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Key Policies  

 


Background

The Cornish can justly claim a special place as the true Brythonic (or Brittonic) ie British people.  Cornwall must therefore play its full and active part in the life and governance of Britain.

The Cornish Democrats is a Cornish party that is committed to increasing Cornwall's role and influence within Britain, believing that Cornwall's values and heritage reflect the views of the majority of Britain's people far more accurately than the new generation of the London-based political elite.   

We seek to uphold the following time-honoured principles and institutions of British life:
Parliamentary democracy; constitutional monarchy; the rule of law; the Christian worldview; English liberty; the independent nation state; good governance; the common-law system; habeas corpus; presumption of innocence; trial by jury; free-trade; private capital; ecclesiastical independence from Rome; freedom of conscience; small government; the state as servant of the people 

The Cornish Democrats reject the notion that Cornwall should seek to separate itself from Britain, but rather that we should influence Britain for the better, leading by example, and upholding our traditional Christian-based values that have stood the test of time.

We maintain that the Cornish people should be recognised for their unique identity amongst the peoples of Britain and that Cornwall should therefore be accorded a special status within Great Britain.

We acknowledge Queen Elizabeth the Second as our Sovereign and we recognise Her Majesty's Government in Westminster as the rightful government of England and of Cornwall.  

We reject the legitimacy of the European Commission and the European Parliament to exert any powers of governance over Great Britain believing such action to be in contravention of Her Majesty The Queen's coronation oath. 

As a British party we shall contest Westminster parliamentary seats and our policies are thus national and international in scope, but with particular emphasis on Cornish matters.  

We shall also contest the Southwest European Parliamentary seat with the specific aims of seeking Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, and reducing the scope of EU influence in the life of the peoples of Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Europe.
 

 

 


Banking

Curbing Bonuses; Tighter Rules On Liquidity; Splitting Of High Street Banks From 'Casino Banks'; Retention Of Cheque Books


The banking crisis has highlighted the vulnerable business model that many banks operate.

The Cornish Democrats will support regulation forcing high street banks to operate within more robust liquidity ratios.  We shall also press for the splitting of 'Casino' banks from high street banks so that high risk investments to not jeopardise the traditional banking sector.

Our policy on bonuses is that any bank employee's bonus in excess of £50,000 shall be paid retrospectively and subject to sustained increases in the bank's profits over each of the subsequent three years.

 

 


Broadcasting

More Regional Broadcasting;  A Leaner & Cleaner BBC; A Ten Year Licence Fee Freeze; Retention Of Analogue Radio


Britain arguably has the best broadcasting system in the world, though in recent years an explosion in the number of channels has resulted in a trend towards greater volume of output often at the expense of quality.

The BBC has responded to the multi-channel environment by vastly expanding the number of channels it operates and by moving into new media. With this expansion the licence fee has risen.

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for the licence fee to be capped at its current level for ten years, and for the BBC to reduce its wasteful capital expenditure schemes (it relocates key departments on a regular basis and continues to build brand new studios and facilities).  The recent announcement that two of the corporation's narrow-interest digital radio stations will be cut is to be welcomed but this needs to result in overall savings, not in a redistribution of funds. 

In addition The Cornish Democrats will press for better standards of taste and decency in the BBC's output.  It is entirely unacceptable that the BBC should broadcast material that offends so many of the people who fund it. Gratuitous violence, vulgarity and bad language are not accepted in public, hence there is no justification for their being everyday constituents of programming. The over-used excuse that it is 'freedom of expression' or that it is 'art' simply does not wash, and it betrays the huge gulf that exists between the general public and those in 'media-land'.

The pressure on older established broadcasters from declining advertising revenues has been severe. ITV1 has suffered more than most, to the extent that it no longer operates as a network of independent regional broadcasters.  The concentration of ITV production centres in Manchester and London has been to the detriment of regional output.  Maybe not everyone regarded Gus Honeybun's TV appearances as the height of regional culture, but the passing of Westward, TSW and the assimilation of Westcountry into ITV1 are certainly to be regretted. 

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for greater regional production and for greater scheduling autonomy for the ITV1 regions as advertising revenues recover.

We shall also oppose plans to close analogue radio channels which would render millions of radio receivers obsolete.

