1. Anti-terrorist laws
The rules for the British Constitution are quite different from all others, it is officially described as ‘flexible’. ‘Flexible’ rules for a Constitution ignore the public’s right to be consulted, at least, in respect of amendments. We do not have a one stop comprehensive easy reference document detailing constitutional rights for the citizen and laying down corresponding responsibilities for politicians in power.
A written constitution would be a statement of the clear cut parameters for the responsibilities and limits of power for persons acting in an official capacity. This is a matter or urgency in an age when the British government can invoke its anti-terrorist laws when in dispute with an Icelandic Bank. What next? Who next?
It is time for the international basic standard of a guaranteed and enforceable right to “equality before the law” to be adopted as the qualifying test for true democracy.
When British people realise the extent of the deception inherent in an unwritten constitution, they will naturally be dismayed at the absence of consultation or Public Inquiries regarding the content of the British constitution. Basically, people will want to know, and should have the right to know, “Where do I stand in relation to people in power?
2. The search for information
Requests for information are denied or the response is ambiguous. (Refer Duchy of Cornwall letter of 22nd February 2005, in response to an Freedom of Information request regarding the transfer of Tintagel Castle (of Celtic Arthurian legend) from the Duchy to English Heritage – response:- “The Duchy is not itself subject to the Freedom of Information Act”). This appears to be an attempt to claim King Arthur as English on the grounds that whatever has happened since a part of Britain was renamed England, must be English. Such assertions of English cultural supremacy by virtue of numerical supremacy over the Celts are not repeated to claim Roman baths. By section 37 of the Freedom of Information Act there can be no information provided regarding contacts between Ministers and members of the Royal family. So, who makes the final decision, Minister or Royal family? The Crown has many faces. The government comes under the heading of “The Crown” and there are also Crown Courts; The Crown Prosecution Service, The Crown Proceedings Act; The Crown Estate, Crown rights; Crown Immunity and Crown prerogatives.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport has recently refused to answer questions regarding the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The UNESCO Convention provides, at Article 3/3, “The protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions presuppose the recognition of equal dignity of and respect for all cultures, including the cultures of persons belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples”.
The UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity could, if available, be very important in securing the right of the Cornish to exist officially as a national minority.
3. The denial of information
The ‘no comment’ secrecy routine in response to constitutional questions appears to reveal a manifesto to stifle debate and foster the Anglicisation of the Cornish by suppressing the history of the Duchy of Cornwall and the Cornish Celtic identity. This is standard policy for the English education system operating in Cornwall and has not been contested by the otherwise pro-active Duke of Cornwall. The policy includes instructing schools to promote the Englishman George Stephenson as the inventor of the steam locomotive in place of the Cornishman Richard Trevithick. It would appear that Crown instructions are being carried out by the Cornwall County Council, the Office for National Statistics and the Police to ensure that accurate statistical data on the Cornish population is not available to the public. All as if to ensure that Cornish children are prevented from being brought up as Cornish.
Verifiable facts on British constitutional history are rejected and condemned as anti-English, disloyalty to the Crown, outrageous or its only those hard core ‘nationalists’. Only the concept English nationalist, alone among all manner of nationalists, is held to be true patriotism and ‘pre-England’ is not considered to be an historical fact. They reveal their fear of open debate.
Cornwall is held to be a county although historically ruled by the Duke of Cornwall as the imposed and unelected government of Cornwall under the three Duchy charters of 1337/8. Only the first Charter was published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1978 as Constitutional law. Cornwall is still the source of profit for the Duke as heir to the throne from unregistered land and Crown privileges provided by many Acts of Parliament. Income is often invested in registered land outside Cornwall.
In the corridors of power in the United Kingdom, there are privileges and prerogatives, virtually a collection of Crown rights, which are officially and fiercely defended by means of government publications to promote public distrust towards those who raise constitutional questions as is the case in Parliament. (Refer para.13).
An administrative legacy of institutionalised racism, institutionalised secrecy and an institutionalised immunity to criticism defends the feudal origins of the system.
