Cornwall’ didn’t do the place any favours.

He should perhaps consider moving to Scotland where the SNP welcome such xenophobic cretins.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Well said.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
9 months ago

You’ll see the same thing in North Norfolk – people don’t like being dispossessed and having to leave their home towns for the nearest low cost hub because others have surplus capital.

Who’d a thunk it?

Last edited 9 months ago by Andy Iddon
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

Yep. Empty second homes are a blight on Cornwall. It is great that they will be hit with double council tax soon. If you go to some places in winter you will barely see a light on at night anywhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Double Council Tax is a particularly spiteful piece of legislation and will not deter those seeking some sort of Shangri-La.
It will however massively enrich the greedy Cornish County Council and secure their far too generous pensions for example.
Who also builds, cleans, maintains those ‘second homes’? And what if anything would replace them?
The ‘magic money tree’ of eternal benefits no doubt?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

The Cornish despise the council but they are generally behind the double council tax. Some would like it tripled.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Let us assume hypothetically that the Council tax was quadrupled, and the evil second home owners driven off, what then!
A cacophony of whinging about no jobs, no prospects etc! Plus hysterical screaming for yet more benefits as the place stagnates into a sort of ‘Straw Dogs” utopia.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

A house that is empty for 10 or 11 months of the year is no boon to the Cornish economy.
You are mistaking busy holiday rentals for rich people’s second homes standing empty.
This is becoming like a ‘white saviour’ narrative. Keep digging.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Presumably somebody is ‘maintaining’ it, heating it, mowing the lawn etc? Or are they parachuted in from London?
Incidentally 11 months does sound excessive. Why don’t they rent it
out?

BTW you have yet to comment on Malcolm Bell?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

Yes, my friend mows lawns for a few. He’d rather local families were living in them.
Busy holiday rentals do not pay council tax by the way. They pay business rates of ÂŁ0.
Don’t ask me why rich people don’t want to get their carpets dirty.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

I see you edited your comment. I’m not Malcolm Bell’s keeper. Ask him yourself.
Responding to other slurs…
Your benefits comment is wide of the mark. People vote Tory down here, not Labour; they used to vote Liberal until the LibDems stopped being liberals.
As I said at the top, self-reliance is a virtue down here. Many people have two or more jobs. People have a very dim view of scroungers.
“Straw dogs” is unworthy of comment.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Bell stands condemned by his own foul-mouthed tirade, I have no need to slur him, he has done it himself, has he not?
Perhaps a solution to Cornwall’s problem would be to divert a substantial amount of the current £20Bn or so currently squandered on Northern Ireland and Scotland, via the Barnett formula, towards Truro.
I am glad to hear ‘you’ still vote Tory.

ps. Glad to see you picked up on “Straw Dogs”, I must say I thought you too young. It was 1971 after all.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

IIRC at the time he made it the epidemiology of Covid was poorly understood, there were high infection rates in the cities, and very low infection rates in the SW. People didn’t want it being brought down here.
I’m sure Cornwall would be happy to receive the matched funding that was promised to replace the EU grants for it being so impoverished.
Personally, I’ve never voted Tory in my life 😉

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Bell should have picked his words more carefully, COVID is NO excuse.
The Great Western Railway seems to have moved its HQ from Old Oak Common to Penzance which is something.
Perhaps Starmer will be even more generous.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Well said.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Bell should have picked his words more carefully, COVID is NO excuse.
The Great Western Railway seems to have moved its HQ from Old Oak Common to Penzance which is something.
Perhaps Starmer will be even more generous.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Well said.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

IIRC at the time he made it the epidemiology of Covid was poorly understood, there were high infection rates in the cities, and very low infection rates in the SW. People didn’t want it being brought down here.
I’m sure Cornwall would be happy to receive the matched funding that was promised to replace the EU grants for it being so impoverished.
Personally, I’ve never voted Tory in my life 😉

