• July 17, 2015


A personal response by the Celtic League AGS, Mike Chappell:

“I will not be alone in having read the excellent Celtic News Item number 4582 published on 15th July, 2015 by our Director of Information (DofI) and entitled ‘A SOCIAL CRISIS THAT’S GETTING WORSE’.

Once again, the DofI has flagged an issue of extreme importance to the Celtic Nations and the personal impact on me of that News Item and the video film it contains has been considerable.

I speak now of Kernow but I know that this will apply to our sister Nations as well, when I say that many of our members here are actively engaged in the community and are witnessing first-hand the incredible levels of poverty and deprivation and that sadly includes people in our community going hungry.

Westminster regards us all as being ‘on the fringes’ and somehow lesser people. In Cornwall, we see enormous wealth, second homes, celebrity part time residents and expensive chic restaurants but believe me when I say that the Cornish people are being increasingly ghettoised and ill-treated.

When I saw the video film, I quite literally had tears in my eyes but whether they were of pity or of anger is hard for me to say. You see, I know so many of the people in the film, both folks in need and those who are working to help them.

Don Gardner who with his incredible team at the CPR Foodbank will willingly tell anyone first hand of the individual tragedies they deal with on a daily basis. The story of the young school girl who collapsed in class due to a lack of food is poignant and true. Don, who I know well, was called to intervene and to feed that child and this is in a 21st century, First Nation Society.

There are many other cases and I take this opportunity to relate one of many in which I became involved.

I am entrusted with holding Food Bank Vouchers which are like gold dust and literally a lifeline to many. Last year, I was called to visit a 60 year old lady who lived alone and who was very unwell. When I arrived there, I found that she had no food in her cupboards not even a tea bag and had been surviving on tap water. She had struggled to complete forms sent to her by the Department for Work and Pensions and subsequently her allowances had been stopped. She had managed weeks with nothing, managing alone with a debilitating illness. The food I took her, supplied by Don’s team, was received with tears in both our eyes. I sat and helped her complete the encyclopaedic forms sent to her and used my phone to ring the DWP to argue her case. She had no phone, not uncommon in Cornwall. My temper rose considerably at officialdom but nevertheless, her financial lifeline was restored and she could afford to top up her electric meter, to make a cup of tea and to listen to her radio. She has no television.

And that poor soul is not an isolated case. There are many more like her and despite the best efforts of Westminster politicians to deny that these people exist and wicked, vile newspapers like the Daily Mail to mock them and pour scorn on them, I and my fellow citizens will continue to shout out the reality of poverty.

Official statistics will never reflect these people or the dozens and dozens who miss homeless counts because they hide themselves away in tents in our countryside. I know they are there. I have taken food to them as have many others.

I pay tribute to Don Gardner for if ever an angel should ever have walked here in Cornwall, he is surely one of them.

I invite one and all to again view the video film and to absorb its contents. Then if you feel like me, tell your elected representatives and remember the plight of these poor people when it comes time to vote.

For sure there is a better way for Cornwall and indeed all the Celtic Nations. Westminster simply doesn’t care or work for our people.

Thank you.”

CL News Item: https://www.celticleague.net/news/a-social-crisis-thats-getting-worse/


J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League



The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues


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