Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Except Wild Wales"

Continued light posting alas. But I couldn't resist taking a pop at Michael White's remarkable Guardian piece, a sympathetic look at the Cornish who find themselves being swamped by what he calls "an influx of outsiders".

Of course I'm sympathetic too. But the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

"With an influx of outsiders buying up property, national sentiment has grown in Cornwall - and the alleged terrorist threats are hardly surprising."

Funny. There's been an "influx of outsiders" in the rest of England too. Surely you should be calling upon the Cornish to "ignore myths, stick to facts" - as you called upon the people of Barking and their MP to do recently. And aren't the threateners bigoted, racist neo-Nazis ?

The facts are surely that Cornwall is immeasurably enriched by the influx, which has improved restaurants no end and is keeping the Cornish economy vibrant. Anyway, Cornwall has always been a county of immigrants - this is nothing new. And there's no such thing as the Cornish people anyway. Recent historical research has shown that people from the Home Counties were living in Cornwall as far back as the first century AD, therefore any number of people from Camberley can move there now.

The immigrants into Cornwall are of course wealthy and not-so-wealthy refugees from multicultural England, fleeing West. Its a historical irony that one of the by-products of mass immigration into England should be something that the Anglo-Saxon invaders of AD 500 failed to achieve - the cultural destruction of the Celtic fastnesses of North Wales (today's Wales) and West Wales (today's Cornwall).

In the 6th century, when the Anglo-Saxons were everywhere driving back or slaughtering the natives, the bard Taliesin wrote :

Their Lord they shall praise,
Their language they shall keep,
Their land they shall lose -
Except wild Wales.

I invite readers to take a look at the following recent reports on the housing market :

"The “West-East tilt” now rivals the North-South divide as the defining character in the country’s booming housing market."

From the Sunday Times property supplement of April 9th 2006.

"Wales is the new Cornwall"

(and compare the house price data with the graphic in this post)

UPDATE - Guardianista John Harris says 'we shouldn't be surprised'. After all, "a lot of what I'm talking about has to do with identity, language, culture and history, which everybody is imbued with down here".

Identity, culture and history are OK for the 'fierce nationalists' of Cornwall - as long as directed against 'metropolitan types'. Not so for the reactionaries of the Five Towns.


Anonymous said...

Have Welsh Nats ever burnt down the house of a non-white, non-English person? Id be interested to know.

JohnM said...

OT: There's an article that might interest you, Laban at the Telegraph.

Earth Mother finds that disciplining kids seems to work even though she worries it might disturb their creativity. Seems they slap their children to discipline them.

saltynick said...

You make these points so much more delicately than I could, even though they are big, bullish, national-life carrying issues that you discuss.

I only hope you are on the right side, and so parsing people our way rather than toward the RESPECT party. Don't be too delicate, darling.

Snafu said...

It's ironic that Cornwall, a county that only has pro-immigration Liberal Democrat MPs, doesn't like English 'immigrants'!!