The Instigator
SolaGratia
Pro (for)
Tied
14 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Tied
14 Points

Cornwall should have a devolved Assembly/Parliament

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,428 times Debate No: 5235
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

SolaGratia

Pro

By Cornwall, I mean the southwest extremity of the United Kingdom, the Duchy of Cornwall. It is officially part of England, but is actually one of the six "Celtic nations." There was a Cornish language, similar to Welsh and Breton, but this only exists in a reconstructed form. It is, however, not part of England, and thus deserves its own Assembly, as Wales and Scotland have. Even if it remained part of the UK, the Cornish should be spared the indignity of remaining the only Celtic nation still under the rule of the English.

By "devolved" I mean local. The English parliament has six Cornish MPs, but the status of the Duchy is--get this--not allowed to be spoken of. I'm serious. The English parliament is forbidden from giving the Cornish more freedoms, even if they wanted to. Thus, the impetus of this must come from forces inside Cornwall, such as Mebyon Kernow and John Angarrack.

I realize that not many people know anything about Cornwall, and fewer care. However, if you do--even if you agree with me--please accept the debate. Otherwise this debate may sit in the "Challenge" period for a long time.

Enjoy!

Sola Gratia

Cornwall is one of the poorest regions of the UK, qualifying for EU funding.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

The act of laws being made for smaller jurisdiction has a known history of reducing the liberty of the inhabitants, it is much harder to suppress various liberties if one must enforce the law in question over a vaster territory, as one has more dissidents to deal with. You state that Parliament is forbidden to give Cornwall "More freedom-" I ask you, how on earth do you expect an quais-autonomous Cornwall to be a freer place to live than one with only the laws that can be enforced across the entirety of Britain? Is Cornwall full of budding libertarians? I was unaware of this, I'd like to see a source :D.

Wales, and Scotland, for example, have not to my knowledge suddenly become freer places as a result of regional autonomy, indeed, the Labour party (the party of the two largest which comes down closer on the side of totalitarianism both economically and, recently, socially http://conservativehome.blogs.com...) gets more votes there than in England.

As for the "indignity" of being a "Celtic nation" under "English rule," this notion, frankly, smacks of racism or some subset of the same category. It is of no relevance to one's qualifications to govern Cornwall whether one is of Cornish or English origin- it is only relevant what one will do with that power.

I should also note, it's not technically forbidden as an absolute to discuss Cornwall in Parliament- it merely requires the permission of the Prince of Wales.
Debate Round No. 1
SolaGratia

Pro

...But he doesn't choose to give his permission, does he? Granted, this comes from Wikipedia, but there is no mention of the Prince of Wales (also the Duke of Cornwall, by the way) having that power at all; it seems to be a blanket ban; "An injunction that disallows MPs raising any questions in Parliament that are in any way related to the Duchy." But perhaps your source is better than mine. Please cite it.

Ideally, Cornwall would be independent. However, it is too small and too close to the United Kingdom for this to be feasibly, in the near future at least. But it should have greater legislative independence than, say, neighboring Devon, because it is made up of people many of whom were never English, only ruled by the English. You seem to have trouble believing that the Cornish really resent the English in any way, and whether they are still a separate people after the loss of their language. I've been to Cornwall. I've ridden a train from London to Penzance. It's not England. Any place in the Anglo-Saxon dominion where you can grow subtropical palms outside easily is alone, I think, worthy of special consideration.

Consider the United States system. I believe that the states have fairly considerable power, yet they are subordinate, if not constitutionally then in practice, to the federal government. But you ask whether I think a "quasi-autonomous" Cornwall would be freer than it would be with British laws? The answer is yes. I always believe in less power for the central government, here is an opportunity. You seem to have a pessimistic view of Government; you say that a smaller jurisdiction makes for less liberty for the inhabitants, because nationwide laws have more people to protest them. Is there something I'm missing here? That doesn't make any sense. The government of the UK, and the government of the United States are in most cases trying to make the country better, in their own misguided ways. That may lead to less liberty in the long run, but I'm convinced that ending the central government's stranglehold would have the opposite effect on Cornwall. Look, I ask you, at Ireland. Certainly its economic explosion in the past half-century would be far less of anything had Ireland still been paying taxes to the Crown. Ireland is, also, one of the freest nations on Earth. And yet it is a far smaller jurisdiction than the Crown. How does that work, hmm? I think your "smaller government, less liberty" argument makes approximately zero sense.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

My source for the Prince of Wales bit is also, it happens, Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org...(territorial_duchy)

Which part of Wikipedia was yours? lol.

