Cornwall Liberation Army letter sparks row
A Cornish village magazine found itself at the centre of a local row after a letter from a 12-year-old boy said he was helping to run a "division" of the Cornwall Liberation Army.
The offending letter – purportedly from a village youngster – appeared in an edition of the Polgooth Times which is distributed throughout the village, near St Austell.
The young author said he had a "strong passion and belief that Kernow should be, or even is, a country".
"We have forgot [sic] those long, summer weekends," it said. "Those fun childhood memories my father and grandfather recall and remember. That is why I and many others have joined and are now running a division in the Mid Cornwall Liberation Army. For short the MCLA.
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"In this we leave those video games behind, forget indoors, and whatever the weather we go and participate in those fun, outdoor activities so many have forgotten." He went on: "In the MCLA everybody shares a strong belief that Cornwall should be an independent country. Did you know that the English Parliament and monarch used to burn the tongues out of anyone who spoke Cornish?
"Did you know that parliament owe Cornwall alone 500 billion pounds? Yes they do, due to the atrocities carried out and the double amount of taxes charged to us in the 17th century.
"Do you want to be paying taxes that go towards building a road in Yorkshire, or do you want to be paying smaller taxes that go towards flood defences in Cornwall– to protect our precious landscape? The choice is yours.
"These are my views. Please feel free to leave a note at the shop and look out for us on manoeuvres."
The letter caused a local stir with a complaint that it was "rude and offensive". There were also suggestions that advertisers would back out.
But editor David Holman, who was made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 2011 for his work with the Cornwall Family History Society, refused to apologise.
"I can apologise for my editorial decision but I will not do so as I feel that the Press in this country is free and should not be suppressed," he wrote in the summer edition of the magazine.
"I do not expect to be called in front of the Leveson Inquiry but I feel that the results of that enquiry would support the freedom of the press. "Every article that is sent to me is given due consideration and indeed another recent article may also have caused some people to react, but I still decided to publish."
"The above notwithstanding, if the people of the village do not wish me to continue as the editor then they should tell me either by phone, letter or email."
Yesterday Mr Holman said he remained editing the magazine and that the row had "not rumbled on but rumbled off".