22 March 2004 11:34

If you snooze you lose

See you are off on another tirade agin incomers (bit cheeky that), the wealthy, property developers and other innovative types. Thinking back I seem to recall you moaning about people who want Cornwall to remain in the 19th/18th cent just to please the tourists and the incomers looking for the peace and tranquillity they cannot get elsewhere (why did you move to Cornwall?). On the other hand you are invariably moaning about people/projects that bring Cornwall up to date or are innovative. So moans about Eden, Heligan and laughing at the balloonists. Seems you don't want the cake yourself but neither do you want anyone else to have it. If you read Tim Smit's book on Eden you will see that he was already in Cornwall when he thought up the Eden project. He then worked very, very hard to find the finance. Now, why couldn't a Cornishman/woman do the same thing? - There are very astute, clever Cornish capable of thinking up such a project, working hard to find the finance and then project managing it. OK, the "average Cornishman" in the Sloop may not be that innovative (no insult intended to the regulars) but then again neither is the "average" English, Scots, Welsh, Indian, Russian or whatever sitting in the Star and Garter or the Red Lion. Look back through Cornwall's history and to a great or lesser extent it has often been "poor". Then look at the innovation, invention and pure genius that has come out of there. has it all gone? Can't people
be bothered, or, are the majority just getting on with life as best they can (much like the rest of us). I very much hope the next great project for Cornwall will come from a Cornishman/women and I also very much
hope that their countrymen will rally round and help them with a very positive attitude!

Your comment about the fishing industry is well placed (and before you come up with any smart arse comments let me tell you I spent many years collecting for "The Mission") and outside the fishing community I don't think many people do realise the real cost of the fish on their plate. My condolences to the family and friends - -

Now get out your paper and pencil, design something really good for Cornwall and put your genius to good use (how about an AP theme park?) - -

Vile Jelly

22 March 2004 14:20

What's innovative about being rich? Last time I looked I don't remember any merchant bankers, stockbrokers, lawyers or property tycoons being in line for any 'services to humanity' awards.

Nor do I accept your inference that it is just I who is not happy about such things. You forget (or to be precise, you deliberately avoid) the fact that most of my 'tirades' cite the views of locals such as town councillors, businessmen, clergy (would have thought you'd have had some time for the Bish of Truro given your religious affectations). But, of course, they are just people undergoing the experience so far be it for them to criticise the out-of-county carpet-baggers.

It mystifies me (and hopefully you will be explain using the gift of coherent English) why anyone is surprised that there is a negative reaction to people who want to come down and despoil Cornwall for their own profit. How do you expect the indigenous population to react? Since you both own and know everything, I recommend that you dust off your copy of 'Dance Called America' by Runrig (the live version on the 'Once In A Lifetime' cd is the best, I reckon). The song is about the forced clearances of the natives to make way for the profiteering English landlords. You will find that this sense of impending doom at the hands of the exploiters is not a peculiarly Cornish, or even St. Ivean, trait. Y'see, it happened before and it's happening again. Lyrics can be obtained via

Talking of things musical, I can't see how an Alex Parks theme park will ever succeed without some actual substance to fill it with. How about you persuade your protégé to release her version of R S Hawkerhurricane's Trelawny and then, we'll see if she can sing or not! I think a 'drums and bass' or possibly 'jungle' interpretation would be suitably inappropriate.

Failing that, we could drape her across the A30 to form a dyke!


22 March 2004 14:48

Where do humanity awards come in to it?

You seem to have missed my point on the following:

There are very
> astute, clever Cornish capable of thinking up such a
> project, working hard to find the finance and then
> project managing it. OK, the "average Cornishman" in
> the Sloop may not be that innovative (no insult
> intended to the regulars) but then again neither is
> the "average" English, Scots, Welsh, Indian, Russian
> or whatever sitting in the Star and Garter or the Red
> Lion. Look back through Cornwall's history and to a
> great or lesser extent it has often been "poor". Then
> look at the innovation, invention and pure genius that
> has come out of there. has it all gone? Can't people
> be bothered, or, are the majority just getting on with
> life as best they can (much like the rest of us). I
> very much hope the next great project for Cornwall
> will come from a Cornishman/women and I also very much
> hope that their countrymen will rally round and help
> them with a very positive attitude!

