Minister James Brokenshire is today accused of a cowardly act and of trying to silence debate in the way he handled the rejection of the broadly-backed campaign for county-wide devolution.
In a hard hitting column in The Yorkshire Post (February 18) which highlights what the newspaper calls “the Government’s divide-and-conquer tactics”, journalist Jayne Dowle writes :” I’ll tell you one thing about people from Yorkshire. If there’s a tough thing to say, we’ll look you in the eye and say it. Not so… James Brokenshire who delivered the Government’s rejection of the One Yorkshire devolution bid by a letter emailed to council leaders – and a press release.
Jayne Dowle: proud Yorkshirewoman
“Press release? I’m speaking both as a journalist and a proud Yorkshirewoman here, and I recognise this as a huge insult. I can see exactly why he did it. And that makes it even worse.
“This perfunctory method of delivering information is the easiest and quickest way to quell argument and silence debate.
“I’m assuming that Brokenshire thinks that the matter will quietly disappear beneath the waves in all the tumult over Brexit until he’s eventually turfed out of office and it becomes someone else’s problem. In this, the Southend-born Minister underestimates the strength of feeling we have here in Yorkshire.
“Surely, his role is to work with us, not against us. I suggest he revisits his cowardly decision and comes up to see us. And then we can show him a thing or two about looking people in the eye”