While searching Google for another image recently, I saw this photo.
Two questions immediately sprung to mind. First, is this a proper road sign? And if so, is the general direction you’re headed the only piece of information needed to travel the famous M1? If so I see very little need to use a GPS (or sat nav), on the motorway anyhow.
I realize the English are very north-south oriented since it’s commonplace to hear people say “up and down the country” whereas in the US we think of our expanse more in terms of east to west. Unfortunately for us, many Americans still can’t help but be reminded of our Civil War whenever North and South is discussed.
What’s also interesting about this sign is how the arrows direct you not north, but to The North. From my TV viewing I’ve definitely gotten the idea that Northerners and Southerners see one as distinctly different people; however, until researching this post I did not realize there is actually a North-South divide. Here’s a Southerner’s take on the North…
Of course we need to give the Northerners an opportunity to reply:
Obviously these types of divisions and stereotypes are bound to lead to a bit of competitiveness and one upmanship:
Taking out a moment to be serious, the divide is apparently a very hot social and political topic in Britain. Where you live has a great effect on your health and life expectancy, income, house prices and employment prospects:
I don’t claim to be a social scientist so I’m clearly not in any position to offer solutions. We’re not any better off in the States really. I don’t believe the gap has closed between the one percent-ers and the rest of us. All I can suggest is to have some more laughs at the expense of one another’s differences.
For example, here’s of a posh Southerner describing what he’s learned in his time at university amongst the Mancunians:
And here’s a delightful Geordie nanny plopped down in the middle of a house full of privileged xenophobes.
For most their hometowns and regions are a source of pride and the criticisms I’ve presented here are just good natured teasing. However, when a British government think tank called the Policy Exchange proposed this solution to relieve the disparity between the north and south several years ago…
It would surely make me wonder if my country wouldn’t be better off in the hands of the comedians.