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Free Cornwall!

Meet the campaigners for Cornish devolution – and discover a land of forgotten languages, time warps and dodgy saints

Dick Cole, the leader of Mebyon Kernow, the political party that is fighting for Cornish identity, has devoted his life to the cause. With notes to himself scribbled on his hand, and protected against wind and rain by a shapeless blue fisherman’s sweater, Cole is the picture of the Cornish politician on the stump.

He has certainly had to make sacrifices – he used, for example, to be an archaeologist with the council. “I gave up my career to work for Mebyon Kernow,” he says. “As a councillor, I’m on about £15,000. Before that, I was earning more than double that.” Cole’s face breaks into a smile of mild embarrassment at the price of his commitment. “I did it for MK,” he says, “and for my community.”

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