YP Letters: Whole-region devolution is best choice

Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, has ruled out a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal. (JPress)
Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, has ruled out a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal. (JPress)
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From: Chris Whitwood, Deputy Leader, Yorkshire Party, Doncaster.

Whilst lacking the energy and drama of Theresa May’s recent string of U-turns, the Mayor of Doncaster’s comments on the Sheffield City Region last week represent a welcome change of tack.

A year ago, Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones described the proposals to incorporate much of South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire into a Sheffield City Region as “the best decision for Doncaster”.

It was a claim that, as Yorkshire Party candidate, I questioned during the Doncaster Mayoral election earlier this year.

In a debate at the Doncaster Chamber business conference I put it to Mrs Jones that she would be searching a long time before finding anyone who volunteered that they lived in Sheffield City Region – primarily because, in the minds of the vast majority of voters, no such place exists.

Indeed, I can think of no political system in history, in which people did not have a cultural and emotional connection, that has avoided failure.

By contrast, Yorkshire not only has the business advantage of a globally recognised brand, it also has the cultural advantage of hundreds of years of history. It was an argument to which she had no answer.

Her letter last week, in which she stated that she was “not yet fully convinced that a South Yorkshire only model for regional devolution is the best deal for Doncaster” adds another voice to those calling for a Yorkshire-wide deal – a central part of the Yorkshire Party’s manifesto both in the local and general elections.

Leader of Barnsley Council, Sir Steve Houghton, has also called for other options – including a “Yorkshire model” – to be explored.

This is by no means the final nail in the city region coffin. However, the sooner Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry ceases fiddling with SCR’s corpse – like an inept ministerial Doctor Frankenstein – and, like Jones and Houghton, accepts that a whole-region devolution deal is the best choice for Yorkshire; the sooner our county, businesses and people will be able to truly flourish.

Storms could capsize Brexit

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

Mr Blair’s intervention over Brexit has prompted the predictable reaction. His comments are certainly of doubtful value to the remainers.

Nevertheless there is a certain momentum in favour of a change in attitude to such an important decision.

When all the arguments are once more marshalled by Brexiteers, there is one thing 
that trumps all the arguments. That is of course the situation 
of the economy and there is plenty of evidence that the barometer is pointing at storms ahead.

The outlook of the multinationals is crucial in this. They are concerned at our voluntary exclusion from our closest market in favour of some ill-defined search for a mythical paradise across the seas.

Don’t underestimate the craftiness of politicians to shuffle into a new position in relation to Europe as the direction of the wind changes.

From: D Wood, Howden.

When are the moaning EU remainers going to realise that the referendum is over and that they have lost, and stop all the mythical doom and gloom about Brexit?

We now have Tony Blair (why does anyone still listen to this self seeker?), the most discredited politician in Britain, telling us that the EU will now give us greater control over immigration if we cancel Brexit.

What a load of codswallop, this is pure fantasy.

The EU has no intention of softening its stance on the free movement of peoples, as the arrogant Michel Barnier has frequently stated.

And furthermore those of us that voted to leave would not change our minds even if they did, much too little, much too late.

Then we have the anti-Brexit, Labour-supporting rag The Guardian telling us on yesterday’s front page that secure food supplies will be threatened by Brexit. This is pure fake news.

The fact that we can buy any food that we get from the EU from many other countries 
like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa much cheaper and of far better 
quality than is produced by the totally inefficient farmers in 
the EU, particularly France, just goes to show how desperate the totally undemocratic remain lobby have now become.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

With vinyl strangely back in vogue, I have unearthed an LP by Paddy Roberts. A track L’Anglais avec son sang-froid is translated as “The Englishman with his usual bloody cold”. It contains the following verse: ‘Now the Englishman has lots of little foibles/And some of them are really past belief/For he’s still of the opinion/That the folk in each dominion/All regard him as the big white chief.’

The recording dates from the 1960s; a rather prescient anticipation of Brexit perhaps?

Salaries worth seeing again

From: Keith Wigglesworth, Highburton, Huddersfield.

As the BBC airs so many repeats, perhaps they could save money by showing its actors and presenters a photocopy of their previous year’s salaries.