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Out to put history before 'equations' in Tamar bank 'Devonwall' protest

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: October 11, 2010

Out to put history before 'equations' in Tamar bank 'Devonwall' protest
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Chief Reporter

Hundreds of people gathered on the Cornish bank of the River Tamar yesterday in a mass protest against proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies that would span Devon and Cornwall.

The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – which aims to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 – could result in cross-county constituencies merging of parts of East Cornwall with West Devon and Plymouth.

Cornwall's six MPs have already criticised the proposals and Cornwall Council is also opposed to the move.

Yesterday, around 400 people gathered at Jubilee Green, Saltash – under the span of the Tamar Bridge – as part of the "Keep Cornwall Whole" campaign.

Amid dozens of flags of St Piran, Saltash mayor Adam Killeya said the Government appeared to regard numbers – proposals are for standard constituencies with 75,000 voters – over "people and place".

He said: "Saltash has been in Cornwall for 1,000 years and intends to stay that way. You cannot use an equation to overcome 1,000 years of history."

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron faced a storm of criticism after seemingly dismissing concerns about a "Devonwall" constituency by joking: "It's the Tamar, not the Amazon, for Heaven's sake."

South East Cornwall Conservative MP Sheryll Murray said she had already written to her party leader "about his recent comments".

She said: "He is right. The Tamar is different from the Amazon, it's colder. But after today I am sure he will be left in no doubt that the people of Cornwall are turning up the temperature."

Scottish and Welsh borders are to be respected under the review, although the Government has so far refused to give any reassurances that county borders will be observed.

A delegation from Cornwall recently met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to plead their case, but left disappointed.

St Austell and Newquay Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert said he would be voting against the Bill, and the coalition Government, in its current form. He said he would support the amendment tabled by Mrs Murray.

He told the protest: "If you want to build the Cornish economy for the future, you need to ensure MPs are focused on the job here, not have half an eye over there."

The riverside rally in Saltash, supported by a number of boats flying the flag of St Piran, marked the culmination of a weekend of events.

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Plans to re-draw MPs constituencies are being discussed at Westminster tomorrow. The Boundary Commission has until 2013 to make its recommendations.

For more information, visit www.keepcornwallwhole.org.

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    Big Ger, Truro  |  October 13 2010, 9:39AM

    Well, one has to ask; "what next"? Seeing as this protest was, at best a minor event, at worse an abject failure, what will those who are seeking to hoodwink the gullible into believing that the boundary of Cornwall is up for change, attempt next? The sponsored slim seems to have dropped off the headlines, the website for the charlatans pretending the border is going to be changed has no news (and is full of heavily edited videos attempting to look like they pulled a crowd of more than a couple of hundred,) and Mebyon Kernow seem to be like deer caught in a car headlights over the whole matter. Dare we hope they have taken the hint that we Cornish are not interested and not fooled by their campaign, and have decided to clam up about it. One lives in hope.

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    BritishAborigine, Pennsans  |  October 12 2010, 7:08PM

    Nyns yw Essa ranndir a Aberplymm; ranndir a Gernow yw.

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    Paul, Truro  |  October 12 2010, 4:52PM

    When Mike passes on through starving lol, please can we have a public autopsy to prove aliens do exist....

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    Gazz, Truro  |  October 12 2010, 4:47PM

    Onan Hag All !! I cant post on here what I would like to say to you becuase it wont get poested... I would love to meet you one day as being Cornish myself you and your little mates seem to think you speak on my behalf when you dont! You and your 'backwards' friends are painting the rest of us with your old fashioned views brush and living in the past where this county of England cant move forward.

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    Emmett, In the Hoose  |  October 12 2010, 2:33PM

    I suspect that "Onan Hag All" may be a "Fifth Columnist" in the ranks of the nationalists. Either that, or "Onan Hag All" is the worst advert for nationalism since that little Austrian bloke with the tash.

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    youngcornwall, uk  |  October 12 2010, 12:33PM

    Mike Chappell is now well on hsi way to being a martyr to our cause, and to standing firm against the genocide of teh Cornish people, god bless him! He will become another Cornish martyr, just like Trelawney of our national anthem, and others like Tony Lemon who have given their lives for Kernow. Mike is starving himself to death for our country and our cause, how many can strand up and say they did that all the way down to their bitter death?!?!! Onan Hag All, Kernow With Mike¿s previous mental health problems hopefully he will get sectioned before he does too much harm to himself. Shame on those who are encouraging him in this foolhardy venture.

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    Anon, Devon  |  October 12 2010, 11:45AM

    Onan Hag All, Kernow What a load of baloney.................

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    Onan Hag All, Kernow  |  October 12 2010, 11:10AM

    What a great day for the nation of Kernow, one where we all stood proud and united and showed the English Imperial state that their plans to steal Cornish land and give it to the English of Devon, was not welcome anywhere in Kernow. From all over our nation they came, and friends from Cymry and Alba, and we stood firm and told them they could not take parts of the Duchy and give it away to teh foreigners in Plymouth. Well done brave Michael the Cornish martyr for shouting out agaisnt the lickspitles who used our event to promote themse4lves, and shame on any Cornishman who told him to hold his tongue. Mike Chappell is now well on hsi way to being a martyr to our cause, and to standing firm against the genocide of teh Cornish people, god bless him! He will become another Cornish martyr, just like Trelawney of our national anthem, and others like Tony Lemon who have given their lives for Kernow. Mike is starving himself to death for our country and our cause, how many can strand up and say they did that all the way down to their bitter death?!?!! Kernow BYs Vyken!!!

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    Guy, UK  |  October 12 2010, 8:14AM

    Spyke, With the proposed merger it seems that governance of the constituiency would be by both counties. Therefore who would have overall control of what happened there? So if this happened on a Wales/England/Scotland constituency merger surely somebody there would have similar problems with it happening?

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    spyke, north of the boarder  |  October 12 2010, 7:50AM

    Guy; In response to your comment, England, Scotland and Wales are countries, Cornwall is an English county. Merging counties on the Wales/England/Scotland boarders wouldn't be so much of an issue for the indigenous population as they are content with their heritage.

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