"
Ideally, Cornwall would be independent. However, it is too small and too close to the United Kingdom for this to be feasibly, in the near future at least. But it should have greater legislative independence than, say, neighboring Devon, because it is made up of people many of whom were never English, only ruled by the English."

Again, this is irrelevant, and smacks of racism or a subset of the same category. :D

"You seem to have trouble believing that the Cornish really resent the English in any way, and whether they are still a separate people after the loss of their language."

I have no trouble at all believing the resentment. If you tell me the Cornish are racist, I'll accept it for the sake of the debate. It does not, however, grant them a LICENSE for such racism :D. As for being a separate "people," this is nonsense. There are no separate "peoples," only separate individuals, in the age of globalization. As far as involuntary collectives are concerned, by all relevant measures there is really only one, humanity as such.

"Any place in the Anglo-Saxon dominion where you can grow subtropical palms outside easily is alone, I think, worthy of special consideration."

How does climate relate to how a place should be governed?

"
Consider the United States system. I believe that the states have fairly considerable power, yet they are subordinate, if not constitutionally then in practice, to the federal government."

And the existence of such state power leads us to such reductions of liberty as health care mandates, gun control laws, and such, that would never get passed so easily nationally as they frequently do in certain states.

"Look, I ask you, at Ireland. Certainly its economic explosion in the past half-century would be far less of anything had Ireland still been paying taxes to the Crown. Ireland is, also, one of the freest nations on Earth."

Assuming for a second we can describe a country in which people are required to pay for "universal health care" not only through taxes, but then again when they walk in, when those who don't pay the taxes also don't pay the fees, i.e. essentially a country in which the people who are forced to pay get less quality health care in the end than the people who don't pay anything, can be described as one of the "freest nations on earth" (http://www.esri.ie...), which may, sadly, be an accurate description due to lack of competition, this is still only ONE example, not a statistically significant sample. And it is balanced by the fact that since it's independence, the UK has become less free, since it didn't have to deal with the apparently somewhat more freedom hungry Ireland.

Remember, I described a TENDENCY for smaller jurisdictions to get away with more oppression- not an absolute, and there are other variables, but none of them appear to be active in Cornwall.

For example, unlike Ireland prior to it's independence, I don't see Cornwall full of people stirring up armies, militias, terrorist organizations, and whatnot, to throw off what they perceive as an oppressor (there is no Cornish Republican Army). Thus, the signs are not there that Cornwall is another Ireland.
Debate Round No. 2
SolaGratia

Pro

He he. This is why Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed. My information comes from the article on one of the Lib-Dem MPs representing Cornwall, Andrew George, [http://en.wikipedia.org...(politician)] who attempted to raise a question about the Duchy in 1997. I think there's something wrong with a system where a parliamentary representative is blocked from discussing the rule of his own constituency...something very wrong indeed.

As far as I know, racism is racism and there are no subsets. And although the Celtic race is separate from the Anglo-Saxon race, they are indistinguishable. The desire for self-rule is in now way racist. How can you even think that? I'm not going to tell you the Cornish are racist, because they're not. The age of globalization is immaterial. It only means that information and travel across the world are faster, not that national, linguistic, and racial differences are going to go away. If all conflict between the different sections of humanity is going to end in the "age of globalization," it sure hasn't made much progress so far.

The climate reference was tongue-in-cheek, but it was meant to illustrate yet again how Cornwall is different from England. It is not part of the same country; it doesn't even look like it.

