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

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

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before