Manchester United and Cornwall both point to deep questions

At first glance the troubles of Cornish villagers and the followers of Manchester United may seem far apart indeed. But recent events make us suspect they may be connected-and point the way to bigger troubles in future.

Firstly, the background. For those not totally hooked on Line of Duty, yesterday saw fans of Manchester United riot so comprehensively that the club’s fixture with arch-rivals Liverpool has had to be postponed. Commentators talk of long-standing grievances against the rich American Glazer family that owns the club, which were accentuated by the latter’s flirtation with the recently mooted European Superleague. *

Meanwhile down in beautiful Cornwall tensions are running high in the village of Feock * near Falmouth. It’s the same old story as in other areas of natural beauty, such as Wales. Impoverished locals are infuriated by rich outsiders who move in with big wads of cash, buying up properties, changing shops and generally acting, it is alleged, with a swagger and panache that goes with economic superiority.

We do not imagine that Football fans or Cornish villagers are Communists or Socialists to any particular extent. Both are heirs of the final victory of Capitalism in 1991, and would welcome its freedoms to travel and trade across the widest possible areas. Yet both are (relatively) disadvantaged groups who see their traditional customs and social structures deeply disturbed by the action of these same market forces and the much richer individuals that ride them. Both sides have some deep questions to answer. Do free markets always guarantee the happiest outcomes? If not, and you start to tamper with them, where does that end? If you join a free market zone, do you thereby allow strangers the same rights in your community as you have?

It is issues like this where nationalist parties gain their first footholds. We note that Mebyon Kernow are now involved in the travails of Feock the way that Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalists learned to fish in troubled local waters back in the 1970s. Could there one day be a Cornexit from the UK, mirroring the recent Brexit from the EU? What about Quebec, and Corsica and California? As we have said before, local and national feelings run deep and should never be dismissed or mocked. We may be at the beginning of their consequences.

both stories today are from the Guardian, but you will find them well covered in other media

#cornwall #feock #manchesterunited #football #capitalism #socialism #inequality

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