In other words - don't let the incomers/outsiders get there first - there is enough smart talent in Cornwall to beat them too it. There are developers in Cornwall who are Cornish. They can just as "easily" develop cardboard bay or anywher else. The whole of the
British Isles is being over-run by "incomers". The cry from Cornwall about incomers is the same as I heard in Kenya about Asians. It's all part of this super free, no boundry or restrictions World that we live in. Actually, I don't like it anymore than you do but you
either compete or you get trodden on, snooze and you lose, stand still and watch the hare run past (the tortoise is now extinct). I read a lot about Cornwall and talk to a fair number of Cornish both sides of the Tamar. One will say Eden is a nightmare the other a
great benefit. Who is "right" depends on a lot of different issues. You should think yourself very lucky that you can still complain about incomers, outsiders
or foreigners. Do it this side of the Tamar and the insidious and pernicious Race Relations industry will clap you in irons! - - As for money, I recall being in the pub with a group of friends income range c£15k a year to £100k+ a year. One thing they all had in common was that they all wanted more!- Who doesn't?  I certainly do, I need a new Range Rover, a new Bentley Continental and a few more houses (may need a new fiery chariot as well)

Vile Jelly

22 March 2004 17:17

No. I didn't miss the point.

I did what you do and ignored it.

Not that it can't be a valid point.

I'm just doing what you do.

Irritating, isn't it?

Live by the sword .....


23 March 2004 11:21

And that just about sums up my argument!  Taking up ostrich farming?

Vile Jelly

23 March 2004 13:40

No, just applying the same tactics as you.

You didn't think that I hadn't noticed how you'd make a point, I'd make a counterpoint and you'd drop the subject and move onto another line of attack, did you?

We now know that you're not Steve Collier, which means that you are probably either Alistair Campbell or Tony Blair.

Let's face it, if you can't even be open and upfront as to who and what you are, what faith should be place in your pronouncements? Everyone who has paid attention to SSI knows who I am, where I am, what my views are, why I think that way and where to find me. You, on the other hand, hide behind smoke and mirrors like a carnival charlatan.

PS. You've got a friend. I got an e-mail from some newbie supporting you and the skateboarders. It will get promulgated next Friday. It's quite funny (both ha ha and peculiar) but, frankly, with friends like that I think you'd be better off sticking with your enemies.


23 March 2004 14:09

You need a little mystery in your life. The great and Saintly Winwaloe provides some. I thought that you were building up a picture, no? - A few clues, I know West Penwith better than other parts of Cornwall, I have an interest in the RNLI,Cornish Solidarity, Cornwall Heritage Trust and other some other Cornish associations. I have collected for "The Mission" and have an interest in the fishing industry especially in Cornwall. I like church music, my late mother was a Methodist, I enjoy all sorts of music but I trained as a classical singer although, as you know, did not decide to make a living from it. I have a deep and passionate interest in Cornwall and the Cornish but believe that real Cornwall is West Penwith. My main interest is studying Cornish Folklore and collecting
19th C and e 20th C books on Cornwall and Cornish folklore (however the purse only allows a modest collection). There is your information, draw your conclusion once your head is out of the sand! (reciprocal insults) By the way, I have no idea what/who/why Lucy Lobster, Helene or other assorted types are so- Gware wheag yu gware teg!

Vile Jelly

23 March 2004 15:39

Oh, damn. And there I was hoping that you might have some genuine insight to offer.