 

 


Cornish Culture, Identity & Language

Stronger Identity and Regionality

A culture is primarily defined by its people. Culture is also fluid rather than being set in stone. However a culture can be fostered and encouraged through cultural symbols, by policies and programmes to promote heritage.  This can be a catalyst for regional pride and is it is also appealing to tourists.

The Cornish Democrats will seek to promote Cornish culture and Cornish identity in a positive way, and in a way which is not divisive or seen to be 'separatist'. 

We support the campaign to list 'Cornish' alongside 'English' as one of the ethnicity tick-box options on the 2011 census forms.  

We support the judicious inclusion of Cornish alongside English on certain road signs provided that this does not pose a danger through information-overload, and provided that this is done on a replacement basis only.  

We will press for a regionalised version of route destination signs to give them a Cornish flavour, just as some American states and Canadian provinces use subtle variations of the national signage system to indicate regional variety.

We support the selective use of Cornish alongside English on certain major public buildings, in order both to build familiarity with basic vocabulary and to create a distinct regional identity.  Signs for post offices and public libraries would be prime candidates.

We also support increasing the number of nurseries and playgroups where Cornish is used as the primary speech (and song) medium.  We will seek funds to make available dubbed versions of iconic TV series ranging from Postman Pat to Thunderbirds in Cornish.  Learning should always be fun!

We shall campaign for St Piran's flag to be the default option for Cornish vehicle registration plates rather than the European Union Federal flag (but people must continue to have the freedom to choose the symbol they prefer).

We support the campaign for a St Piran's Day holiday.
 

 

 


The Economy

A Vibrant, Debt-Free Economy; Full Employment


The Labour Party has badly mismanaged the economy.  Most economists gasped when Gordon Brown ramped up public spending several years ago - long before the funds were available to support it.  He gambled that the economy would grow for ever and that eventually tax receipts would match spending.  It didn't happen.  The economy grew for a time, driven by increasing consumer debt, and as with all economic bubbles it burst. With nothing kept aside for a rainy day the government has had to resort to further borrowing.

Ken Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard, has identified that countries whose total public borrowing approaches 90% of GDP leave themselves extremely vulnerable to sudden economic paralysis as international confidence is lost.  Britain's net debt has already leapt to 67% of GDP and is forecast to increase substantially again this year.  As Britain's debt rises it is the sovereign wealth countries and China in particular who will have to service our debt, giving them additional control over our economic fortunes.

Meanwhile Britain's balance of trade has continued to deteriorate to record levels despite the recession.  This is entirely unsustainable.

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for the following measures to bring the economy back into balance. 

Government Debt:

Total debt to be reduced by 30% in 3 years (by 60% in 6 years) through: sustainable economic growth; curbs in wasteful public spending; reductions in overseas military campaigns; cessation of costly EU membership. 

Fact:
 
In 1900 the civil service totalled 116,000 people - they ran the entire British Empire (20% of the world).  
In 2010 the civil service totals 500,000 people (besides the myriad of quangos) with only the UK to run and despite the use of computers.

Britain's Trade Deficit:
Britain to return to a trade surplus within 5 years through: introduction of compulsory percentages of British-made goods in public procurement; obligation upon supermarkets to reduce total food miles & thereby increase local sourcing; compulsory marking of products to indicate country of origin; public education about the damage caused by 'buying-foreign' on employment, economic prosperity and public finances.

Fact: 

The UK's trade deficit is now a colossal £100bn per year. Put crudely, Britain buys WAY too many foreign-made goods (ranging from German cars to Chinese TVs) and foreign services (such as accounts with foreign-owned banks, utility suppliers and phone companies). 

The Cornish Economy:
To raise Cornwall's GDP per capita to the national average by 2020 through: increased inward investment; public capital expenditure projects on infrastructure (energy, rail, roads); a programme to double Cornish food exports to the rest of the UK; compulsory percentages of Cornish goods, services and food to be used in local public spending (schools, hospitals, leisure facilities etc); the council to impose Cornish-sourcing obligations on supermarket chains seeking permission for new stores.  

Fact:

Cornwall's GDP per capita is currently only 75% of that of the UK as a whole.

The Euro
It is vital that Britain keeps its own currency. Joining the Euro would mean abandoning any control over our interest rates and losing our freely floating exchange rates - both of which would be disastrous for our economy.

