Tim Smit’s anti-Cornish rant: a riposte

Ed: In case you missed it, Tim Smit, of Eden Project fame, launched a bit of an attack on the Cornish (in a podcast) saying, amongst other things:

“You feel, and I don’t, but you feel like saying ‘well if you were a bit more f- – -ing articulate you could speak up for yourself but you haven’t’.

“You’ve all got mums who made the best pasties in the world and it’s fantastic and it’s fabulous, and you talk about the good old days, and the good old days never were the good old days.

“They’ve been bad for about 70 years – and they’ve been bad because of t- – – – – s like you.”

The Telegraph reported the story. Local campaigner, councillor and former MP for St Ives Andrew George takes up the cudgels on Cornwall’s behalf:

I was asked to comment on Sir Tim Smit’s rant against the Cornish. Here it is:

The Cornish have always been the last refuge for this kind of ‘acceptable’ racism. From casual condescension to this kind of astonishing rant. He knows he can get away with it because there are enough people who share his lazy caricature of the Cornish and the prejudice and antipathy which accompanies it. I doubt he’d speak about the Irish, Afro-Caribbeans, Muslims, Scottish or Jews in the same way.

The Cornish will be entertained to note that – after all the years he’s been here – the pervasiveness of Cornish self-mocking humour has evidently completely passed him by. Our apparent insistence on “jam first” or the transcendence of “mum’s pasty-making” are not really matters on which the Cornish would be prepared to go to war! I suspect many Cornish will now don badges and tee shirts with “Proud to be an Inarticulate T*****r” emblazoned thereon!

Mr Smit has done very well out of Cornwall and the harvesting of multi-million grants secured on the back of Cornwall’s unacceptably high levels of poverty. Like so many who hold his level of prejudice, it seems he’s by-passed any kind of initiation to the real Cornwall which exists behind the superficial marketing facade within which he operates. I’m sure there will be many who would be patient enough to kindly offer him the diversity and inclusion training he evidently needs, and hopefully before he proffers any further commentary on this.