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'Nationalism' in Cornwall and Yorkshire

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

An Irish woman once said to me that the English' who for tax reasons put down roots in Eire are more Nationalistically Irish than the indigenous Irish! funny how almost 2 thirds of Northern Ireland are more British than in the mainland of Britain who have generations of the Irish immigrants (mainly after the Potato famine) who are better integrated than the English in Eire!? Of course Nationalism in Scotland and Wales has anchored Irish nationalism in the democratic sense, because it will achieve Celtic independence quicker (actually by 3 generations from today). The UK is no longer fighting against the IRA in a counter terrorist capacity, thank God for Scotland and Welsh democratic progress, But what of England? Both Cornwall and Yorkshire will probably want more say over their affairs. I was commissioned to paint the Cornish flag once and of course Cornwall has its own language as well as having too many second homers from the South East. But Yorkshire? Home of the cricket captain, the best rugby league teams and the once mighty giant of English football, Leeds United preparing a relaunch. Huddersfield and Sheffield Utd and Wednesday can't get a look in! So how does the world respond to Yorkshire? "Don't sip it sup it"? You know nothing Jon Snow!"? Afraid so. Patronize and spread the cheese.

Yorkshiremun are blunt and are quick to assess people, whilst abrupt and insulting. Yorkshire is not free of prejudice, social.and racial. Suspicious, stoical and brazenly direct! Am I talking about ethnic groups or those who don't live in Yorkshire? I don't know if there is a difference in Yorkshire! Yorkshiremun aren't renown for their chatter; 'Language is for communicating, so I'm communicating to you when I say "Fuck-off you fucking wanker!' Whereas Scotland wants independence, Yorkshire wants pre-eminence over the rest of England. But antagonized by the lobster eating, bubbly drinking snooty southerners, why would Yorkshire 'want to go to the trouble of ruling over them? 'Waste of time!' Will they ever vote for Boris with his accent?' Rhetorical'! I'm sure management and leadership are always available in Yorkshire , but intrusion or incursion on their front garden ain't on. The 'belt and braces' cliche, the Hovis advert of a town in Devon further demonstrates the resentment of 'London' that is based on London's 'ignorance' of Yorkshire history and future. Why does the residual hatred of the 'South' remind us of Scargill's attempt to get change in Westminster via the coal industry? At least that is more contemporary than the Southerners perception of the North as people who are both stuck in industrial and post industrial furnices that make them so pissed off. Yorkshire prides itself on 'slow to anger but in your face fist' doesn't do hatred by the Scots of 'London', but nevertheless has formed its 'own opinion':Never to relinquish resentments if there is any call for it in gruff and the coldest of pubs. "Don't give me cheese and Heathcliffe! Don't give me calculation and manipulation that is a Southern disease. And stop behaving like landlords in a far flung part of the British empire run by feudal knights and foreign monarchs." They have enough problems with the southerners from Sheffield let alone the bankers and tax avoiders in 'London'. Sentimental or submissive are meant for somebody else. Dry Yorkshire humour is too subtle for the South and too indelicate for the 'dull and greedy' people who govern in 'London'. Economy is the way of communication between 'man and beast' and has nothing to do with banks or the City of London etc. Breakfast is never muesli but something to fill your stomach. There is a well known Yorkshire chef who frequently speaks of Yorkshire portions and mushy peas as the caviar of the North! Perhaps Yorkshiremun aren't too far up themselves to self- parody, but why waste an opportunity to bemuse Southeners? Decisions in Yorkshire are made to last: the worst type of traitor is a Yorkshiremun who doesn't want to go home and a Yorkshiremun who is too 'refined to get the joke'.

Essentially southern big mouths must button it or get what is coming their way. The people are hardier, and their used to mid-winter temperatures, freckles and watery spring sun. Southerners have a sole purpose: God has created the south to melt under the stern gaze of Yorkshire, were Yorkshire is God's country.

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