Our society and communities are at a pivotal crossroads. We are beset with crises on multiple fronts – economic, environmental and social – and each of these crises is inseparable from the crisis in our democracy. Successive governments have failed to build an inclusive economy and strong public services that enable its citizens to flourish or even exist, and are avoiding taking the necessary steps to combat the climate crisis. Only as a society based on the principles of real sustainability, respect for diversity, and strong democracy can we reverse the threats to our lives and livelihoods.
Cornwall is already one of the poorest areas in the UK. In-work poverty, food and fuel poverty, poor health outcomes, personal debt and the absence of any affordable housing and the ever rising percentage of second homes are hollowing out our communities and increasing inequality.
On none of these fronts has there been any improvement under this or previous governments. Westminster, as currently constructed, is failing us.
We therefore call on all politicians who believe in better government, stronger democracy, civilised values, and the rule of law, to put aside party divisions and commit to forming real, workable cross-party cooperation which will be the vital force for good that our society and our communities are looking for. We seek an end to polarised party politics where the largest party typically rules absolutely and the second party opposes absolutely, regardless of the merits of a particular proposal. Democracy is healthier in a multi-party state based on the principle of Proportional Representation where seats match votes and no vote is wasted.
Above all, we urge all progressive parties to give Cornwall a stronger voice over its own affairs allowing local people and communities a decisive say over the issues that matter to them, including housing, planning, the local economy and the environment.
If you live in Cornwall and agree with our declaration, add your name