The Cornish Democrats will vigorously oppose any moves to push Britain into the Eurozone.

Fact:

Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal are all experiencing a financial crisis resulting directly from their participation in the Euro, whilst Germany's exports have been badly hit by having too expensive a currency. 

 

 


Education Policy

Emphasis on Character, Values & Citizenship


Whilst the attainment of good minimum standards in reading, writing and maths is vital, in recent years the core curriculum has become over-prescriptive and burdensome. This combined with the present governmentís unhealthy obsession about SATS testing has crowded the curriculum at the expense of other important aspects of early school life, in particular social development, the building of character, and enjoying community.
Few claim that todaysí students are better prepared for life than those of a generation ago.

It is The Cornish Democratsí policy to return to a more balanced school life that takes care of the developmental needs of the whole person: mental, physical, spiritual, social and moral. The importance of school assemblies as a corporate gathering and as an act of Christian worship - the first activity of the day - must be enshrined in the ethos of every school. Activities like singing and playing together must be valued and cherished rather than being squeezed out of daily life.

Pre-school:
Wider availability of high quality pre-school places.

Primary:
Reduced emphasis on SATs, greater emphasis on whole-child development to build responsible citizens of integrity for the future.  

Secondary:
High academic attainment to be complemented by wider access to modern skill sets such as economics, commerce and finance.  'Character', 'Values' and 'Citizenship' to be integral to the curriculum.  Grammar school system to be retained and expanded throughout the UK.

Tertiary / Higher:
No reduction in university places.  The government's proposed cutbacks must be firmly opposed.

The government's recent concession allowing faith schools to teach sex education in a manner that is sympathetic to their core beliefs is welcome.

 

 

 



Electoral Reform 

Yes to First Past the Post - No to Proportional Representation 


The Liberal Democrats have been itching to dismantle Britain's traditional 'first past the post' electoral system for their own electoral advantage, and now even Labour is making tentative overtures as a means of appeasing the Lib Dems.

The Cornish Democrats are resolutely opposed to losing Britain's tried and tested electoral system in favour of the highly flawed proportional representation systems in use in many countries.

Advocates of PR enthusiastically cite New Zealand as being a recent convert to their cause. They would do well to ask the New Zealand public what they think of PR. The Kiwis were peddled the same propaganda that Britain is now being fed by the so-called modernisers, and they are now saddled with an inferior system. 

The fact is that proportional representation may sound reasonable but it invariably results in a number of very undesirable and unintended consequences:

(1) PR concentrates power into the hands of the minorities
(2) PR removes the vital connection between the local constituency and the MP.
(3) PR results in hung parliaments
(4) PR encourages political horse-trading in order to broker power
(5) PR perpetuates unhealthy political coalitions that are hard to unseat through the electoral voting system

Despite the fact that the Cornish Democrats would, in purely self-interest terms, stand to gain by the introduction of PR we nevertheless firmly oppose it and will vigorously campaign against it as a matter of principle.

Cornwall's Unitary Authority - It was not the People's Choice

Whilst the Cornish Democrats will always seek to co-operate with the council where possible, it is a matter of great regret that the former borough and district councils were abolished despite the express will of the people of Cornwall to retain them. 

 

 

The Environment

A Carbon-Neutral Future


There is not a shadow of a doubt that all countries need to do far more to ensure the sustainability of our planet.

Regardless of the causes (and few seriously doubt that human activity is to blame) CO2 levels ARE rising, and the ice caps ARE melting.

Our response matters: sea-levels are rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic, marine life is threatened.  many scientists believe that we are close to a tipping point.

The Cornish Democrats will press Britain into taking moral leadership in this area.

The push towards a carbon-neutral society must be our goal. And this will be costly. However Cornwall is strategically placed both geographically and economically to benefit from the global shift towards a sustainable future.

The world-wide demand for environmental solutions to energy-supply, transportation, agriculture and industry will create enormous economic opportunities in new fields. We in Cornwall need to be at the forefront of research, development and investment in ecological innovations.

Our aim: to make Cornwall known as the Green County and to be a world leader in the environment

Cleaner Towns and Countryside

People's quality of life is profoundly affected by the environment in which they live.  The Cornish Democrats will press for:

- More aesthetically pleasing urban planning
- Cleaning up of urban eyesores such as poorly maintained public buildings
- Stiff penalties for littering and graffiti
- De-cluttering of excess signage
- No encroachment of new housing into designated greenbelt zones

Housing & Land Usage

Cornwall's population density is currently 390 people per square mile.  

