Now as you know, I try to be fair in my Thinking about Things, but I’ve just gotta say this again: back off, York – you’re not having him! Yes, the latest battle in the re-match of the Wars of the Roses – this time between York and Leicester – has opened with a bid by Richard’s distant relatives to bring him back to York by saying that they should have been consulted and that it is a ‘breach of their human rights to a family life.’
Yeah, nice try guys – but seriously? If it were a case of someone who died 50 years ago that would be reasonable, but this was 500 years ago! When 20 or more generations have passed I don’t really think you can play the family card and expect to be taken seriously. It’s a bit of a game, this human rights stuff – and it shouldn’t be. Then again,perhaps they have a point on other grounds: perhaps the city of York should have been consulted over where Richard was to be buried. But saying ‘he’s family’ is really stretching a point: it’d be like discovering the bones of Chaucer and his descendants saying he should be buried near Thames St where he was born rather than in Westminster Abbey. And in fact less than a century separates Chaucer and Richard, so it’s not too far-fetched an example.
The city of York may have some claims on Richard, but are they more than Leicester’s claims? I don’t think so, and when you take into consideration what tourist attractions York already has – the Minster, the walls, the stone buildings and numerous museums and stately homes – compared to what Leicester has, I think there’s no contest. Anyway, we’ve got him and we’re holding on to him, so there!
For other points on this matter, see my previous post:
PS Did you like my title today? I was quite proud of that one