God’s own county comes good

Photo by Karl Moran on Unsplash
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News that Boris Johnson has proposed moving both Houses of Parliament to York while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished will be met with glee by Yorkshire devolutionists. In a letter seen by The Times the prime minister casts doubt on the £4bn renovation project that was agreed in 2018.

Esther Webb, reporter for the Times Red Box tweeted:

The spokesperson for the parliament restoration programme is reported as saying, “The house of Parliament buildings are falling apart faster than they can be fixed”.

Most of this has been met with a slight raising of the eyes. Anyone who knows York will know that there is not the infrastructure to support such a move. Indeed as I have been saying for years to anyone who will listen, Wakefield (with its excellent transport connections) has a far better chance of receiving the Woolsack.

The Lord Chancellor’s Woolsack lies in front of the throne and is occupied during sittings of the House by the Lord Chancellor, who is Speaker of the House of Lords. The tradition of using a sack stuffed with wool is thought to date back to the reign of Edward III.
Image: Explore Parliament

This maybe another of the Cummings “dead cat” distractions – perhaps there’s another lockdown coming, or perhaps the Russian report is about to be published. But just for today, Yorkshire will enjoy its moment in the sun.

Just imagine that we finally resume our rightful place as the seat of government. Indeed, imagine for a moment that London becomes some forgotten city in the South that people have heard about but no longer visit. Now, it’s all about Yorkshire (although for us it’s always been all about Yorkshire!).

Does this mean finally we can get our own version of the Tube – and perhaps a heavily subsidised rail system to connect the region? We could call it CrossFail. And beefeaters. Please beefeaters. We already have a few towers, so we don’t need any more of those.

But just think, we can have even more restaurants and bars and Jay Rayner reviews. We’ll get Six Music artists desperate to play here and Russians buying up our empty properties. We can have six major airports and the jet-setting lifestyle to go with them. We can have Fashion Week and colonic-irrigation lunches …

And, best of all, we can have beer at £6 a pint, and congestion, and people in suits pretending to be something they are not, and awful air quality, and Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. Every weekday. Every week.

On second thoughts. No thanks. You can keep your parliament. In the fullness of time we shall have our own. Created by the people of Yorkshire, for Yorkshire – God’s Own County. But thanks for thinking of us.

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