THE C-WORD

10 June 2009

Original post 15 May 2008

Julia Goldsworthy, the Libdem MP for Falmouth and Camborne, recently presented a petition to parliament looking for Facebook to recognise Cornwall as a networking region (Hansard 14 May 2008, column 1510). I have no interest in the ins and outs of this and I cannot even fret about the silliness of a petition which urges a government minister to “put pressure on the owners” of a private company to reorganise its geography.

What does interest me is that in introducing the petition to the Commons Julia Goldsworthy used the c-word and called Cornwall a “county.”

Can you hear the Cornish nationalist howls? It is de rigueur among many nationalists not to refer to Cornwall as a county; they earnestly say duchy or region. It is a matter of cpc, cornat political correctness, to avoid the c-word. I am agreeably amused to hear republican nationalists deliberately call Cornwall a duchy.

Incidentally, the topic in the Commons straight after Goldsworthy’s Cornwall Facebook petition was to do with the sufferers from muscular dystrophy.

May I suggest a slight amusement? Look at the things Cornwall MPs say and see how they deal with the c-word. Do they say county or use some other word or circumlocution? Is there a pattern? Who never says county?

Addition 10 June 2009

In a recent interesting debate, which he initiated and aspects of which I shall discuss in another post, on the relationship of central, regional, and local government, Andrew George, Libdem MP for St Ives, sensibly used the word “county” five times to describe the territory of Cornwall. (Hansard 3 June 2009 columns 355-356.)

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