Cornwall Greens (Mid & East Cornwall Green Party and West Cornwall Green Party) are delighted to join the national leadership in support of a campaign for constitutional reform, with a Citizens’ Convention as its starting point: http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/our-work/constitutional-reform.html
The Centre for Welfare Reform, the group behind the campaign, is “a citizen think tank, seeking to create a world where everyone matters”. In addition to calling for constitutional reform, the group also supports basic income, social justice and the reversal of centralisation. See more at http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/our-work
Signatories to the current campaign include faith leaders, campaigners for tax and social justice, and people representing those with disabilities. Amongst them are Owen Winter of Youth Parliament for Cornwall, and Steve Paget MBE and Jane Johnson of disAbility Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.
Three of the issues identified by the campaign – low pay, inequality and most of all the housing crisis – are particularly resonant in Cornwall. The three are, of course, linked. We see homes being snapped up for sums that local people, however hard-working, can never hope to raise. The kinds of shops in our town centres speak eloquently of inequality.
We have seen in recent years that a very close result is quickly and wilfully misinterpreted as “the voice of the people”. Likewise Parliament, although technically representing constituents, has nothing to offer minorities however large they might be. Under the current electoral system, the people of Cornwall generally return docile, low-profile MPs who can be relied upon to support the government, and thus safely ignored. The majority of Cornish people – who voted against the ruling party and want better for the region – are thus denied any voice at all.
Even in Cornwall, we are part of the sixth richest economy in the world, and the UK is often seen – rightly or wrongly – as the most mature and stable democracy on earth. With this comes responsibility. As a nation, we should be generous-spirited and outward-looking; stand as world leaders in our ethical stance; develop policies for the 21st century. This means coming together to build an economy that does not force people to do more and more unnecessary (and often low-paid) work, that fosters self-reliant communities and citizens who listen with open-minded respect to the voices of all: in short, a society acting for the common good.
These are the goals towards which Cornwall Greens work. We believe that the current electoral system works against political inclusion and has left many people in Cornwall feeling that their votes count for little. And this why the Cornish branches of the Party are both happy to support the call for a Citizens’ Convention.