YP Letters: North’s history is a lesson to us on ‘taking back control’

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From: Ben Jenkinson, Wintringham, Malton.

IN 627AD, long before England was even heard of, King Edwin was baptised in York Minster.

He had united Deira (North and East Yorkshire) with Bernicia (Durham and Northumberland) and went onto annex Elmet (West Yorkshire).

He helped establish the kingdom of Northumbria (lands North of the Humber) which became the pre-eminent, largest and most powerful of the British Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

The historian Bede tells of the great kings – Oswald, Oswiv, Edgfrith: the great saints: Aidan, Cutbert, Hild and the great events: synod of Whitby; writing of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

York, Bamburgh and Ripon were the centres of power in the days when London was a little known backwater in the kingdom of Mercia.

In these days the North was significant, was listened to, had power and influence. Were it still so!

Since these days, the tables have turned, Yorkshire and the North have become the forgotten backwater.

Declines in power, status, influence and wealth have been exposed over many decades by your newspaper.

We have become ‘taken for granted’ a fact singularly exposed by the current transport crisis where Yorkshire and the North has been virtually ignored by the Westminster government.

It seems clear that the protest in the Brexit vote in Yorkshire and the North was as much a rejection of Westminster as it was of the EU. However it is the opportunity presented by Brexit which give us our best chance of ‘taking back control’.

There will be a second referendum on Scottish independence and, given that a large majority of Scots wish to remain in Europe, it seems likely Scotland will exit the UK.

In Northern Ireland there is a Remain majority and the current inability to resolve the Irish Border question is leading to increasing support for a united Ireland.

In these circumstances the UK will consist of England and Wales and will become even more dominated by the South East, the Westminster machine and the London economy.

Without even a devolved assembly, Yorkshire and the North will become increasingly insignificant and forgotten.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Yorkshire and the North must rise up and remember its proud history, its heritage and its spirit.

It’s time to take back control of our own affairs from an ignorant and dismissive Westminster.