4. Unregistered Duchy land
There is a provision for Duchy exemption from land registration under the Land Registration Act 2002, s.84 notes 135, although, the Duke “is vested with the title to the lands and is entitled only to the annual income”. (The Prime Minister, Hansard, 27th March 1996). (By the unexplained and unchallenged ‘Title to the lands’ politicians have apparently accepted that they have no right to question the validity of royal rights to unregistered land).
From this information it can be asserted that the land ownership of the Duchy of Cornwall is constitutionally a state secret and that, it is unknown whether or not income from unregistered land is included in the annul accounts.
As an act of social responsibility, unregistered Duchy land should be registered for the development of affordable housing for local people.
5. Crown immunity from the Credit Crunch
Today, the Duke of Cornwall still claims ownership of Cornish land and tin and extends that claim in Cornwall through intestate estates and bona vacantia. These privileges or prerogative Crown rights have become an ever increasing source of income for the Duke especially in these times of credit crunch and increasing reports of business failures and bankruptcies which the Duke of Cornwall administers in Cornwall for himself. (Supreme Court Act 1981, section 120).
The Duchy of Cornwall is given immunity against bankruptcy in many ways. This includes mineral rights from royal gold and silver to base metal objects of cultural importance such as tin under The Treasure Act 1996 and the Treasure (Designation) Order 2000/2666. It would appear totally unnecessary for the Duke to secure personal ownership of Cornish cultural objects of tin. In relation to the Duchy of Cornwall and Cornwall, the Treasure Acts arouse the suspicion of racial motives since they usurp a Cornish right to have and preserve, in particular, their own pre-England cultural heritage. These objects would be ideally suited for display at the Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites under the control of the Cornwall County Council.
6. The public spirited Crown Estate
Meanwhile, the Crown Estate is commissioned to be socially responsible and is regulated by statute to provide public benefits in the rest of the United Kingdom excluding Cornwall. The analogous body in Cornwall is the Duchy of Cornwall per Crown Estate letter dated 7th January 2005. In Cornwall, the Duchy of Cornwall operates to achieve maximum profits. Crown Estate land is of identical origins to that of the Duchy of Cornwall but is not private as claimed by the Duchy of Cornwall.
It is contended that the Constitutional Monarchy has retained feudal racism especially with regard to the Cornish who have been subjected to the adverse impact over centuries of Duchy of Cornwall government as well as indirectly through the Crown Estate’s special privileges provided for United Kingdom citizens outside Cornwall.
7. The Constitutional Monarchy
Criticism of the differences between Crown Estate Crown land and Duchy of Cornwall Crown land as an anti-Cornish policy is attacked as if it were a challenge to the very existence of the United Kingdom as a Constitutional Monarchy.
By section 79 (note 129) of the Land Registration Act 2002 Her Majesty may grant
demense land to herself. The Crown Estate affirms, 22nd March 2006, “we have no register or organised record of which of our land is demense land, No one other than Her Majesty may be the owner of demense land”.
There is a problem with the accuracy of official information. “All (manors in
Cornwall) were parts of the demense of the Duke of Cornwall assessed at one-tenth”. ‘Taxation and Wealth in late Medieval Cornwall’, H.J.G. Pounds, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall Vol. VI, 1971. If Duchy land in Cornwall is demesne then it would be an integral part of the non-private constitutional Crown Estate lands of the United Kingdom. Alternatively, a case for Stannary prior possession arises.
A request for a list of demense properties in Cornwall to the Land Registry, Plymouth, brought the response on 20th March 2006, “we are unable to provide you with such a list only information about specific registered land”. But, Duchy land is exempt from registration.
Since the Crown Estate has no register of ‘demense’ on its patch, and the Land Registry is unable to supply a list relative to Cornwall, what secret scheme is being proposed under section 79 of the Land Registration Act 2002 regarding Her Majesty’s
grants of land to herself or perhaps even grants to the Duke of Cornwall from ‘demense’ in Cornwall without public consultation.
This section 79 provision may be a modern application of the prerogative to continue depriving the Cornish of their land and minerals without consultation.