This is TWICE the density of other rural areas with significant areas of moorland such as North Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmoreland and Northumberland.  It is also 30% more dense than neighbouring Devon.

In terms of sustainability and given factors such as infrastructure loading and water availability The Cornish Democrats will lobby for new housing development in Cornwall to be capped at the growth rate of the UK as a whole. It is entirely unacceptable for the region to be earmarked for disproportionate levels of new housing.

 

 


Fishing Policy

Britain's Waters for Britain's Fishermen & Women
 
It is vital that Britain becomes a free sovereign nation again. Withdrawal from the European Union will restore our countryís right to govern itself.

Freed from the Common Fisheries Policy Britain will once again have rights over one of its most important assets - its fishing grounds.

It is of the utmost importance that Britain both OWNS and CONTROLS its own waters, and that each of Britainís fishing regions has its own say over the size of the catch.

Cornwall has a huge vested economic interest in this sector of the economy and it has been badly let down by each of the three main parties with their enthusiasm for the EU.

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for a free Britain, and will work with all honourable parliamentarians who oppose Britainís membership of the EU. We shall make the case for the independence of our fisheries industry.

 

 


Foreign Policy

Promotion of Democracy; Independence from EU, Strengthening of Commonwealth


The Cornish Democrats are committed to the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, individual liberty, free trade and the rule of law.  To these ends we campaign for:

Britain to develop a strong economy of its own and to seek to encourage trade and investment with other free democracies in order to ensure that economic and political power does not drift away from the Western hemisphere towards fast-growing economies such as China where human rights and democratic freedoms are not enjoyed. 

Britain to avoid engaging in conflicts that are not legitimate under international law or in conflicts whose aims are not achievable.

Growth in the influence of the Commonwealth - home to 2 billion people - in the arenas of economic development and the promotion of democracy. 

The dismantling of the European Union as an apparatus of government.  The EU is deeply undemocratic and unaccountable.  History shows that every empire or federation that fails to take account of the needs and aspirations of the citizens of its constituent nations will come to an end - some by peaceful unravelling and others by bloody conflict.  We must act now to ensure that the EU comes to an end amicably, before national resentments boil over into conflict. 

 

 


Healthcare

Commitment to World-Class Free Healthcare


The Cornish Democrats are committed to the principle of free universal healthcare (including dental care), to be provided by the NHS.

The standard of healthcare in the UK is extremely variable.  At its best it is excellent, but at its worst it lags far behind acceptable standards.  

The urgent objective is to raise standards to the levels achieved in France, Sweden and Spain. 

The Cornish Democrats' healthcare policies include:

Joined-up healthcare: a seamless integrated service free of the unwieldy burden and the wastage of internal markets and bureaucracy.  

An NHS focussed on delivering world-wide best practice both in terms of patient outcomes and in terms of patient satisfaction.

A new emphasis on professionalism throughout the NHS.  The reintroduction of Matrons responsible for among other things, ward cleanliness standards.  Minimum standards of written and spoken English to be compulsory for all grades of staff.

Phasing out of sub-contracted cleaning and catering services to ensure proper standards are maintained.

All capital projects to be government-funded rather than PFI-funded to deliver long-term value for money.

A root and branch commitment to patient safety, with mandatory investigations into any actual or potential lapses of standards that could risk patients' health.  All staff to adopt a culture of self-criticism rather than a culture of cover-up.

A pro-active approach to disease prevention.  The legal age for the purchase of tobacco to be raised by one year every 12 months for the progressive elimination of smoking within each new generation.  The outright banning of alco-pops and all 'legal' highs including mephedrone.  A compulsory reduction in the saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and salt content of foods and beverages.  Active monitoring for early signs of  cardio-vascular health issues amongst the healthy population.

Whilst free universal healthcare must always be a right, it should not be a right devoid of responsibilities.  This will require the NHS to hold patients to account for their health too.  It should become standard practice for hospitals to require patients to give up smoking or to lose weight as part of their treatment.  Any 'no-shows' for appointments or treatment must carry financial penalties reflecting the fact that patients must not waste tax-payers' money.

