Several years ago, when I earned my crust as a policeman, I was chasing a gang of deer poachers across the North Yorkshire moors at dawn as the sun rose from the sea. Just as the diamond tip broke over the hill, the old bobby with me stopped and looked down to the valleys that stretched into the distance. "Look," he said, as if he had seen something for the first time. "God's kingdom, Adam's land - no finer place will you ever find.
If the Scots can have independence, then in terms of being a viable unit Yorkshire can too. It's larger, it has more population, it has every asset you could need. If we are playing that narrow game, Yorkshire is entitled to independence and its own Parliament. But is that what we want today? It's playing into the hands of those people who want to break up the United Kingdom and let Europe rule the various parts."
Once bitten twice shy, and several times bitten, then you make a rule about it. People from Yorkshire, we have found, are dour and nurse a grudge. One thing you can't put up with on expeditions are people who search for trouble, then nurse it when they have found it.