Huddersfield University survey shows 75.8% want devolved power to Yorkshire.

Originally posted on Yorkshire Devolution Movement:

A survey by Huddersfield University presented on the BBC Politics Show yesterday showed 75.8% want devolved power to Yorkshire. It can be seen here about 53 mins in. There are several other interesting findings too not least the strong sense of ‘Yorkshireness’ which exists in God’s Own. That 75.8% incidentally is roughly in line with the recent polls in the Yorkshire Post which put support for a devolved assembly in the high 60s.

Also, views to this blog (since its inception in March 2013) passed 20,000 earlier today. Many thanks to all those who have dropped by to read and comment and especially to all those who have contributed. This month in particular has seen record views (now running at over 80 a day), perhaps not surprising given the interest the Scottish referendum is generating in the whole idea of devolution to Yorkshire. As someone has said the devolution ‘genie is out…

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I Know Where I’m Going!

Eight days to go until the independence referendum in Scotland. Yes or No. Whatever the outcome, and it’s looking like a close Yes or 50/50 , everything will change as Scotland strives for a democracy of participation. Everything will change across the UK as regions strive towards localised powers and away from centralisation.

Let’s not forget the people who brought us to this point. Unlike the film – which is delightful and a favourite of mine – yet  of middle class, business and laird aspirations –  the people who got us here were ordinary yet extraordinary.

It is the Labour Party and its instigators that brought us to this point whereby ordinary working class folk can vote for a referendum.

I am not at all sure of some of the hangers-on who claim to be for Scotland as of late, very late. I have not seen or heard of many of them working or striving towards social justice and equality, against poverty in Scotland. They have just popped up on the bandwagon of self-serving recognition as spurious nobodies.

So let’s remember Keir Hardie, Jimmy Reid, Jennie Lee, Donald Dewar, John Maclean

keirhardieJohnMaclean JennieLee


the artist; (c) Anne Mackintosh; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation‘Wisdom. Justice. Compassion. Integrity. Timeless values. Honourable aspirations for this new forum of democracy, born on the cusp of a new century.
We are fallible. We will make mistakes. But we will never lose sight of what
brought us here: the striving to do right by the people of Scotland; to respect
their priorities; to better their lot; and to contribute to the commonweal.
I look forward to the days ahead when this Chamber will sound with debate,
argument and passion. When men and women from all over Scotland will meet
to work together for a future built from the first principles of social justice.
‘ Donald Dewar

I know where I’m going, but I also want to make sure I’m going with the right people who will end poverty and who will ensure more empowerment of ordinary yet extraordinary  people until they  run the show. Empathy. Not patronising sympathy.


A Favourite Author

It took me some time to realise that I had been reading a good number of novels by one particular author over the last few years. That I had accumulated a sizable stash on my shelves written by her.

Just recently I looked them out and found that some had disappeared – Jigs and Reels, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters – and concluded that possibly I had just given them away. Sometimes you do with books that you like.

But there were others still here – Chocolat, Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Msr le Cure, Fools and more. Had this author outstripped my love of stories by Thomas Hardy when I was younger? It seemed so. Or perhaps, equal to.

I began to wonder what it was about her story-telling that I liked. Well, food was one thing, I like food and words together, recipes being a part of the magic of story-telling. I liked her main characters. I related to to being an outsider woman with one child living in a small place. I liked the French connection – the duality of Yorkshire and France/Europe as a part of the author’s background and the way she uses aspects of this to great effect with her imagination.

I think overall it is the diverse background, the understanding of women, recipes and parenthood.The primordial thing of having a certain kind of power that some may find threatening and react to -only because there is a difference between you and others.

But also an understanding that writing stories is a process which holds fear for the author. Never being very sure that what you have to tell is what someone, somewhere may want to hear. That you can tell a story which feels authentic, with words that lift that magic from the page and fill a person’s world at that moment in time. Perhaps they will always remember the story you told, perhaps the whole world will.

Here is a video of the TED talk Joanne Harris did at Manchester Uni. Do watch it right to the end. The conclusion is a very good one. The thread of life is there through stories and connects us all.

A Sweet Story

Whilst doing a bit of research for a short story I came across this:

The accidental arsenic poisoning of two hundred people in Bradford by Humbug Billy in 1858.

William Hardaker, known to locals as “Humbug Billy”, sold sweets from a stall in the Green Market in central Bradford. As was common practise at the time, his supplier and maker of the sweets – in this case peppermint humbugs – used ‘daft’ in his sweet production, supplied by a druggist in Shipley. Tragically on this occasion, due to a mistake at the pharmacy, 12 pounds of arsenic trioxide were purchased instead of the harmless ‘daft’.

There’s a book too by Rebecca Williamson…