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: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there