Although it does not seem to occur to him that 43 years of EU membership have done nothing to prevent Cornwall from ending up like this, Kevin Maguire writes:
Charity are one of the fastest growing industries in beautiful Cornwall.
Drag out of history and he’d recognise today’s despair and poverty, which rival any modern British city.
Behind picture-postcard images of glorious beaches and stunning clifftop walks, you soon discover poverty, low wages, debilitating insecurity, ill health and kids with no prospects.
Cornwall’s bitter is grimly real, if disregarded by turning a blind eye to the heartache when he holidays in the coastal county every summer.
I’m told nobody works in up to one in three homes in pockets of Camborne and Redruth, where people were dumped on an economic spoil heap by the decline of china clay mining.
Bits of a romantic county in a supposedly prospering Britain are worse off than regions of Latvia and Poland, with one-third of Cornish people scraping by on less than £15,000 a year.
So dire are the lives of so many that a network of 15 food banks from Penzance to Bude supply meals to the expanding ranks of the destitute.
In South East Cornwall, the constituency office of the local Tory MP, Sheryll Murray, is one of 80 bodies – including schools, police stations, GP surgeries, Jobcentres and so on – directing the destitute to the Liskeard and Looe food bank.
David Berry, manager of the centre, which relies on the public spiritedness of volunteers and generosity of donors to feed the hungry, told me demand is rising, not falling.
“The make-up of the job market here, with low-earning seasonal work and changes to the welfare system, are factors,” he said.
“Cornwall’s a lovely county, an attractive place to live and work. But there is another side and we mustn’t ignore it.”
What is Cornwall’s reward for turning blue, for eradicating yellow and resisting red to elect six MPs west of the Tamar last May?
Nothing, or very little, according to the trade unionists who call it the forgotten county.
Labour has not had an MP in Cornwall since 2005, though Comrade put the region top of his target list after dubbing the county and neighbouring Devon the “low pay capital of Britain”.
Yet Cornwall’s embrace of the Tory Party and resistance to Labour is symptomatic of Corbyn’s challenge.
Destructive individualism found in Cornwall, with voters often voting against their best interests, is evident ahead of the June 23 on Britain in Europe.
The strong Europhobic current is dangerous when the county would be sunk without agricultural subsidies protected by bolshie French farmers or the estimated £1billion from Brussels over the past 20 years.
Cornish pasties, clotted cream and even an endangered language are protected by Europe but I uncovered little gratitude.
Crack the question, “What’s the matter with Cornwall?” and we’ll find the key to a fairer Britain.