The unfathomable ancient description of Crown land as ‘demesne’ currently appears to be exploited as the method by which land, selected according to unknown criteria, is quietly converted into a private estate for the Duke of Cornwall without public consultation. It is a deterrent to enquiries, when the Land Registration Act 2002, affirms: “The Crown is the only absolute owner of land in England and Wales”. (Explanatory Notes, Title to Land, 4). Not Scotland, but where does Cornwall stand?
Parliament is not required to answer the question as to why it has been induced to pass an Act for Her Majesty to grant demesne land to herself when the Monarch already claims ownership of all land and the Crown Estate has no record of demesne land.
Is Britain a Constitutional Monarchy, a land where all land is held by the Crown as absolute owner, on course for conversion to a Private Monarchy as well as a Private Duchy of Cornwall, and, all done in secret?
What reaction, if not one of extreme disbelief, could be expected from the world community if such provisions, or operations, were contained within a written one stop British Constitution?
8. Law by the Duke of Cornwall
The Duke of Cornwall, furthermore, enjoys the right to intervene in legislative procedures.
1. Westminster:- Guide to Legislative Procedures, Cabinet Office 2004, for
“legislation regarding the potential it may have on Duchy operations” –
“Draft Bill to be sent to The Duchy of Cornwall”. (The Crown Estate is
similarly covered by the Guide).
2. Scottish Parliament – “where a Bill may require the consent of Her Majesty or
the Duke of Cornwall” – Standing Orders – Rule:- 9.11.
3. Welsh Assembly:- “where a measure may require the consent of Her Majesty
or the Duke of Cornwall” – Government of Wales Act 2006, section 98 (4).
4. Cornwall:- “Nothing in this Act shall prejudice, diminish, alter, detract from
or take away any of the rights, powers, privileges or authority attaching to the
possessions of, or exercisable by the possessor of the Duchy of Cornwall in
relation to any land belonging to the said Duchy……..” Cornwall County
Council Act 1984, section 50. (Repeated in the Tamar Bridge Act 1998,
Note:- The reference to “powers” and “authority” may refer to Duchy
powers and authority for the government of Cornwall some of which may be
held in abeyance. Cross refer Duchy Charter No.2 of 18th March 1337 and
its unrepealed provision of “The King’s Writ and Summons of Exchequer
and Attachments throughout Cornwall” for confirmation of Duchy
‘operations’ for the Duke of Cornwall to govern Cornwall. Duchy
government of Cornwall has been academically accepted as a fact in respect
of Charles the First b.1601 – d.1649. (‘The Estates of the English Crown’,
1558-1640, R.W.Hoyle & G. Haslem, Cambridge University, 1992).
The present pro-active Duke of Cornwall would appear to be poised, as the future Crown, to exert greater influence on the policies of the government of the United Kingdom without a constitutional amendment, consultation or information.
These extensive Crown rights listed above compare unfavourably with the limited human rights available to the general public. Conflicting laws, having the effect of blocking transparency, may be just one reason for the denial of the past and present constitutional status behind the current fiction of a “private estate”.
9. The control of people in power
As government, the Anglo-Saxon Duke of Cornwall, as with the Hanoverian George III, was expected to exercise a fiduciary duty towards the people for whom he claimed the right to rule, namely, the Cornish people of British Celtic ethnicity. The duties of government are intended to be enforceable in a democracy. In respect of Cornwall this was made specifically available by virtue of the Cornish right to veto the Duchy of Cornwall, as well as Crown and Westminster, under the terms of the Charter of Pardon of 1508. The charter of 1508 must therefore be constitutional.
The right to veto has been exercised historically but in 2002, in an attempt to establish Cornish intellectual property rights against English Heritage, it was rejected in the Crown Court by means of a Public Interest Immunity Certificate. Such a ‘certificate’ must be unconstitutional, since, it cannot be effectively challenged.
The very existence of this Stannary Charter of 1508, however, with its right to veto the Duchy of Cornwall, was clearly intended to control people in power and control Cornish assets, culture and language.
Cornish control of the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall officials would be relevant with regard to, and intended for, the prevention of the possible misuse of responsibilities and operations of a public body. It would not be relevant for a private estate, the status of the Duchy impossibly claimed and promoted by the British government.
