UNITED NATIONS RECOGNISES CORNISH IDENTITY
A REPORT on Cornish Heritage from 1508 to 2008
The CSP has produced a Report on how the Charter of Pardon 1508 led to the Cornish Mining World Heritage status being awarded by UNESCO. The Report quotes many of the passages from “The Cornish Mining World Heritage Nomination Document”, (marked WHD) approved by Cornwall County Council, English Heritage, the British government and UNESCO. Unfortunately, the WHD was a limited edition and is now only available at www.cornish-mining.org.uk. When re-assembled from the WHD format for the description of the ten World Heritage sites, into a Cornwall wide Cornish heritage evolution Report, the WHD entries can be seen to confirm an ancient and modern separate Cornish identity and culture. Why then, has the documentary recognition of Cornish identity in the WHD, made by the Cornwall Council, English Heritage and the British government in order to secure acceptance as World Heritage by the United Nations, not since been adopted as official government policy? Commentaries by the Cornish Stannary Parliament are included under the heading Authenticity Assessment, (marked AA). A full REPORT is available from www.cornish-heritage.net at £5.00 each plus p & p.
There are 10 chapters, beginning with:-
1. THE INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) accepted Cornish Mining and culture as World Heritage based on the Nomination Bid Document submitted to UNESCO by the UK. At the preparatory stage the various interested parties represented on the Partnership Meetings at Truro were reluctant to include important details on Cornish history and culture in the Nomination Document. Some progress was, however made, when the Cornish Stannary Parliament (CSP) representative presented the Partnership meetings with a copy of the UNESCO Document on Authenticity, NARA, (WHD p.183) and asserted the necessity of strict compliance to ensure the success of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Nomination Bid Document. (WHD). (Report p.1).
On ‘authenticity’ UNESCO warns:- “The search for cultural identity is sometimes pursued through aggressive nationalism and the suppression of the cultures of minorities”. In addition to ‘authenticity’, UNESCO requires observance of the “Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”, of 1972, ratified by the British government in 1984. (WHD p. 183) Article 1, requires “ethnological” aspects to be considered as “cultural heritage”, also “identification” which can only mean the accurate identification of the origins and identity of the culture of the people concerned. (Report p.1).
The successful World Heritage Document (WHD) reveals that the government has been obliged to comply with the complete UNESCO package by including a substantial recognition of the Celtic ethnological dimension as an integral part of Cornish history culture, achievements, traditions and identity in order to ensure the authentic achievement of World Heritage status. (Report p.1).
If the principles of ‘authenticity’, ‘identification’, and ‘ethnology’ were now, as a matter of honesty and principle, to be applied across the whole spectrum of the government’s administrative functions, there would be no grounds for the continuing exclusion of the Cornish, ethnologically Celtic national minority, from the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by the Department of Communities and Local Government. (Report p.1).
Further extracts from the 30 page REPORT (WHD quotes in bold) include:-
AA – (Authenticity Assessment) There is much more to Cornwall which could have been added to the WHD to emphasise the authentic distinction between Cornish Celtic culture and English Anglo-Saxon culture if the number of pages in the WHD had been extended by only a few beyond the final 234 pages. (Report p.6)
WHD – “The Cornish mining industry also played a leading role in the diffusion of both metal mining and steam technology around the globe. (WHD p.18). By 1800 Cornwall had become a scientific and intellectual powerhouse. (WHD p.150). Cornwall became one of Europe’s major emigration regions….after 1830”. (WHD page 21). “Cornwall lost between a quarter and half a million people in the 19th century”. (WHD p. 156). (Report p.9 to 11)
AA - The ’lasting contributions to global society’ and ‘for all mankind’ (WHD p.iv) was ultimately not the intended result by the families personally involved in the Cornish exodus. The reader of the WHD is not reminded that , by far the majority of the exodus names are of Cornish language derivation, and therefore, of Celtic origin. The diffusion of Cornish mining technology around the globe, was, it should be noted, not the result of a benevolent global contribution by English people, but, the result of an enforced Cornish family exodus on the closure of many mines in Cornwall. The social impact is not investigated in the WHD. (Report p.9).
AA – Against the trend the population of Cornwall declined from 341,279 in 1841 to 330,686 in 1881. The Cornish homeland exodus represented an irresponsible loss of scientific and intellectual expertise. Yet another Celtic brain drain from the British Isles. (Report p.10).
WHD – “Mining practice in Cornwall was based on Stannary law, a codified version of customary mining traditions……..” (WHD p.42) (Report p.13). “The powers of the Stannary Parliament included the right to veto laws from the Parliament at Westminster………” (WHD p.23) (Report p.12).
Report pages 16 to 18 contain a copy of the Charter of Pardon 1508.
WHD – “Richard Trevithick - the first full sized locomotive in the world”.
(WHD p.96) (Report p.23).
AA – Why promote Stephenson? (Report p.24).
WHD – “Cornishness continues to have a unique international dimension”.
(WHD p.44) (Report p.25).