• February 26, 2015


The Celtic League’s Kernow branch is campaigning hard to give practical effect to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities recently extended by the UK to include Cornwall. This from Michael Chappell:

“The Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League has written to the BBC with a request, submitted under the terms of the UK Freedom of Information Act, 2000 and with reference to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and associated announcements requesting and requiring the BBC provide or otherwise make available a Cornish Minority Impact Assessment as well as taking heed of a number of other issues and demands relating to Cornwall and the Cornish people.

The wording of the communication follows hereunder:


BBC Complaints & relevant departments
PO Box 1922
DL3 0UR 26th February, 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 request – Cornish Minority Impact Assessment


a. Freedom of Information Act, 2000
b. Announcement by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt. Hon. Danny Alexander MP dd. 24 April 2014; Cornish granted minority status within the UK; Cornish granted minority status within the UK – Press releases – GOV.UK
c. Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities dd. 1 February 1995 Council of Europe – ETS no. 157 – Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
d. Letter by Stephen Williams MP Minister for Communities, Department for Communities and Local Government dd. 22 Jan 2015 confirming immediate inclusion of the Cornish people into the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Following the recognition of the Cornish as a National Minority, we formally request your Equality Impact Assessment of your broadcasting on the Cornish National Minority.

If you have not completed it, then please provide your timetable for completion and include this submission from the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League:

·Many people in Cornwall are upset of the lack of positive Cornish role models in BBC broadcasting. While Cornish people are largely ignored, where they are depicted at all it is as either stupid people, mean, extremists, or all of these things. It seems that before our protection, we Cornish people were the subject of metropolitan denigration and hate, and we still find ourselves in a similar position to black people in the 1950s; ignored or actively targeted for hate.

·Programmes like Doc Martin, Wild West, and other BBC output consistently portray Cornwall as pretty-place-if-it-wasn’t-for-the-noisy-natives. This attitude must stop.

·Many of our members have put away their televisions, and no longer pay a license fee, because you fail as an institution to provide any meaningful or useful output.

·The only programme broadcast by BBC “Southwest” is the news, and one current affairs programme that fails to meaningfully engage with Cornish communities.

To meet your charter obligations to equality, this must change as follows:

·The Cornish National Minority should have its own bilingual TV channel, like S4C, or failing this, TV “Southwest” should be split, and Devon perhaps grouped with areas further east, and instead have a dedicated Cornish BBC station in Penzance, run by people from Cornwall (and there are many in Cornwall with sufficient media experience).

·The over-use of the word “County” is deeply offensive to the Cornish minority.
Although we are currently governed as if we were a ceremonial county, the Duchy retains governmental power over all of the territory of Cornwall and the Cornish National Minority want this fact openly acknowledged. When referring to Cornwall, we accept “Cornwall”, “Country” or“Duchy”, but not “County” or “West Country”, as both of these are used to denigrate the Cornish National Minority and reduce our distinctive status.

·There should be more positive Cornish role models in mainstream BBC TV programmes, rather than the current invisibility or negative portrayals.

·The Cornish language should be heard on BBC TV.

·Radio now fares slightly better, but even here, like other minorities, we Cornish are relegated to a five minute slot on Sunday on BBC Radio-anywhere-but-Cornwall.

·There is discussion now about the structure and funding of the BBC, and we Cornish would not fund the continuance of any such organisation that continues to ignore or denigrate us.

·We utterly oppose the introduction of household charges without fundamental changes to this metropolitan monstrosity.

· Political parties and organisations unique to Cornwall should be allowed equal broadcast time to that allowed for London based parties and organisations.

We look forward to your equality impact assessment and acknowledgement of the points raised.

Yours faithfully

Cllr. Michael J Chappell

Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League

The Framework Convention is a Council of Europe Rights document – link here;

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur).


The Celtic League 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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