 

 


Immigration

Control European Immigration and Eliminate Illegal Migration


Britain's immigration is out of control - of that there is no doubt.  The Labour Party has been painfully slow to acknowledge that there is a problem, and slower still to act.

All of the macro-indicators point to the fact that Britain's infrastructure is already over-stretched:  Demand for accommodation has seen house prices soar during the past 20 years (only massive encroachment onto our green belt will satisfy current demand); Britain is only able to grow enough food for around 75% of its population; many of Britain's roads are at full capacity; Britain's health service is having to ration its resources; Britain is no longer self-sufficient in energy; its classrooms are over-full and its welfare state is bankrupt.

The simple fact is that there is no more capacity.  

Of course Britain must always be prepared to take an appropriate share of genuine asylum seekers - that is a moral responsibility.  It is also right that we permit people from the Commonwealth who have long historic and family ties to the UK to live and work here.  However the problem is excessive migration and this has stemmed from three factors:

(1) Britain's membership of the EU.  This is the equivalent of leaving our front door wide open.  The common market that Britain joined in 1973 comprised a small number of countries with mature economies - a fairly stable free trade area.  The EU of today is a sprawling political superstate.  It includes many countries with poor economies that have only just emerged from dictatorship or communist rule, and it gives the automatic right to its citizens to live in any member state.  Little surprise then that a million Polish people have rushed to make their home in Britain - who can blame them! The numbers will increase further with the accession of Romania, Turkey etc.  It is entirely inconsistent that Britain makes it very difficult for our kith and kin from wealthy countries with close ties to ours such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US to come and work here, whilst we open our gates wide to foreign nationals, many of whom have no historic ties to this country.

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for Britain's withdrawal from the EU and for the restoration of our right to control European immigration.

(2) A lack of control over illegal workers.  It is disgraceful that millions of pounds are spent by the police and HM Revenue in detecting and identifying illegal workers, but instead of their being arrested they are simply asked to appear in court or to visit the immigration office in Croydon at a future date!  Needless to say in the majority of cases they do not attend court, but simply disappear - not from the UK but from the radar.

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for the arrest and deportation of illegal foreign workers and for the seizing of the business assets of their employers.

(3) A lack of control over tourist visas.  It is all too easy for people to visit Britain 'on holiday' and never to leave again. 

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for the introduction of non-returnable bonds for 'non-leavers' from high risk countries and for large penalties to be levied against airlines that bring 'non-leavers' to our shores.
  

 

 


Law and Order

Zero Tolerance of Drugs, Knives & Gangs


The reported crime figures suggest that crime is falling, yet British people instinctively feel that it is on the rise.  This is due in part to the increasing prevalence of anti-social behaviour and what is (wrongly) termed 'low-level' crime - drunkenness, disorderliness, graffiti, vandalism, bullying, littering, road rage.  There is a suspicion that things have become out of control with drug abuse, knife crime and gun crime becoming more widespread and a feeling that the police and the justice system are failing to take the public's concerns seriously.

The Cornish Democrats are committed to the principle that our streets and public places should be reclaimed for our decent law-abiding citizens.  We do not accept that any parts of our towns should be no-go areas.  The measure of a decent society is that even its most vulnerable members should have the right to safety and enjoyment within our public spaces.

We shall campaign for the following:

(1) Stiff penalties for 'low-level' crimes such as vandalism and a commitment to tackling such crimes. (New York experienced a dramatic fall in serious crimes when the city's police began tackling low-level crime seriously).
(2) Zero tolerance of drug and knife possession - with the penalty of high fines and community service.  (A very large proportion of crime is drug-related).
(3) Zero tolerance of drunk and disorderly behaviour - fines rather than cautions to be issued by the police.
(4) Police powers to disperse gangs.
(5) Minimum pricing of alcohol.
(6) A rise in the minimum drinking age.
(7) Restricted opening times for premises selling alcohol.
(8) Spot screening for weapons and drugs in schools. 

Sensible Sentencing

The British public is right to be frustrated with the often feeble sentences handed down to serious criminals and repeat offenders. 

The Cornish Democrats will campaign for proper sentences to be issued, ones in keeping with the severity of the offence and the number of previous convictions.  In particular we shall press for:

(1) A 'three-strikes-and-you're-out' policy with long custodial sentences for repeat offenders
(2) A very robust community service programme on top of custodial sentences, including physically strenuous public works schemes, such as highway maintenance.

