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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Hang on – that’s not how it’s supposed to be written

Guy Keleny
Rafael Nadal is down and out, beaten by Dustin Brown at Wimbledon – but an era is not thereby ended  

Sad as it is, Rafael Nadal's decline does not mark the end of tennis's golden era

Tom Peck
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test