Otherwise than for secret constitutional change the supporting authority of the British government for the restructuring of a private business would be quite unnecessary.
The validity of the 1305 and 1508 Cornish Stannary Charters is confirmed by the Royal Mines Act 1693, listed as constitutional. These charters are disputed by the state, as in the case of Duchy Charters 2 and 3, although all are quoted in the Trial at Bar – Rowe v. Brenton, Concanen,1830 instigated by the Duchy of Cornwall to enhance the income of the heir to the throne in Cornwall from Cornish minerals.
It must be assumed that the Second Duchy of Cornwall Charter of 1337 was clearly intended to be taken as valid and constitutional. (The Prince’s Case, Lord Coke, 1606). The absolute governmental powers conferred upon the Dukes of Cornwall included the powers and the means to profit from Cornish property and minerals.
Absolute power in Cornwall for the Duke of Cornwall has had the result of relieving Members of the Westminster Parliament of the burden of imposing taxes on their electorates for the maintenance of the heir to the throne while providing the Duke with independence from Parliamentary control. In practice, this non-statutory agreement, the subject of a memorandum, provided the right to Crown immunity, a position well above the law in relation to a normal private estate.
The result of the independence of the Duke from Parliamentary funding and therefore, uniquely, freedom from Parliamentary control, would appear to lead to the conclusion that, there is a priority arrangement for the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall (confirmed in the role of the Treasury under the Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1982, section 8) which, in practice, represents indirect bias against the Cornish. As a result, it is clear that the Cornish public has not had the benefit of the same degree of Parliamentary support with regard to controlling the operations of private and public institutions in Cornwall as has been the case elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
10. The feudal constitution
By modern standards the English feudal constitution is clearly racist. The alternative to a radical modernisation of the British Constitution would be for the government to assert a ‘private’ status for the Duchy of Cornwall and thus avoid making a start towards promoting a guaranteed right to equality before the law for one and all.
Ultimately, the evidence suggests, a continuing attempt to assimilate the pre-England Cornish Celtic culture and identity in order to hide the past and give the appearance of historic legitimacy to the Duke and the Duchy of Cornwall. (One of Prince Charles’s forenames is ‘Arthur’). This is not listed as a constitutional objective.
The gaps in the law noted in ‘The Prince’s Case’ raise questions concerning the integrity of the legal processes behind the unresolved content of the British constitution regarding the burdens to be borne to secure the upkeep of the heir to the throne.
If the current situation, outlined above, were to be attributed to the royal prerogative, then, in the application of the prerogative by ‘The Crown’ legal precedents regarding the use of the prerogative appear to have been ignored.
11. Magna Charta v. Trial at Bar
The extensive provisions put in place by the state as rights for the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall may be classified as state aid. By accident or design, the category of ‘private’ avoids the association with state aid made in the form of special provisions provided by dedicated inclusions and exceptions in various Acts of Parliament. The Duchy is, therefore, placed in the fortunate position of being able to avoid enforcement of competition law through having official exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on account of being classified as ‘private’ after centuries as a constitutional body and government of Cornwall under the motto ‘Ich dien’. (German for I serve). The duty of due diligence having fallen by the wayside.
Icons such as Magna Charta? Well, Magna Charta, 1215, was never intended to support of the Cornish against the absolute powers of the Duchy of Cornwall. Meanwhile, The Bill of Rights, 1688, offers nothing for the citizen to control people in power. These milestones along the way now need replacing. The availability of an all embracing modern one stop document on the Constitution of the United Kingdom could prove to be an equally significant milestone for life in Britain today.
The Trial at Bar, (Rowe v. Brenton 1828, Transcript, Concanen Edition 1830) held at the instigation of the Duchy of Cornwall to “protect his rights, property and profits” and to secure prerogative mineral rights over copper in Cornwall, reveals:-
“From the native rulers and Earls of the County, these mineral rights, unquestionably, on the Conquest, passed into the hands of the Norman Princes. “no mention whatever of tin occurs in Domesday relating to Cornwall”. “I have scarcely any doubt but the stannary parliaments in this place were a continuation, even to our own times, of the old British courts before the time of Julius Caesar”. (Introduction p. xi). “The mineral of tin has been enjoyed uninterruptedly and exclusively by all the Dukes of Cornwall”. (Attorney General, p. 64).