Instead, you offer us, as promised in your electric epistle (by the way you seem to have inadvertently missed out a line on your resume as you didn't mention modest, unassuming, open, candid and to the point), a mystery. Given that you are what you claim to be (and, let's face it, we only have your unsubstantiated word for it), how do you reconcile your interests in the Cornish past with your willingness to see it ripped up and binned by the economic colonists? I don't see what building a zillion holiday/second homes in St. Ives is going to contribute to the continuance of an ancient community. Perhaps you could explain.

You seem to be happy with a Cornish history that is dead and safely buried in the past. A history that can be kept in a bottle on your mantelpiece for your friends to admire. But what will it matter if you remember and honour R S Hawker if the Cornish people and culture of which he writ have been obliterated?

PS. You obviously haven't been paying attention to the e-mu correspondence, so here is a quick run-down:-

Jelly, Vile - A creature that lives in St. Ives.
Lobster, Lucy The - A lobster, lives in East Angular.
Bristol, Helen - A lady who works for the NHS, lives in East Angular and has
a buggered back
Macdonald, Andrew - A big man, sells fire escapes, lives in East Angular,
has uncanny knack of locating real ale.
Richards, Gill - A lady who surveys things, lives in Bristol, currently
working on plan to escape to Mars with Mr. Richards.
Hawthorne, Maeve Russet - North American pioneeress in best Grizzly Adams
tradition, has friends/relis in every corner of the planet.
Winwaloe, NFN, NMN - Anyone's guess.


24 March 2004 08:34

Obtuse is, I think, the word I would use to describe your reactions. It's a good word, a rounded, wholesome word that appears to fit. Progress, good or bad, dependent on the individual perspective, is almost bound to occur. Cornwall has been "invaded" since earliest times. There is a school of thought that the original occupants of Cornwall
came in from other parts of the UK or even Europe. The "invasion" by people with superior military or economic (note economic) strength has shaped the population of Cornwall from the iron age. Likewise, incomers have made a significant contribution to
Cornwall. The ancestors of Thomas Flamank, for example, originated from Flanders. Now, there was an incomer with attitude! As to keeping Cornwall bottled up. Cornwall's main income is through tourism, a fact that is hardly surprising. The majority of those visiting Cornwall are seeking to get away from the Costa del peasant, Blackpool, Disney or other such odious places. Accordingly, it pays Cornwall to retain its beauty, its sites or industrial heritage and the old parts of St Ives, Mousehole etc. However, compare St Ives now to a hundred years ago and you will notice significant difference. What is needed is a harmonious balance, a balance between old and new, a balance that retains the natural and man made beauty/interest whilst providing Cornwall with an economic strength and
future. That future is not in fish, tin or copper so Cornish boys have to compete elsewhere. Looking back through some of your emails it occurs to me that you
would have done well to be around in the 1840's, I will leave your genius to reason why!
As to [my] identity, [We're not telling you, bwahahahaha! It took us oodles of time and effort to prise the information out of him. If you want to know Winwaloe's secret identity send gifts of beer and money to us. - The Reporting Team]
-OR --- I am the Great and Saintly Winwaloe. Which, if either is right, and does it really matter? Is my name Peter or is it James or Andrew. Am I really Lucy Lobster in another guise? Mystery is an intrinsic part of Belerion.

