Tabloid Sneering Update


Last month we criticised what we termed ‘tabloid sneering’ at the Cornish language when the Daily Mirror carried an article on a decision to eventually replace all signage at police stations in Cornwall with signs in Cornish and English.

The article (see link below) kept highlighting what it said were the small number of people who are fluent in Cornish and also rather provocatively asserted that:

“In fact, Polish was the second language in Cornwall with 1,984 people saying it was their mother tongue including 16 on the Isles of Scilly.”

As is often the case papers like the Mirror underestimate the degree of pride and support that people (even those who are not fluent speakers or learners) have for their culture and language. This was clearly indicated in Mann two decades ago when although the Island (like Cornwall) only had several hundred speakers at the time a quality of life survey showed overwhelming support for the Manx language and culture. The survey ultimately led to the introduction of Manx language classes into the mainstream education system and many thousands of children have since been taught Manx.

That same undercurrent of support seems to be present in Cornwall as a poll which the Mirror ran with the article asking the question, ‘Should Cornwall try to preserve its old language’ got an overwhelming 97% support.

It seems that one of those articles English newspapers generally carry during the ‘silly season’ poking fun at the Welsh, Cornish or Manx has in this case spectacularly backfired on the Mirror!


Original Mirror article with survey:

CL News report:

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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