04 July, 2003

Today, the BBC have an article about how the north-south divide in the UK is getting worse

Articles like these, focussing on what the government could, should and is doing really don’t highlight the drastic difference there is between actually living in the south, and in the north.

To put things in perspective, I lived for 18 years in Bristol[1] (location), then for four years in Reading[2] (location). Both are very affluent, modern, have great shopping and nightlife.

I’ve been living in Sheffield[3] (location) for two years now. And the difference still amazes me. It’s cold and miserable (yes, even the UK has degrees of cold and miserable). It’s painfully obvious that it’s a much poorer city (I live in the media quarter, almost next-door to BBC Sheffield, and even that’s still grotty); it’s dirtier, more rubbish-strewn, the people are less friendly, and so on.

Sheffield is one of the largest cities in the UK (the 5th most populous), but also one of the fattest .

Sheffield centre looking its best and Bristol looking a bit better.

I’m sure there’s an intelligent point to be made in here somewhere, possibly with reference to the seven new heads of regional investment (London gets a region all to itself) who are going to be the ones specifying where the government should be doling out its cash; or even about the complete under-investment in anywhere north of the Watford Gap, London-centric population and job booms, airport focus etc. etc.

Sadly, it’s Friday afternoon, I’m tired and ill, and applications don’t write themselves.

1 Home of Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky; Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run); John Cabot and Isambard Kingdom Brunel; spiritual home of FOAF😉

2 Birthplace of Kate Winslet; locations for IBM, Oracle, Microsoft et al.; where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned; home of the Reading Festival ; half an hour from London by train

3 Home of The Full Monty

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in July 2003.