No, I think states average out to be as restrictive or free law-wise as the federal government is. Some states are more liberal, some are more conservative, and thus the laws are different, but state authority in and of itself does not lead to tighter laws. It leads to more regionalized thinking. The founders of America, in entrusting so much power of the states, saw rightly that the people and industries and practices of Alaska were going to be different from those in Indiana, and so on. So, they decided that the states themselves, obviously with their own best interests at heart, would do a better job in some tasks of government than the federal government, which is just as selfish but with no state for that to filter through to.

Ireland is still one of the freest nations on earth. Knowing nothing about it as I do, that health care system sounds harebrained--but compared to some of the shenanigans in the UK and US these days, it's practically paradise. The tax rate, which is the biggest factor I think in a "freedom index" is very low in Ireland.

Exactly my point: The UK has become less free. It has become less free because it is ruled by a bureaucratic monolith. Why don't you support the Cornish assembly, then, which would break a gaping hole in the monolith--and perhaps lead other parts of Britain to follow their example?

Again, you have no evidence at all that smaller jurisdictions "get away with more oppression." That sounds to me like it was pulled out of a hat. I'd love to see some hard data. That's exactly the opposite of what, say, the Founders of the US thought.

Just because the Cornish haven't armed themselves and marched on London recently (they have in the past; believe me. Ever heard of the Prayer Book Rebellion?) doesn't mean they don't deserve independence. There was, in fact, a radical Cornish front for a while. I believe that they're now defunct, but they put bombs in post boxes and removed "English Heritage" signs from several castles and such. First of all, Cornwall is much smaller than Ireland, and second, they're just less hot-headed than the Irish. While the Irish migrants to the US were hot-headed; reminds me of an old John Wayne movie, Hatari: "Sean's (John Wayne's) Irish, so he gets mad. He takes it out on us, nobody gets hurt" Cornish immigrants like my great-grandparents were placid and calm. They went to work in the mines, such as in Mineral Point, Wisconsin and the Iron Range.

Cornwall never really experienced the Industrial Revolution and the industrial philosophy of treating workers like chaff, as Ireland and Wales did. Cornwall's chief industry is mining, and it's been done much the same way since before Roman times, when they would trade it to the Phoenicians. They don't really have anything to hate the English for, like the Irish do (inadequate help during the potato famine and general treatment as second-class--read Jonathan Swift's great story A Modest Proposal.) That is, until recently when retirees from the British welfare state have descended upon Cornwall and driven up home prices precipitously.

In conclusion, it only makes sense. Cornwall, and in fact every other specific region in the UK, deserves self-rule. This is not a "racist" proposal; I extend it to every major county in England. The Republic of Yorkshire, anyone? Contrary to your odd ideas, small government for a small jurisdiction is more economical, more free, and altogether better than big government for big jurisdiction. I support it in Cornwall as I support keeping it here in Wisconsin.

Thanks, Sola Gratia.

Corn
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"I think there's something wrong with a system where a parliamentary representative is blocked from discussing the rule of his own constituency...something very wrong indeed."
Perhaps, but gag orders exist in smaller legislatures too.

"
As far as I know, racism is racism and there are no subsets"

Subsets of the same category as racism- collectivism :D.

"And although the Celtic race is separate from the Anglo-Saxon race, they are indistinguishable. The desire for self-rule is in now way racist."

The classification of a specific race being ruled by it's own members rather than by members of another race as "self rule" is racist, it determines that one's identity is dependent upon one's race. Since you've conceded the classification is race, I'll drop the subsets bit for now.

"The age of globalization is immaterial. It only means that information and travel across the world are faster, not that national, linguistic, and racial differences are going to go away"

First you state they are indistinguishable, now you state the differences won't go away... Make your mind :D.
Also, it's ignoratio elenchi. I never stated that people would start ignoring things during globalization, only that globalization means that the differences between them are no longer objectively relevant (i.e. for example Europeans don't ipso facto have more access to technology than Africans for example, because they've mixed up, including in the countries where technology is prevalent). Since they all have access to the same ideas, inventions, and whatnot due to globalization, those arguing that they are still collectively different in relevant ways are, necessarily, racist.