Vile Jelly

24 March 2004 10:30

Spare me the tedious statement of the bleeding obvious. Every single person on this planet has ultimately come from somewhere else (apart from poor Lucy (not the lobster) who got stuck in a rock in Ethiopia and didn't get to migrate along with the rest of us apemen). As usual you fail to grasp the nettle of the argument and instead slither off on another tangential trip down trivia road. What I asked you was "I don't see what building a zillion holiday/second homes in St. Ives is going to contribute to the continuance of an ancient community. Perhaps you could explain.". You point out that people have moved to Cornwall for ages, which is correct. Bernie and Babs certainly weren't Cornish but they are sure as hell regarded as part of the fabric of St. Ives now. Even your mate Vic Morwenstow was born and defuncted out of the county. However, moving to Cornwall, I would submit, in those instances, entails integrating yourself into the community to become part of it (just like what I have tried to do). That is a very different concept to having thousands of transients coming in, using the place and buggering off again. You only have to see the tumbleweed blowing through Downlong, the unclaimed flyers, catalogues and phone books cluttering up so many darkened doorways to get an inkling of what second homing/holiday-letting has done to that part of the community. The place looks like a ghost town in the depths of winter! To my mind, it's bad enough now but, in true Britisher fairness, what's done can not be undone now by forced re-purchasing or whatever of legally acquired properties. However, to continue a policy of unchecked development and re-development would be like saying we couldn't save the dodo from extinction so we might as well not bother trying to save anything from extinction.
You witter on about the lame old 'tourism brings in money' point (true) and avoid the usually avoided except by the people it affects point that 'tourism costs Cornwall money' (also true). At the minute Cornwall is dependent on tourism for any sort of income because it has no alternative. Let's face it, if the likes of Richard Trevithick or Sir Humpty Davy were to try and go into business with their new-fangled inventions today the first thing they'd have to do is leave the county. The thing that narks me about the whole tourism concept is that it is used by the powers-that-be to avoid addressing other social and economic issues. Hence, the comments from various sources that too much Objective One money is being allocated to prestige 'picture postcard' projects and not enough on less glamorous but socially more important projects like urban and economic regeneration of wastelands like Camborne and Redruth (and elsewhere in the county, it's just C & R are the obvious local examples. Probably with PZ not far behind). Tourism has its place in Cornwall but it should not have so great a place that people can get away with saying 'the tourist industry in Cornwall is booming, therefore the county is booming' without first ascertaining whether this is actually true.
You seem to think that this whole argument is some great conspiracy cooked up by myself (probably while burying Amelia Earhart's remains on the grassy knoll in Dallas) and never acknowledge the fact that I am quoting (or paraphrasing) the ilks of county, district and town councillors. Even the bloody Bishop of Truro! Are they part of my conspiracy too? You should have heard what a local Police Officeress (not La Pitts) said about 'the benefits of tourism'. Not a happy bunny rabbit. Or are the Police also out of step with everyone else, too? You (and whatsherface who sent her rant this week) seem to be unwilling or unable to grasp the concept or acknowledge the fact that I am not just making these stories up because I've got a personal axe to grind. I am reporting and commenting on what is done and said down here by real people. Therefore, these are real issues. Saying 'no you are wrong' and ignoring them from a lofty distance is not going to make these issues go away.
At the end of the day (it gets dark. Apart from this Sunday, obviously, when it will get dark an hour before the end of the day!) Spooky St. Ives is just a personal website, written by me, paid for by me. It owes nothing to anyone else, it has no sponsors, it is entitled to its opinion. People don't have to look at it if they don't like it. People can create their own counter-SSI websites if they feel so enraged about it. I'm not an official spokesjelly for Cornwall, Penwith or St. Ives, just someone who lives here and writes about local things. I am not contractually obliged to sell St. Ives to the outside world on the other mandible, nor do I maliciously fabricate stories or alter facts to suit my arguments. Ironically, whatsherface of the other rant accused me of ripping off the St. Ives Times & Echo for my stories (actually only partially true, I also blag from The Cornishman, West Briton, Radio Cornwall, and local TV news). Point being are all those media organs also part of my conspiracy? I think not, which must, ipso facto, mean that the stories in the SSI bulletins reflect genuine local issues and concerns.
So, maybe it might be an idea to stop taking pot-shots at the messenger for a while and take some time out so see what the message actually is! Then, if you still don't like it, don't waste time having a go at me, write to the policticans, civil servants, business bods and locals I've been quoting and tell them why they're wrong.


24 March 2004 16:57

I understand what you say and why you say it. So what are the alternatives? I would be very pleased to hear your ideas, the ideas of the local and County Council, the local plods and anyone else. How would you and/or they regenerate all or parts of Cornwall?

I do have a genuine interest in hearing your views. Please share them with us.