(Note:- There was no Duchy of Cornwall at the time of Julius Caesar or for at least a thousand years after the departure of the Romans. It is contended that: “Mineral rights” could not be “unquestionably passed” as contended by Concanen since, his confirmation of the fact that there is: “no mention of tin in Domesday relating to Cornwall”, indicates that tin was not claimed as royal metal. In his assertion, “tin enjoyed exclusively by all Dukes of Cornwall”, the Attorney General failed to note that tin could not be taken as a royal metal, a fact which, in 1828, had already been confirmed by the Royal Mines Act 1688, currently listed as constitutional. Therefore, the claim to ownership of Cornish tin in the Duchy Charters is, as noted in Lord Coke’s ‘The Prince’s Case 1606, “impossible” even under the special land ownership regime prevailing in Cornwall. To be taken as genuine, ‘unquestionable passed’ would need to refer to a legal act by the legislature being accepted as law, unless, ‘passed’ is intended to be construed as ‘taken’ by force of imperial or prerogative power from those in possession by a ‘private’ Duchy government acting in secret with government approval).
Ignoring the “impossible” verdict of a famous constitutional expert raises the suspicion of the unprincipled pursuit of power, which, has led the government to claim that the Cornish are English to avoid constitutional modernisation.
12. The American example
Critics are dismissed as having republican sympathies, which is ‘Anglospeak’ for, ‘ignore the American example’ where the Constitution provides that all states of the Union, for example, whether large or small, return two senators each. What can be discovered about the British constitution should cause serious concern for any independent observer. Checking through the American Declaration of Independence of 4th July 1776, there are over eighteen entries in the preamble beginning with “He has” with reference to King George III of the United Kingdom. These include the alleged oppressions of: “He has obstructed the administration of justice” and “He has refused to assent to laws”.
Without the availability of a constitutionally recognised statement of royal powers or prerogatives and without a list of statutory additions and a record of amendments since 1776, a fairly obvious area of doubt has opened up for investigation.
What and who is the Crown and what is Crown immunity? Why has the Crown, in the George III mould, “refused to assent to laws” that would so obviously be of benefit to every British citizen? There is, “no assent” to a guarantee of equality before the law and “no assent” to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 becoming part of the law of the land.
There is also “no assent” for Article 13 and Protocol 12 (right to an effective remedy for violations by persons acting in an official capacity) of the European Convention on Human Rights currently excluded from the Human Rights Act of 1998. It can reasonably be asserted that these omissions are sufficient in themselves to arouse the suspicion of creating the means to achieve the unlimited power of Crown rights without being subjected to constitutional control, i.e., public control.
The fear of constitutional debate stalks the land of the ghost of George the Third.
13. International standards and international scrutiny
It would appear that any attempt to debate the role of the Duchy of Cornwall at Westminster, could well be blocked on the grounds that: “ there are restrictions on any question which casts reflections upon the Sovereign or the royal family”. (Letter to Andrew George M.P., from House of Commons Library dated 16th June 1997). “Reflections” could well include any challenge to the private claims of the Duchy of Cornwall. The powers of a sovereign Parliamentary are therefore, cast into doubt as to its ability to achieve a statutory guarantee of ‘equality before the law’ for all British citizens as contained in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
After ten years of applications from many Cornish organisations, the government still refuses to include the Cornish within the provisions of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
It would appear that international norms of human rights have been considered by the British government, “The Crown”, to be incompatible with Crown rights. We are left to decide whether “He has” or “She has” or the Palace of Westminster “has” or The Crown “has” or the Heir to the Throne “has refused to assent to laws”.
14. The House of Lords ruling in the Burmah Oil Case.
“It was equitable that the burdens borne for the good of the nation should be distributed over the whole nation”. “There is no prerogative right to elect not to pay”. “Compensation is made by reason of exact provisions, but it ought always to be made, because what is taken for the general good should be paid for by the general community”. (Burmah Oil Co. v. Lord Advocate  2 All ER, 357H, H.L.).
