2 January 2009

The Cornish Fighting Fund (CFF) has received just over £33 000 in pledges. Its target was £100 000 by the end of December 2008 and it has financially failed by miles.

The CFF campaign appeared in an article in the Guardian and was reported in local newspapers; it figured in a program on local radio; various nationalist groups backed it; numerous flyers were given out; several websites cried it up. The CFF has had reasonable publicity and still it has failed. People did not have to hand over money, merely promise it in an unenforceable pledge.

I have explained here why I think the CFF has failed with the people of Cornwall.

We should look at this campaign clearly and eschew myths. It is an achievement to get so many pledges; some people have worked very hard. Let that be acknowledged fully. Nevertheless, the vast majority of people in Cornwall, including the vast majority of those who call themselves Cornish, have not supported the CFF. We have not been told on the official website how many individuals supported the campaign with pledges or their names, but the total sum pledged suggests to me less than a thousand people: the total adult population of Cornwall is around 420 000 and some support probably came from outside Cornwall too so even if the pledgers numbered double my guess we’re talking about a nanority of the adults in Cornwall pledging. The number signing the online recognition petition is 324 (2 January 2009). This is not a cause commanding large and enthusiastic support among people in Cornwall.

We should remember how the people of Cornwall responded to the CFF: they rejected it or ignored it or were indifferent to it.

Now what? It has been clear for a while now that the CFF would not reach its target and I suggested a month ago that there should be an alternative ready to be announced on 1 January. No Plan B has been announced on the website yet (unless a meeting with a representative of the Equality and Human Rights Commission later this month is it) and there is a risk that disappointment at missing the target will turn into a collapse of morale.

The final amount raised was £33 446 according to the CFF website on 31 December 2008. The total amount displayed on the site has extraordinarily gone down by about £7 000 during the last half of December. I do not know why and there is no explanation on the CFF website, nor any numbers of pledgers there, nor any names, nor any amounts from individuals and organisations: this coyness is unnecessary and odd for a campaign about recognition.

Additamentum 15 January 2009

A note on the CFF website says that the fund is closed, having missed its target, and the money pledged will not be called upon, and legal action will not be “forthcoming”. This is a pitiable low-key end to the project.

Previous posts on the Cornish Fighting Fund:

Cornish Fighting Fund set to miss target

Cornish Fighting Fund way off target

Cornish minority recognition challenge