13 January 2014

Oh dear, I thought Cornish political nationalism, a nanority pursuit, had learned the folly of petitions. God knows, often enough they have attracted tellingly few signatories from Cornwall. However, one more is around now, a petition calling for a Cornish assembly which is a signature policy of political nationalism.

When I looked last it had 1542 signatures. There are about 430 000 adults in Cornwall, that is people aged eighteen or over. Those signatories are a minute proportion of that population.

In fact they are a smaller proportion than might appear because some of the signatories give addresses outside Cornwall. How many? The site does not enable one easily to work that out but over several glimpses I reckon as many as sixty percent come from outside Cornwall which would mean around six hundred current Cornwall signatories. Of course some of the outsiders may have familial links to Cornwall but many have addresses abroad and distinctly non-British names – when I last looked four of the ten signatories displayed were from France, more than from Cornwall.

It is interesting that some people abroad are moved to support a reconfiguration of England and the UK, a local rearrangement. Incidentally, the referendum on Scottish independence gives the vote only to people resident and registered in Scotland; around 800 000 people born in Scotland but living elsewhere in the UK, mostly England, cannot vote.

Anyway, six hundred is around 0.14 percent of all adults registered in Cornwall, one in 717. At present the petition is advertising what elections also show, political nationalism’s failure to attract people in numbers here.