All Under One Banner takes to the streets of Camborne

Protestors on the streets of Camborne | Jory Mundy

The streets of Camborne become filled with flags and banners as Cornish residents from all political parties gathered for the second “March for Kernow” last Saturday.

Organised by the AUOB Kernow (All Under One Banner), the group similar to those in Scotland and Wales aims to promote and campaign for a Cornish devolved government and greater autonomy for Cornwall and its future. Cornwall’s flags were joined by others such as the Welsh (as well as Yes Cymru), Scottish, and even a Ukrainian flag as a moment of silence was held in solidarity with those in the country.

The march set off at 1pm and headed up the iconic Camborne Hill before circling the town and arriving in the square for speeches. The event aimed to be a family friendly event open to those who wished to disuses the future of Cornwall, with music, singing, Cornish flags, and poems such as those spoke by Grey Lightfoot, who discussed his annoyance about the Cornish not being grateful for tourists’ money amid the housing crisis.

Protestors on the streets of Camborne | Jory Mundy

The march saw a coalition of leftist parties in attendance. Speakers from the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Mebyon Kernow all supported the event whilst the mayor of Camborne, Zoe Fox, and Jayne Kirkham (Labour), who couldn’t attend due to personal reasons, sent their support. No representative from the Conservative Party was in attendance.

Green party member Wella Morris spoke about the importance of the climate crisis and Cornwall’s solution with devolution: if Cornwall have devolution “we could sell excess energy back to England and could prioritise climate change more”. He also spoke about Wales’ solution to the housing crisis of charging four times the council tax, something Cornwall cannot do under current Westminster control.

Protestors on the streets of Camborne | Jory Mundy

Another speaker from the group Kernow Matters to Us read a passage from the book Cornwall at the crossroads: Living communities or leisure zone?: a fitting subject during the current housing crisis. A further speaker referred to a speaker who could not attend due to their relative having to wait 11 hours for an ambulance. They commented: “Cornwall isn’t working”, showing their support for change and the need for greater autonomy.

The AUOB movement aims to unite the British leftist parties against the Conservatives who not only control the current government but Cornwall Council as well. Under the ideal coalition, only certain parties would put forth candidates to take on their common enemy. Under current government deals, Cornwall may see itself getting a mayor, but it would likely be conservative due to the “first pass the post” system and a lack of coalitions making Labour and Lib Dem split votes.

Protestors on the streets of Camborne | Jory Mundy

Lib Dem Councillor and former MP (1997-2015) Andrew George was one of the speakers during the event to discuss the importance of the leftist parties coming together and not fighting each other. Andrews commented about the current government policies: “Be angry with the system that isn’t working, you’re being taken advantage of, we need to stand together and fight them, shoulder to shoulder, not fight each other. And that way we can win”, referring to the housing issues and well as the current cost of living crisis.

AUOB Kernow have announced its next march, returning to the Cornish capital Truro in July when the streets will be filled with holidaymakers. AUOB hope its movement will help Cornwall catch up with its Celtic cousins and prepare the leftist alliance for the next general election in 2024.