It's easy to say North VS South - but what about about Cornwall?

The area is vastly different to other places in the South, but it tends to be ignored

Share
Related Topics

I’d never heard the phrase ‘up country’ before moving to Cornwall.

My understanding is that it describes anywhere east of ‘the river’ and rarely does a day go by where I haven’t heard it unused. It’s a reasonable and succinct way of talking about Plymouth and beyond, and seems a defining coupling.

Tuesday’s YouGov poll (talked about here yesterday by Chloe Hamilton), studied some of the workings of ‘up country'. It highlighted the animosity Northerners feel towards London folk, the differing culinary exploits, the varying approachability, regional temperature patterns. It isn’t just ‘the line’ that separates the two, but identities built on pretty much everything we deem important as a nation.

The graph lists Scotland, Wales, The North, London and the Midlands as outlined areas. Its sixth in the collection is titled ‘The rest of the South’ – so anywhere other than London and south of – coming from Surrey I assert Banbury – is grouped as one. Really, this is a significant oversight. Cornwall has very little in common with Reading. To some of its inhabitants it’s its own entity entirely.  

This county – or Duchy as some prefer – is vastly different to England, perhaps even in more ways than the North deviates from the South. It remains the only in the country without a motorway, a prison; the only two Waitrose supermarkets lie perilously close to the Devon border. Some in older generations from around Land’s End are said to have never ventured further than Penzance. The flag is famous.

And no more is the county’s unity exampled than by the political party Mebyon Kernow: “...the historic nation of Cornwall, with its own distinct identity, language and heritage, has the same right to self-determination as Scotland and Wales. Mebyon Kernow is leading the campaign for the self-government of Cornwall, through the establishment of a legislative Assembly.” Others, while perhaps not quite so extreme, still feel a strong sense of individuality and loyalty. Politics aside, Cornish people are like no other.

It’s a shame that outside the summer months some appear to forget the country’s tip; with its very own micro climate, mead and fisherman. Never mind the fact that pasties, lemon sole and Newlyn crab are enjoyed so frivolously in train stations and restaurants across the land – Cornwall, to so many, seems distant and novel. Maybe it’s unsurprising that with the heralded great divide and the survey, Cornwall’s representation is neglected?

It has to be said that some Midlanders have themselves questioned matters. While there may be far more in common between the North and the Black Country, for example, they too question the lack of insight into their identity - certainly when the country's split is discussed. But at least they have a title here.

Cornwall has not, despite apathy towards the capital seeming just if not more profound than any resonating from Birmingham, Manchester or Hull. And whether that’s because of economics, politics or just natural Celtic pride, people have reason to feel a county-wide community.

The North/South gap is certainly noteworthy and explosive in its office joke creation, but the next time a report is composed on the national split, it would be interesting and I think necessary to construct a more detailed mapping. Should Cornish views really be nestled alongside those of the Home Counties?  

Because the graph reflects a more pressing concern than identity alone. Its purpose was to discuss development outside of London, and Cornwall suffers greatly economically; from unemployment, the second homes debacle and a lack of investment. While other parts of the country – particularly the North East – are certainly in need of greater balance, they seem to have a louder voice. The Government should be doing far more to include England’s most westerly county in its plans.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The law is too hard on sexting teenagers

Memphis Barker
 

Obama must speak out – Americans are worried no one is listening to them

David Usborne
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game