Vile Jelly

25 March 2004 10:54

Well, oddly enough, I haven't got the resources to single-handedly come up with a masterplan to regenerate Cornwall, a masterplan which has so far eluded thousands of well-paid and resourced politicos, civil serpents and special advisors. Hardly surprising that and hardly reasonable to expect me to have done so.
However, I have had the occasional ruminate on the subject and to my mind, the key issue is sovereignty. Which is a problem, because once you bring up the subject it usually just becomes an ill-mannered, idiotic punch-up between the super-nationalists and the Little Englanders. I don't think Cornish independence is that important in terms of having a King Piran, a senate and border guards on the Tamar. I thought (and went on record in SSI) that the 'campaign' to vandalise the English heritage red rose signs was childish, pathetic and self-defeating. That sort of sub-adolescent posturing just lends ammunition to those who argue that they have to control the important decisions because the people asking for greater independence are morons who can't be trusted to look after the place themselves.
However, I do think that Cornwall needs greater freedom to control its own fate. Have you read (I haven't yet but I've seen bits of it elsewhere) Andrew George's book? It's called 'A View from the Bottom Left-Hand Corner' which pretty much sums up the problem down here. We're hundreds of miles from the centre of power (Cherie's lifestyle guru) and to make matters worse, most of the MPs down here are Lib-Dems, which means that no one in King Tony's witan is going to pay a blind bit of attention to them the odd time they do manage to get a word in edgeways!
What I would like Cornwall to be able to do (and it can't happen overnight because the skills/resources aren't down here at the present) is try to get itself some sort of status similar to that of the Isle of Man. Yes, I know that the IoM has an existing 'odd' status similar to that of the Channel Islands but that doesn't mean because that status derives from a historical anomaly does not mean that it can't be deliberately re-created in the here and now.
Now, it would take me forever to explain the whole IoM concept and how it works but suffice it to say that I believe what Cornwall needs to do is follow that example. Send out its missionaries to find out how the IoM operates and start to build something similar for Cornwall. Obviously, it's a long-term project but it has got to be better than simply continually pouring resources into sustaining a 'tourism economy' because, as the official stats show, the Cornish are not getting rich out of tourism. The majority are on minimum wage/low-income no long-term prospects jobs. Yes, tourism is bringing in money as we speak but all it is doing is maintaining the majority of the population in a subsistence existence.
Compare and contrast with the IoM:-
Size: 225 sq. miles
Population: 72,000
GNP: £1.17 billion (2001/02)
Unemployment: 1%
Bi-lingual government: (Manx and English)
Active Celtic culture including award-winning museums/projects. Manx taught at school as part of national curriculum up to 11. Opportunity to study Manx up to GCSE in secondary school.
Location: Slap bang in the middle of the Irish Sea.
Now, if they can achieve all that in splendid isolation from mainland UK, then Cornwall really ought to be thinking about the possibilities. I'm not suggesting that the Cornwall umbilical cord be cut and the aforementioned border guards be put in situ. Rather, the opposite. The IoM and UK governments work together so that the IoM has the ability to set domestic tax rates, enterprise initiatives, whatever. John Malkovich recently moved a film project from the south-west to the IoM because the UK government cut the financial support. As he put it, he'd barely got round to wondering what to do about it and whether the project would have to be abandoned when IoM reps booted down his door, cut him a deal and got the project moved over there. Malkovich said he was amazed that after spending months haggling with the UK to get the project green-lighted, it took less than a week to get the paperwork signed, sealed and delivered with the IoM.
Now, that's the benefit of having the freedom to act on your own initiative. And it's not as if it generates clashes of interest, the UK didn't want to finance the project, the IoM did. The UK get shot of a financial burden, the IoM get a prestige project for their developing film industry. The only people who missed out were the locals down here, I suppose. Semi-autonomous government does not have to be in conflict with its overlord if both parties are prepared to co-operate. F'r instance, the IoM maintains a common VAT agreement with the UK so that they don't have to set up customs controls between the island and the mainland. The UK government handles foreign policy issues, the IoM uses the UK NHS so that it doesn't have to waste resources unnecessarily duplicating facilities. As far as the Manx patient is concerned they are getting their treatment on the Manx NHS and as far as the UK NHS is concerned the IoM is a private client who pays for the privilege of having their peeps treated on the UK NHS. It shows how a region can be self-governing without having to tread on the toes of other interested parties in the process.
So, more independence for Cornwall is what I recommend. But it's economic independence that will achieve more in the long-term rather than political independence. These days, it's the accountants rather than the lawyers in government who make the important decisions!
PS. On a more cheerful note, did you know that the loyal toast on the IoM is 'The Queen, the Lord of Man'. Talk about gender-bending!