Fact: 
The average short-sentence prisoner has no fewer than 14 previous convictions.

 

 


Moral & Ethical Issues

Restoration of Traditional Values


Abortion:  The Cornish Democrats are committed to the principle that everyone, including an unborn baby, has the right to life.  The mark of a civilised society is that the innocent and the vulnerable should be protected and children, more than any, need that protection.  Five million children in Britain have been killed by 'medical procedures' since the passing of the 1967 abortion act, a mass killing that is fast approaching that of the holocaust.  This has to stop and we must resist the siren voices that demand the so-called 'right' to choose.  It is accepted that, where a mother's life is in grave danger, there are grounds for the termination of a pregnancy.  However in all other cases abortion must be made unlawful.  This will demand that our society provides extensive and compassionate support services for those who have unwanted pregnancies, and who find themselves unable to care for their child.     

Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia:  The Cornish Democrats will oppose any moves to legalise assisted suicide or euthanasia.  Those who are elderly and those who are physically or mentally disabled or who are suffering in other ways need to know that our society does not regard their life as of no further worth.

Marriage & Civil Partnerships:  At present the tax system disadvantages married couples compared with those who are co-habiting. Down through history and throughout the world marriage between a husband and wife has been the accepted pattern of an ordered society, with the family being the core unit.  This must remain the case and the law should not be used either to disadvantage marriage or to accord special honour or special favour to other types of relationship. 

Human Cloning:  The Cornish Democrats do not support the legalisation of human cloning.

Stem Cell Research:  The Cornish Democrats will seek to ban the use of foetal stem cells in research.  The use of foetal stem cell tissues conveys no research benefits over and above the use of other stem cells.

 

 


Pensioners & The Elderly

Honour, Dignity, Excellent Healthcare & Living Standards


The Cornish Democrats hold our older citizens in high regard. The generation that has gone before us, that has fought the good fight and that has guarded our liberties, often at great personal cost, deserves due honour.

We will not let their efforts be forgotten, and we shall not let them become marginalised members of our society. In particular we shall press for:

- A proper state pension that adequately reflects the cost of living
- Full pensions for those who have retired to Commonwealth countries
- Healthcare that does not discriminate against the elderly
- Full access to services (without the need for personal computers or personal transportation)
- Proper representation in the media
- Full legal protection against sharp selling practices
- An irrevocable legal ban on Euthanasia
- Funding care for the elderly

 

 


Political Correctness

Speaking the Truth with Courtesy and Without Fear


The Cornish Democrats will always seek to uphold respect for the individual and to maintain standards of decency and civility.  However we absolutely reject the trend towards politically-correct language and, worse still, the notion that political correctness should become an over-arching moral compass.

Political correctness has at its core an ideology of militant liberalism that effectively stifles all opinions but its own.  It erodes free speech and has a corrosive effect on healthy debate and discourse.  Very few people like it, but most people feel bullied into accepting it.  

The Cornish democrats shall at all times endeavour to state what we believe plainly and clearly, without spin, without evasiveness and with conviction. We shall seek to restore the traditional mix of robust debate combined with personal courtesy. 

 

 


Society

Rebuilding Broken Britain

Britain's society is broken, and sadly Cornwall is not exempt from the malaise.

In many parts of the country neighbours do not know neighbours, people live in fear of crime and anti-social behaviour, whole districts are no-go areas at night, teenage pregnancies and abortions are at record levels, substance abuse is rampant - the list goes on.  In short our once green and pleasant land is, for many of us, far from pleasant.

The Cornish Democrats regard our broken society as the single most urgent area for remedial work.  We shall continue to campaign for:
- An education system that has at its very core the three vital elements of Character, Values and Citizenship
- Support for the family as the essential building block of society
- Decent housing for all
- A vibrant economy and workplace opportunities 
- A clean environment
- Giving neighbourhoods the resources and police support that they need

There is no simple fix, but our future as a nation depends upon returning to traditional values where other people matter, and where society is something to be embraced, fostered and celebrated.

