A group calling itself the Cornish National Liberation Army (CNLA) has warned British celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein that they face arson attacks because of their businesses in Cornwall. It made the threat to a local morning newspaper via an Arabic web-hosting service based in Egypt and claimed it enjoyed significant funding from other ‘Celtic nations’ and the US.
CNLA, an amalgamation of An Gof, or Blacksmith’, which takes its name from a 15th-century rebel leader, and the Cornish Liberation Army, added that the two chefs’ customers are also on its hitlist, along with tourists, ‘misguided’ Cornish locals and anyone flying the ‘imperialistic and tainted’ flag of St George. Cornwall boasts its own language and flag.
Commenting on the threats, a police spokesman said yesterday that, ‘Devon and Cornwall constabulary … have made immediate contact with proprietors of various businesses and are actively working together, with a view to ensure that appropriate crime prevention measures are maintained’.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant near Newquay is a charitable organization set up to help local youngsters find a career in catering. The terrorist group describes Oliver as, ‘Another incomer who has caused the inflation of house and other living costs at Cornish expense. Together with his clients and customers, also a target of the CNLA’.
A spokeswoman for Fifteen said: ‘We are very surprised and disappointed by the statement because everything about us is Cornish. We are a fifth-generation Cornish business employing large numbers of Cornish staff, we buy huge quantities of food from Cornish fishermen and farmers and … we are committed to helping 400 disadvantaged young Cornish people over the next 20 years’.
Rick Stein’s ‘empire’ in Padstow comprises a seafood restaurant, a cookery school a deli, a cafe, a fish and chip shop and two hotels. Branded ‘this English newcomer’ by the CNLA, Stein recently claimed local people had benefited from the ‘rosy glow of publicity’ his business has generated, to which yesterday’s message sinisterly retorted that, ‘At an unspecified date, Rick Stein will himself feel a “rosy glow … His vehicles and those of his clients and customers are also bona fide targets for our activists’. A spokeswoman said yesterday that Stein had spent time in Padstow all his life and considered it home. He employs 244 staff.