25 March 2004 16:36

I am with you all the way and I do think it takes people like you to rattle cages and prod sleepy politicos of whatever party. I thought that Cornish Solidarity might have done more to bring the fight outside of Cornwall but I have not seen/heard much from them lately. But, and I am not being deliberately provocative, do the majority of people really care. do they really think they can achieve a substantial change around, is the fight, drive and initiative still there or does Cornwall and the Cornish suffer the general malaise of the rest of the UK?  I really do not know, I have no objective information on which to form an opinion. What do you think?

Vile Jelly

26 March 2004 09:30

I think apathy is part of the problem. It's not just Cornwall, I think most people now feel that the process of government has become so vast that it is effectively unaccountable. The recent instances of King Tony's reign, whereby he says 'black is white' and gets the vast Labour majority in the HoC to rubber-stamp it, seem to show that people don't have any meaningful representation in government. After the Iraq WMD/Kelly affair broke, the majority of the country thought TB was lying through his teeth. He organised the Hutton Report to prove he wasn't. The majority of the country didn't believe the findings of the Hutton Report. Result? Bugger all.

Now, given that Cornwall seems to be at the bottom of priorities for a country that is the bottom of TB's priorities, I suppose it is inevitable that many people feel that politics (at all levels) is a waste of time and effort. The last time we had council elections (in my ward, anyway), all I got by way of campaigning to win my vote was a leaflet shoved through my letterbox by one of the candidates (apparently there were others but they never made themselves known to me). Given that the politicians can't be bothered to make an effort it is hardly surprising that the electorate decides to stay in and watch the footie instead of voting.

Mebyon Kernow do seem to have gone a bit quiet these days but I suspect that that may be a reflection of a growth in their popularity rather than the reverse. Usually it is whoever is in power (because they control media access) and those with no chance of power (because they've got nothing to lose) who shout the loudest. I think it will be interesting to see what happens in the local elections when they happen. As I mentioned before in my defence against accusations of deliberate shit-stirring the local media do seem to be reporting more and more on tensions between the various interested parties in the 'develop or be damned' debate. It will be interesting to see if this is reflected in the local election results. Albeit at a totally different (and repugnant) level, the BNP suddenly started getting electable in some areas in last round of local elections after various 'race incidents' hit the fan.

I think failure to become politicised at the local government level will most likely condemn Cornwall to menial subservience, as they seem to have no chance of ever making an impression at national government level.

PS. Please don't send me any more missives (or expect a reply, leastways) until after today's new promulgation. Due to the weird format your e-mails arrive in it has been an absolute sodding nightmare trying to re-format them (and my replies which also get affected) into a readable shape for SSI. I'm miles behind on everything else I was intending to get done this week!


26 March 2004 11:27

Don't know why the emails appear in funny format unless by divine intervention. Any ideas? -

Vile Jelly

26 March 2004 15:31

Nun whatsoever. All I know is that yours seem to have a different line spacing so that when they are copied and pasted on to the webby they appear to have lots of line breaks where there shouldn't be any. So, when I rearrange one line so that it fits properly it buggers up the alignment of everything else under it.

It's probably part of some conspiracy by Send-them-the-Bill Gates to flog us more unnecessary electro gizmos.

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