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A Yorkshire parliament – pointless pipe dream or near future possibility?

May 12, 2013

 

When people ask me, why I identify myself as a Yorkist instead of English, or when they ask me why I support a Yorkshire parliament, it is always quickly followed by

“What’s the point? I mean -sure- it’s a nice hobby but you’re never going to get one, after all it has never happened before.”

Which is a semi valid point. Even though we have devolution in the nations surrounding Britain regional devolution has never been a major issue. Those who oppose the idea often point to the 2004 referendum in the North East, which saw around 77% of voters reject the idea of a regional assembly. Case closed, the British people don’t want regional parliaments, so it’s time for a pint down the local jolly!

Or, maybe not.

The 2004 referendum was, admittedly a poor showing from my fellow regionalists, but that’s what happens when there is no home grown campaign to fight for a regional parliament.

That’s the simple truth; central government can’t give a region its own identity. I feel as if that’s where a large part of the demand for regional governance come form, of course there are huge economical benefits are so forth, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “This is our land and we know best how to run it, I don’t need some out of touch toff in London telling me how to live.”

That’s why ANY campaign regional self governance that wants to be successful has to be home grown. Add into that a poorly funded and ran Yes campaign along with overlaying cultural problems (Read: everyone in the North East being on less than friendly terms of the proposed seating on the assembly, Newcastle) that came out of central government not truly understanding the area. You add all this up and you get a recipe for disaster.

As YDM improves & grows will we be able to offer a structured, well oiled and home grown campaign that will turn this pointless pipedream into a certain in the near future.

Regionalists do not despair! Regional parliaments are very much a possibility as shown by the fantastic Mebyon Kernow who won an average of 24% of the vote in seats they stood in, of course they are not a single issue party but it shows there is demand for regional devolution.

All it requires is for the right group to poke the right people and stir the right feelings. Let the ball roll down hill from there.

(As for Yorkshire, we’re working on it)

 

Gareth Shanks

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3 Comments
  1. Richard Carter permalink

    Bravo!

  2. Jim Clarke permalink

    I’m wondering whether it might be an idea to start a campaign, linked to this, to bring back Yorkshire Television? Nationalists in various places have recognized the need to have broadcasting that represented local communities, as well as national languages. Maybe a call to end homogenised ITV, and to bring back a regional service that recognises Yorkshire’s diverse communities and cultures could further help foster a sense of regional identity?

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