5 January 2012

It’s the start of 2012 and I have taken a quick look at what I’ll broadly call Cornish political nationalist petitions though they may attract support from people who are not nationalists. Remember, there are about 420 000 adults in Cornwall.

There are two petitions on the government site, signable by residents in Britain and British citizens overseas. One calls for the recognition of the Cornish as a national minority; it has 793 signatures.

The one calling for a Cornish Assembly has 137.

On Cornwall Council website there is an e-petition calling for a public holiday in Cornwall on St Piran’s day. This is signable by people resident or working in Cornwall. Running since February 2011, it has 311 signatures. An earlier petition on this on the government website ended in January 2008 with 1193 signatures.

Keep Cornwall Whole launched a petition on 31 October 2011 calling on MPs to reject the Devonwall proposals ( There was no closing date for the petition and I cannot see any information on its progress.

As I have said before, of course a petition does not capture every supporter of the proposition; not everyone knows about it and not every supporter wishes to sign. However, petitions are a public advertisement of a cause and a measure of its support among the public and if these nationalist petitions had thousands of signatures I have no doubt we should be told that reflected reality on the ground.

I think that the numbers signing these public petitions should be compared with the “up to 5000 people” who physically demonstrated for West Cornwall hospital in Penzance in December 2011 (Cornishman 8 December 2011).

Early day motions
An early day motion in the Commons (EDM 2532, 12 December 2011) calling for a Cornish Assembly has ten signatures, three from Cornwall MPs and four from MPs for seats in Wales. An early day motion (EDM 1525, 2 March 2011) calling for a government-made public holiday in Cornwall on St Piran’s day got twenty signatures, three from Cornwall MPs and six from MPs for seats in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Some earlier posts on petitions
Devonwall revisted 15 November 2011

Cornish nationalism’s thin joys 19 October 2011

Cornwall isn’t signing: update 13 September 2011

Cornwall border (petitions against Devonwall) 24 November 2010

And Cornish tick box on 2011 census (ended January 2011 with 639 of the required 1000 signatures)