Happy Yorkshire Day everyone!
We Yorkshire folk are proud of our roots and proud of our county.
But we’re a contrary lot. Whenever anyone tries to pigeonhole we Yorkshire folk into some sort of flat-cap wearing, whippet-owning, beer-swilling stereotype whose arms are somewhat shorter than our pockets we’ll have none of it.
We’ll tell you how ours is the largest county, most beautiful county, has some of the best/largest/economically viable cities in the UK, thank you very much. We’ll tell you we’re proud to be forward thinking, pioneering people, just as generations before us have been pioneers in the worlds of industry, finance, art, science, engineering and the rest.
At the same time we’ll happily raise a glass of Yorkshire bitter and tip our flat caps to celebrate our county’s special day, as we celebrate such things as the best pork pies or a vending machine that spits out flat caps!
In a sense that is the essence of what it is to be Yorkshire, to be self-deprecating, not to get “too big for our boots” or to think we’re better than we are.
And perhaps that’s why devolution is so difficult for us and why sometimes it takes someone else to point out that our strengths need to be celebrated more and brought together to make Yorkshire a force to be reckoned with. The Yorkshire Collaboration - Options for Discussion document makes interesting reading. But time for discussion is running out and Leeds needs to be leading the charge.