Speaking as a Southerner who has now lived in Yorkshire for 11 years, I have been consistently impressed by the creativity, common sense and energy of the county, with the number of people who get on with it to make good things happen.
Of course the biggest county in the country, with a population as big as Scotland, has many local issues to deal with compared to the (currently) more prosperous South.
However, after 40 years in business development, I am concerned at how often Yorkshire allows itself to be to be constrained by negative stereotypes from outside the county, that can take root in the minds of local people and media, to limit ambition and teamwork.
A stream of clichés from bad weather to benefits culture, racial intolerance, obstinacy, inability to agree and co-operate (remembering the David Cameron ‘joke’) etc, have seemingly been allowed to take root and be repeated.
This is not the Yorkshire I have come to know, from Leeds to Whitby. Not if we do not want it to be.
It has actually never been a better time to take advantage of the changes in business, technology, education and society for Yorkshire to come together, be confident and flourish.
After all the ‘red wall’, another label we have allowed the south to put on us, actually got this government elected.
So let’s speak up for Yorkshire and take our rightful place in the world. One that truly reflects our people, capabilities and importance to the UK and beyond.