"
No, I think states average out to be as restrictive or free law-wise as the federal government is. Some states are more liberal, some are more conservative, and thus the laws are different, but state authority in and of itself does not lead to tighter laws."

The problem with this notion is that both modern liberalism and modern conservatism, the two predominant ideologies in much of the democratic world, are BOTH ideologies that reduce freedom- they simply want to be reduce freedom over different things. Liberals seek control of your wallet, but wish little or no control on their bedroom activities, drug use, abilities for dealing with the consequences of bedroom activities (birth control and abortions), and speech (thought control they don't have a problem with, but speech control still shocks them). Conservatives seek control over all those things- but want little or no control over your wallet. When the two square off evenly (as is likely in larger jurisdictions), every time they want to control something, they'll have to compromise and allow for control of the thing they didn't want controlled, making the process very painful indeed. When the two don't (as is more likely in smaller jurisdictions than otherwise), it is rather easy... South Dakota, for example, restricts abortion pretty much to the absolute limit allowed by Supreme Court precedents, it is only federal supremacy which prevents it from going further. Or one might just note the obscenity laws that made a regular practice of banning books that exposed people to any ideas other than... well, frankly, yours according to your profile, throughout the South and even some northern states. What stopped them? An assertion of the power of the central government. Or, to take an extreme example, there sure as heck haven't been any witch burnings in Massachusetts since it had a central government to answer to.

"The founders of America, in entrusting so much power of the states, saw rightly that the people and industries and practices of Alaska were going to be different from those in Indiana, and so on. So, they decided that the states themselves, obviously with their own best interests at heart, would do a better job in some tasks of government than the federal government"
This is a socialistic assumption. The industries of Alaska are different from those of Indiana... but this does not have consequence for a government that allows a free market. Since you've been upholding freedom as a value, that is the scenario we are striving for. It has consequence for a government that interferes in the economy, but that just means that such localization is tailor made, not for freedom, but for etatism :D. And no, there is no fundamental difference in "people from Alaska" and "people from Indiana."

"
Ireland is still one of the freest nations on earth. Knowing nothing about it as I do, that health care system sounds harebrained--but compared to some of the shenanigans in the UK and US these days, it's practically paradise. The tax rate, which is the biggest factor I think in a "freedom index" is very low in Ireland."

Something is missing in this equation. Universal health care and a very low tax rate don't go together in a system in which taxes pay for the government... unless you either throw in loads of debt that will not be paid off without a massive increase in taxes (meaning such "freedom" is temporary either way), or less investment in a military, meaning such "freedom" will be gone the first time an invader comes across it.

"
Exactly my point: The UK has become less free. It has become less free because it is ruled by a bureaucratic monolith."

It has become less free because of the loss of the votes from Ireland that would otherwise slow down this loss of freedom. The bureaucracy bit has a lot to do with it, the monolith part does not.

"Why don't you support the Cornish assembly, then, which would break a gaping hole in the monolith"
Because, unless it has fundamentally different [political premises behind it, it shall simply create new bureaucrats, who know the territory and therefore how to reduce freedom in it, far better.

"That sounds to me like it was pulled out of a hat. I'd love to see some hard data. That's exactly the opposite of what, say, the Founders of the US thought.
"

And the Founders of the US took advantage of the separation of authority into different states, so that the ones in the South could continue owning their slaves, and the ones in the North could say "What? I'm not associated with them" and wash their hands of the matter while continuing to purchase the cotton from it and not have to have their constituencies compete with blacks in the free labor market. It was the central government which finally, tossing aside the restrictions of the Founding Fathers, built an army and freed the slaves. Is the Civil War not hard data enough for you? Or is there some loss of liberty I'm missing, that's more extreme than Southern slavery, that resulted from this?

