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Richard III’s bones: symptomatic of how London makes decisions on Yorkshire’s behalf

March 17, 2013

When people across the region are concerned with jobs and prices it could be seen as the ultimate in irrelevance to be fired up about where to bury the bones of someone last seen alive in the fifteenth century. Yet in my opinion the argument over where to bury the Yorksist King’s remains is symptomatic of how London makes decisions on Yorkshire’s behalf with little or no accountability.

King Richard III’s bones were dug up in a council car park in Leicester and despite his apparent wishes to be buried in York, Leicester have laid claim to be the bones and plan to reinter them in Leicester Abbey. Several contributors, not Professor Ormrod of York University and the writer Alison Weir, in the latest BBC History magazine lay out a compelling case for Richard III to be returned to Yorkshire. The contribution which left one in no doubt as to the writers’ feelings was from David Hipshon, author of Richard III, who said:

‘The remains themselves should go to York Minster, of course. Leicester’s appropriation of Richard has all the hallmarks of the medieval relic industry touting for the pilgrim trade.’

Despite the support of scholarly opinion (plus over 25,000 names on a petition calling for Richard III to be reinterred at York Minster) it is left to a couple of worthy York MPs and the local Council leader to take on the case against what looks like another example of some grubby deal stitched up in London done without any apparent consultation with people in the know. Where was the advice of expert witnesses for example? It is indicative of Yorkshire’s apparent lack of clout that the county seems almost helpless to overturn the decision. I cannot believe that Alex Salmond or Boris Johnson would not be making an almighty fuss on behalf of Scotland and London respectively in similar circumstances. Imagine a Scottish relic or the bones of Dick Whittington’s cat being discovered in Doncaster; there would be an almighty brouhaha until the items were ‘returned’. So whilst the issue of where precisely Richard III’s bones are to be buried may not be of interest to most folk in the scheme of things, they should be concerned with, as in so many other matters, Yorkshire’s apparent lack of influence.

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One Comment
  1. Nigel Sollitt permalink

    Yes, this is another clear cut case of central government paying absolutely no regard to the thoughts and wishes of the people of Yorkshire! Just like the Local Government Act 1972 abolished the authorities of the three ridings and placed some parts of Yorkshire under authorities that people would not associate with Yorkshire, thereby threatening the identities of the Yorkshire folk that live in them, the government is once again making decisions without consulting those that it most involves!

    This article by Yorkshire Devolution Movement makes a very important point to which all self-respecting Yorkshire folk should.give great consideration: Why is it that on matters involving Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland or London no decision would ever be made without the people of those places being consulted and having great influence whereas on matters involving Yorkshire, the people of Yorkshire have no say or influence at all?

    The answer is simple, whereas Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland and London have their devolved assemblies/parliaments as a mouthpiece to make protestations and to voice opinion, Yorkshire does not!

    It is time the people of Yorkshire woke up to the reality that if they allow Yorkshire to continue without a devolved voice, such disparities of justice will only become more frequent and more damaging to Yorkshire and her nation.

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