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Bell stands condemned by his own foul-mouthed tirade, I have no need to slur him, he has done it himself, has he not?
Perhaps a solution to Cornwall’s problem would be to divert a substantial amount of the current £20Bn or so currently squandered on Northern Ireland and Scotland, via the Barnett formula, towards Truro.
I am glad to hear ‘you’ still vote Tory.

ps. Glad to see you picked up on “Straw Dogs”, I must say I thought you too young. It was 1971 after all.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

Yes, my friend mows lawns for a few. He’d rather local families were living in them.
Busy holiday rentals do not pay council tax by the way. They pay business rates of ÂŁ0.
Don’t ask me why rich people don’t want to get their carpets dirty.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

I see you edited your comment. I’m not Malcolm Bell’s keeper. Ask him yourself.
Responding to other slurs…
Your benefits comment is wide of the mark. People vote Tory down here, not Labour; they used to vote Liberal until the LibDems stopped being liberals.
As I said at the top, self-reliance is a virtue down here. Many people have two or more jobs. People have a very dim view of scroungers.
“Straw dogs” is unworthy of comment.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Presumably somebody is ‘maintaining’ it, heating it, mowing the lawn etc? Or are they parachuted in from London?
Incidentally 11 months does sound excessive. Why don’t they rent it
out?

BTW you have yet to comment on Malcolm Bell?

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago

One thing at a time; first shake off your parasites.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Don’t you mean prejudices?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Don’t you mean prejudices?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

A house that is empty for 10 or 11 months of the year is no boon to the Cornish economy.
You are mistaking busy holiday rentals for rich people’s second homes standing empty.
This is becoming like a ‘white saviour’ narrative. Keep digging.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago

One thing at a time; first shake off your parasites.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Let us assume hypothetically that the Council tax was quadrupled, and the evil second home owners driven off, what then!
A cacophony of whinging about no jobs, no prospects etc! Plus hysterical screaming for yet more benefits as the place stagnates into a sort of ‘Straw Dogs” utopia.

Tony Price
Tony Price
9 months ago

Second homes are a blight, with occasional visits to an otherwise empty property bringing supplies with them – it’s holiday lets that bring a boost to the economy, with turnovers, maintenance and spending visitors.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Air B&B has been a great boost for those who don’t mind ‘sharing’.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

It’s not sharing, you twit.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Nonsense! And remember “manners maketh woman” as well as man, to quote the venerable Bishop.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Nonsense! And remember “manners maketh woman” as well as man, to quote the venerable Bishop.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago

It’s not sharing, you twit.

Chipoko
Chipoko
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

This last June we spent a couple of nights in Cornwall in an Air B&B property. It was a disgusting place – dripping (literally!) with damp accompanied by a pervading stench that clung to our hair and clothes. The bedclothes were damp and stank too. I understand the concerns about second homes; but sub-standard Air B&B offers with high prices are not the way to economic prosperity as an alternative. No alternative accommodation was available, so we put up with the foul conditions as we had to be in the area. We left Cornwall with some pretty negative perceptions, though I accept it is not fair to make wider judgements based on a single experience. Having said that, the Eden Project was wonderful – but, equally, that doesn’t make Cornwall wonderful by association.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Your horrible experience isn’t the norm. I’ve used them in many different places and it’s been delightful.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Your horrible experience isn’t the norm. I’ve used them in many different places and it’s been delightful.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Air B&B has been a great boost for those who don’t mind ‘sharing’.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Chipoko
Chipoko
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

This last June we spent a couple of nights in Cornwall in an Air B&B property. It was a disgusting place – dripping (literally!) with damp accompanied by a pervading stench that clung to our hair and clothes. The bedclothes were damp and stank too. I understand the concerns about second homes; but sub-standard Air B&B offers with high prices are not the way to economic prosperity as an alternative. No alternative accommodation was available, so we put up with the foul conditions as we had to be in the area. We left Cornwall with some pretty negative perceptions, though I accept it is not fair to make wider judgements based on a single experience. Having said that, the Eden Project was wonderful – but, equally, that doesn’t make Cornwall wonderful by association.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago

The Magic Money Tree grows in the Enchanted Garden of Tax Avoidance.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

The Cornish despise the council but they are generally behind the double council tax. Some would like it tripled.

