In recent days we have seen a surge in interest in Yorkshire from the national media. That is something that we at Yorkshire First always welcome - anything that draws attention to our great region, and the challenges we face, is to be applauded.
In this case, it is clear to us that the Yorkshire Post deserves this applause for refusing to run David Cameron's ‘love letter’, professing his adoration of ‘Yorkshire and Humber’. Putting aside the peculiar use of ‘and Humber’ in Mr Cameron's article, an expression used pretty much solely by London-based civil servants, don't Mr Cameron's words ring a little hollow when contrasted with his abject failure to act on the devastating floods that hit Yorkshire in December?
After all, I'm sure we all are delighted that Mr Cameron loves our great region - and who wouldn't? However it seems strange that his love didn't extend to blocking the devastating cuts to Leeds’ proposed flood defence scheme in the last Parliament. It's a shame that he doesn't love us enough to address our underperforming schools. It's a shame too that his love doesn't stretch to fixing our education system.
At Yorkshire First we'd certainly feel that love more if people weren't still desperately trying to recover from the horrible effects of the floods, or that Yorkshire wasn't losing its cultural heritage to London or a myriad of other issues here that are not being addressed. I believe if Mr Cameron really loves Yorkshire, now is his chance to show it.
Not many people realise that Yorkshire actually has a bigger population than Scotland, and an economy twice the size of Wales. We are certainly big enough to make more of our own decisions, rather than rely on the goodwill of whoever happens to be in Downing Street. Sometimes in life, when you really love someone or something you need to give them a bit of space to make their own decisions and fix their own problems.
If David Cameron really loves us he should back his words with actions and devolve real powers to Yorkshire - frankly, if it's good enough for Scotland and Wales, it's good enough for Yorkshire.
Leader of Yorkshire First