A recent communication received by the Secretary of the Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League is immensely revealing.
There has been a long running campaign in Cornwall and elsewhere to have the Cornish people who are one of the indigenous peoples of Britain included in the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM). If this were the case then certain basic legal protections would be afforded to the Cornish people wherever they are.
The letter received by the Celtic League in Cornwall from the office of the relevant Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP reads as follows:
"Thank you for your emails of 24 November and 6 February to the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, about the Cornish. Your email has been passed to me for reply as I am one of the officials in team responsible for this policy area. I am very sorry you did not receive an earlier reply (SIC).
As you may know, the UK has recognised the Cornish language under the Council of Europe's Charter for Regional Minority Languages. Since 2005, this department has provided funding to support the local partnership, which works with Cornwall Council, schools and other bodies to promote knowledge and use of the language.
The Government continues to consider arguments for inclusion of the Cornish under the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The Government is due to make its next report to the Council of Europe under the Framework Convention in the spring. This department is coordinating that work and we will send a draft version of the report out for information and comment to a wide range of non-governmental organisations, including the Celtic League.
It is also open to individuals or organisations to submit their own reports or comments to the Framework Convention monitoring committee direct at the following address:
Secretariat to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel: +33 (0) 3 90 21 44 33
The Celtic League has been amongst those campaigning for many years for such inclusion and the Secretary of the Branch in Cornwall has added the following comment:
If you have ANY record of anti-Cornish abuse, please send a copy of it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title "Anti-Cornish Abuse"
Very wise advice indeed!
The Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League may be contacted at - email@example.com
The Celtic League's main website is at - http://www.celticleague.net/