The House of Lords has unambiguously ruled that if the Heir to the Throne is intended for the general good, then, the whole British nation should pay. That would mean the discontinuation of the Cornish being subjected to a disproportionate burden which would include the official attempts to deny the Cornish people the right to exist and be recognised as a British national minority of Celtic ethnic origins.
The very existence of the Cornish right to veto the Duchy of Cornwall, its methods and income, means that it could never have been considered, construed as or intended to be a ‘private’ estate of no constitutional significance.
Should the Cornish veto be treated as if it were intended to be compensation for the constitutional or private exploitation of Cornish minerals and, therefore, a Charter conferring an inalienable right, then, the government would be obliged to accept the unconditional validity of the Charter of Pardon of 1508.
15. A written one-stop Constitution
To change the law by democratic means now would involve the complete public investigation of the Duchy of Cornwall. The British government, to avoid this scenario, appears to be willing to perpetrate an act of deception on the British public to prevent the exposure of the abuse of power surrounding the constitutional history of the Duchy of Cornwall and the nature of its Crown immunity and freedom from compulsory purchase and planning enforcement while claiming a ‘private’ status.
Publication of the British constitution in one document would reveal that the records of the constitutional government of Cornwall by the Duchy of Cornwall represents, in fact, the British government’s constitutional recognition of the separate identity of the Celtic Cornish. The government is now in denial of these facts while indulging in collective racial discrimination against the Cornish even though they are officially listed as English. It is possible that this enforced change of official racial identity from Cornish to English is intended to avoid any charge of racism against the government relating to the operations of the Duchy of Cornwall.
Fortunately, a modern international standard to replace Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights has been created by the United Nations. In particular, there is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Convention on the elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965.
It is, however, to be deplored that although these United Nations provisions are designed to help the individual against any abuse of power, they have yet to be incorporated into the domestic legal system of the United Kingdom to permit effective access to the information and the tools necessary to control prerogative power.
16. The villains charter
The power to adopt inexplicable variables of meaning for ‘constitution, Crown, Duchy, sovereign, parliament, palace, private and government’ provides a further penetrating insight into the methods employed to deprive the British populace of coherent information, in the form of a one-stop written Constitution with which any individual can contribute, as of right, to reducing the incidents of the abuse of power.
In December 2008, the Minister of Justice, Jack Straw, described the widely respected European Convention of Human Rights as a “villains charter”. It is so obvious that those people in power clearly consider themselves to have sufficient powers and Crown rights to be above and beyond any need for human rights.
Clearly, there is no official striving towards an ideal for others after having secured
the prerogative ideal for themselves. We can be assured that the Duchy of Cornwall Charter providing the Duke of Cornwall with the government of Cornwall, whether public or private, will not be dismissed as a ‘villains charter’.
A written constitution would include the right of the individual to enforce human rights law in respect of the activities and policies of the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall. Whether public or private there is no exception: “this directive shall apply to all persons, as regards the public and private sectors…. “ (The Race Directive; E.U. Directive 2000/43/EC, Article 3).
17. No democracy without equality before the law
Having, over a period of several years, assembled well documented historical and contemporary sources on British constitutional law and its evolution, there is little doubt that the Duchy of Cornwall is now officially claimed as “private” by royal prerogative in order to avoid scrutiny by the international community and, not least, to be placed under the spotlight by the world’s investigative journalists, of which, to date unfortunately, there have been none to accept the challenge in Britain.
There is no way that the English authorities, acting as the British government, can present the Duchy of Cornwall to the world in its true constitutional apparel without revealing that somebody in power “has” authorised the continuation of centuries of institutionalised racial discrimination against the Cornish as a Celtic people.
In the final analysis, until convincing evidence to the contrary is available, the British government has chosen to claim that the Duchy of Cornwall is ‘private’ rather than modernise the British constitution for the benefit of all British people.
Since, a one-stop written British Constitution, as is, would not stand up to international scrutiny, it is contended that there is no room for complacency regarding British democracy until at least a guaranteed enforceable inalienable right to equality before the law has been secured as the first step towards constitutional equality.