 

 


Taxation


Fair Taxation Now - Lower Taxes in the Longer Term

The overarching economic priority right now is to service the immense burden of government debt with which Britain has become saddled. General taxation must not be increased to pay for the shortfall - this would kill the economic growth that is so desperately needed - but urgent reform is required to make the taxation system more fair. In particular the Cornish Democrats will campaign for:

- Elimination of tax loopholes such as offshore trusts and non-domicile tax status
- A crackdown on VAT fraud
- Severe penalties for tax evasion
- Removal of tax penalisation of married couples

In the longer term the goal will be significantly to reduce the UK's tax burden as a proportion of GDP.  Government spending must only be allowed to increase at a rate that is lower than the growth in economic activity.

The Cornish Democrats firmly believe in lower taxation and higher growth as the right way to manage the economy. As prosperity rises the long term strategy will be to move to a flat level of taxation such as is enjoyed in many modern economies around the world. 

Council tax to be frozen for two years.  For funding local government we are committed to the principle of a local income tax rather than council tax or other forms of asset tax.

We firmly believe that inheritance tax is fundamentally wrong and should be abolished.

 

 


Transport


Major Investment in Infrastructure and Services

Cornwall's main road and rail arteries are absolutely vital to its prosperity.  These links to the rest of the UK must be improved in order to both to build tourism and to facilitate Cornish exports to the rest of the UK.  

Road:
A30 / A303 trunk road to be dualled (or where this is not possible to be improved) for its entire length from Penzance to London to reduce journey times (especially through the Blackdown Hills in Devon).

Rail:

(1) Electrification of the Great Western route from London to Penzance must be added to the Great Western electrification scheme.  Electrification is not only environmentally sound but has been proven to increase rail use. 
(2) Reinstatement of Cornwall to London Waterloo services, with dualling of the Exeter to Salisbury section of line to improve journey times and remove train-path conflicts resulting from the single line sections.
(3) Reinstatement of the central Devon line (Plymouth - Okehampton - Exeter) as a relief line.  Cornwall and West Devon's railways are currently only connected to the rest of the network by the vulnerable sea-wall line through Dawlish (a congestion point where freight, regional and intercity passenger services share the same line).
(4) Reinstatement of former branch lines, plus passenger services on the Fowey line. 
(5) Reinstatement of Southwest to Northwest intercity services.

Fact:
The rail journey time from London to Paris is now 2 hours 20 minutes. From London to Penzance it is 5 hours, yet the distance is similar.  This disparity must be reduced.

Station Improvements

Key stations in the southwest urgently need to be modernised.  Whilst we welcome the very modest station improvements planned for Penzance, nevertheless the overall drab appearance and dreary ambience of what is the western terminus of the Once-Great Western Railway is a disgrace.  Compare this with Eastbourne station which is now bright and airy and highly appropriate for a coastal town.
 

 


Water Supply


Public Ownership & Reduction in Water Rates

The Cornish Democrats are in favour of free trade and a vibrant enterprise economy.  We also believe that there are some essential services that should be held in not-for-profit public ownership.  Water is the foremost example of this. The Cornish Democrats will campaign to reverse the ill-judged programme of water privatisation.  The water industry is a structural monopoly that offers no opportunity for downward price pressure through competition.  As a result Cornwall has been saddled with excessive water rates.

 

 


Weights & Measures


The Legal Right To Use Our Traditional Weights & Measures

The enforced metrication programme that resulted in the use of Britain's weights and measures being made a criminal offence was the result of an EU directive over which our parliament had no authority. 

The Cornish Democrats will campaign to ensure that the British people have the right to use whichever measures they customarily prefer to use for commerce.  In particular we shall seek to legalise the use of pounds and ounces, and thus bring Britain back into line with the other English-speaking countries of the northern hemisphere.  (Our units are widely used in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, and on an unofficial basis in Eire).

We shall also campaign to decriminalise the use of yards, feet and inches, gallons, hundredweight and pints in commercial trade. 

We shall lobby to ensure that our road signs continue to be denominated in miles, mph, yards and feet. 

 
 

 

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Jonathan Rogers MA, MSc, MBA will contest the Westminster Parliamentary seat of the St Ives constituency in the 2010 British general election. The St Ives constituency includes the towns of Penzance, Helston, St Ives, as well as The Lizard, Penwith and the Scilly Isles.
The homepage of the Cornish Democrats is www.cornishdemocrats.com
 

 

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