News: Borderline Crazy

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Today I came across this short article in the Times relating to the contentious topic of where one would draw the line between the North and South of England. This topic has come around again as part of the national coverage on the Great Exhibition of the North which (as per my previous post) is taking place in Newcastle and Gateshead over the summer months.

For a BBC Radio 4 interview on the topic, Prof. Mark Tewdwr-Jones from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University drew his own version of the North/South dividing line based on 'the sphere of influence from London'. Since this was posted on the BBC Radio 4 Twitter account, the tweet has received over 500 comments from users complaining about this line and offering their own versions and comments (and it appears Prof Tewdwr-Jones has since deleted his Twitter account).

Once again, this shows just how difficult a topic this can be to discuss due to the personal identities involved, along with the huge array of varying factors from which this line can be redrawn. More importantly, as I covered in my pilot thesis, it shows that the identification of place usually involves an us/them distinction in which one is usually devalued. This is evident in the comments found on Twitter relating to this post.

I for one think this will be a debate which continues for many years to come, but I'd much rather it was grounded within different accents rather than economic and social inequalities.

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Tom Ardron