"
Just because the Cornish haven't armed themselves and marched on London recently (they have in the past; believe me. Ever heard of the Prayer Book Rebellion?) doesn't mean they don't deserve independence. There was, in fact, a radical Cornish front for a while."

And what, precisely, were the plans of this front upon achieving independence? If we don't know that, and if we don't know the extent to which those ideals still pervade, we can't know enough to believe that Cornwall will be another exception like Ireland. For every Ireland there is a South Ossetia (which, believing Georgia's government to be too capitalist, wants to rejoin the Soviet Union but will settle for Putin's Russia, which is the Soviet Union without the honesty.) Or a Confederacy.

"First of all, Cornwall is much smaller than Ireland, and second, they're just less hot-headed than the Irish. "

Thought you said you weren't racist? :D

Continued in comments
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
:"
1. Racism is in no way a subset of collectivism. The ideas are totally different. Where did you get that?
"

Collectivism, in the general sense, is the notion that man's primary identity is his membership in a group. Racism is collectivism based on racial groups.

"
2. Different states having different needs is absolutely not socialism."

Having different needs from their GOVERNMENT, as a consequence of their ECONOMIC state, is absolutely socialism, because it can only follow from government involvement of the economy.

"
3. The English and the Cornish are both "white." Racial divisions remain real in the age of globalization, but not between white people and other white people :D."

You are contradicting yourself. Earlier you described them as a separate race.
Posted by SolaGratia 8 years ago
SolaGratia
Three points I'd like to make:

1. Racism is in no way a subset of collectivism. The ideas are totally different. Where did you get that?

2. Different states having different needs is absolutely not socialism. That makes no sense at all.

3. The English and the Cornish are both "white." Racial divisions remain real in the age of globalization, but not between white people and other white people :D.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
Cornwall never really experienced the Industrial Revolution and the industrial philosophy of treating workers like chaff"

Excuse me? How on earth is treating workers like chaff an "industrial philosophy?" The industrial revolution has to do with treating people like human beings who can work or not work for you as they choose, by free contract. It has VASTLY improved the standard of living of workers, just compare the modern steelworker to the medieval blacksmith. And don't even get started on modern farmers vs. serfs :d.

"

In conclusion, it only makes sense. Cornwall, and in fact every other specific region in the UK, deserves self-rule. This is not a "racist" proposal; I extend it to every major county in England."

Being racist doesn't have to mean specifically being against or for a specific race. Assigning any value at all, to race regarding people of different races as having fundamental, internal differences, in short, regarding someone's race as a relevant indicator of their identity, is racism.
"
. I support it in Cornwall as I support keeping it here in Wisconsin."

Ah, wisconsin, the birthplace of the "Progressive" movement, the one that even when diluted nationally, still managed to control people's wallets enough to cause a near complete economic collapse (the Great Depression) by decreasing productivity and forcing businesses to pay more for less production. Well before this movement could accomplish anything nationally, it enacted the essentials of the program through state offices:

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org...
Posted by SolaGratia 8 years ago
SolaGratia
Don't ask me where the "Corn" came from at the end of my argument. o_O
Posted by SolaGratia 8 years ago
SolaGratia
Brian Eggleston: Your point is noted, and I generally agree with you about SDP, and with Ragnar about Labour. However, in Cornwall at least, the Lib Dems are the only mainstream party calling for greater independence in Cornwall itself. That seems alien to the Liberal philosophy, and probably is a superficial boat-getter. But I may be wrong.

Ragnar: There's no need to note spelling mistakes. Everyone makes them.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
"The English parliament has six Cornish MPs"

Point of order, Pro!

There are only five Cornish MP's…

"http://www.cornwall.gov.uk...;

….and they are all Liberal Democrats. No wonder the county is so poor and you want Cornwall to be governed differently. However, you don't have to have your own assembly, all you need to do is vote Labour at the next election – only with Labour MP's representing Cornwall will you ensure that your county's interests are best served.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Note. I misspelled "Quasi-," it was the intended term where it says "Quais-"
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