Tony Price
Tony Price
9 months ago

Second homes are a blight, with occasional visits to an otherwise empty property bringing supplies with them – it’s holiday lets that bring a boost to the economy, with turnovers, maintenance and spending visitors.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago

The Magic Money Tree grows in the Enchanted Garden of Tax Avoidance.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Double Council Tax is a particularly spiteful piece of legislation and will not deter those seeking some sort of Shangri-La.
It will however massively enrich the greedy Cornish County Council and secure their far too generous pensions for example.
Who also builds, cleans, maintains those ‘second homes’? And what if anything would replace them?
The ‘magic money tree’ of eternal benefits no doubt?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

It was forever thus.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

Yep. Empty second homes are a blight on Cornwall. It is great that they will be hit with double council tax soon. If you go to some places in winter you will barely see a light on at night anywhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

It was forever thus.

Tony Price
Tony Price
9 months ago

The ultimate ‘biting of the hands which feed’ was the Brexit vote. Cornwall voted to leave, but will suffer more than any other part of the UK. Agriculture and fisheries decimated, continental visitors put off by border red tape, and no more Brussels largesse for infrastructure.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The result of ‘State Education’ at its very best.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The result of ‘State Education’ at its very best.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
9 months ago

Tbf if the M25 was big wall, we could call those within it “the South” and all those without “the North” lol

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The ‘real’ north centred around Barnard Castle for arguments sake is idyllic.
No wonder the wretched Cummings creature wanted to test his eyes there!

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
9 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The Global South, yes.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The ‘real’ north centred around Barnard Castle for arguments sake is idyllic.
No wonder the wretched Cummings creature wanted to test his eyes there!

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
9 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The Global South, yes.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
9 months ago

I am fortunate enough to own my home but it must be upsetting to see people buying second homes and pricing one out of the market if you are having to rent in one’s home town.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

What is the alternative? 1984 perhaps?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

What is the alternative? 1984 perhaps?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
9 months ago

Cornwall is fairly xenophobic, yes. But it is also very self-reliant. A few years ago a gas explosion destroyed a home in the town I lived in until a couple of months ago. The owners couldn’t afford house insurance. Local people clubbed together and rebuilt the house.
During Covid the community came together incredibly to help the elderly.
It is very materially poor (though North Devon is even poorer), but it is not poor in spirit or community.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
9 months ago

You’ll see the same thing in North Norfolk – people don’t like being dispossessed and having to leave their home towns for the nearest low cost hub because others have surplus capital.

Who’d a thunk it?

Last edited 9 months ago by Andy Iddon
Tony Price
Tony Price
9 months ago

The ultimate ‘biting of the hands which feed’ was the Brexit vote. Cornwall voted to leave, but will suffer more than any other part of the UK. Agriculture and fisheries decimated, continental visitors put off by border red tape, and no more Brussels largesse for infrastructure.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
9 months ago

Tbf if the M25 was big wall, we could call those within it “the South” and all those without “the North” lol

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
9 months ago

I am fortunate enough to own my home but it must be upsetting to see people buying second homes and pricing one out of the market if you are having to rent in one’s home town.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Cornwall showed its true colours during the appalling COVID fiasco, when it virtually declared itself a ‘No Go Zone’.
The deep seated resentment against those fortunate enough to own second homes in the place could no longer be restrained.
All this against the fact that Cornwall is the most depressed region in England, thanks to the near destruction of the fishing industry, and the cessation of mining, and thus tourism is the mainstay of what’s left of the economy.
A classic case of “biting the hand that feeds you”, but very typical of the ‘chippy’ society we now live in.