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Apathy Towards London - Olympics to Exacerbate?

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posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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As a Northerner living in t'smoke I've seen it from both sides:

The North sees London as a necessary evil; arrogant, self-important, cuturally-dominant, and overly-favoured in terms of centrally-collected revenue spent on the city and its inhabitants.

London regards the North as backward, ignorant, a long way away and largely irrelevant apart from as a source of cheap production.

Although I don't know I'm sure similar prejudices apply to the South West, Wales, Scotland, The NE etc etc.

Given the deafening silence from Central govt when Manchester and the Birmingham tried for the Olympics and the enforced joy-fest when London won with a heavily-supported bid, and the fact that £Bn of nationally-collected tax revenue will be spent improving an area of London (and only London) do people feel the Olympics will only serve to further widen the gulf between London/South East and the rest of the UK?


Edit: Tempering the title after Sminkeypinky made (another) scorchio-ingly good point

[edit on 6-7-2006 by Strangerous]




posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 04:00 PM
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I've lived in various parts of the UK and have had and have now close family in several fairly widespread locations and I just don't see "hatred", really I don't.

Of course I've seen people talk in the kind of caricatures you describe.
But I never saw it go beyond occasional jokes, baiting or ribbing (both ways).
I really haven't seen anyone (northerner or southerner) so roused about any of that stuff so as to be moved to anything like actual "hatred".....perhaps a tiny tiny fringe of nutters (north and south) are but it isn't my own experience at all.

(and I don't think anything relating to football support counts cos that is so heavily team related, they'll quite happily latch onto any excuse to hate and batter people. They'll attack people from the same town for daring to support a different team, nevermind 'from down south' or 'up north')

North v South?
IMO it's even less noticeable than the supposed "hatred" claimed to found with Scot v English, Welsh v English or Irish v English.....which in terms of a blanket and actual genuine real blind hatred I have found exceptionally rare too.

Having lived and worked in and around London myself for many years (something in many families now & not exactly rare) I would say London generally is so cosmopolitan - and has been many many decades now - that you'd be pushed to find many people who are not connected to elsewhere some way or another so as to make attitudes of superiority on the basis of simple geography just ridiculous.......and even then those holding such 'values' rend to be young and wise up and grow out of it eventually.

Many (most?) of us feel a great bond and/or affection for the places we are from but it doesn't follow that that must be coupled with looking down on everywhere else.

The root of any annoyance about London and the south east's disproportionate financial 'attention' is that it is our capital, additionally it also happens to be a leading financial centre in the world (and has been for a very very long time) and it is the most densely populated region of the UK.
Hence it attracts and continues to attract a disproportionate amount of wealth and political attention/spending in the UK.

Such is life and fairly obvious.
Fundamentally there is little or nothing anyone can do about that.....and anyway who in their right mind would want to risk such a cash-generator which does benefit the rest of us so much (if not exactly evenly)?
You might make a similar case and say Leeds, Liverpool or Manchester have a disproportionate degree of wealth compared to say, Doncaster, Workington or Warrington, right?
That's life.

But it is helpful to appreciate that not everything in the SE and London area is appealing or so 'great'.
The 'quality of life' is not my idea of 'good'.
I used to head into work on a hot sunny day and realise that the reason I couldn't actually see the actual city wasn't because of "heat haze" but the fug of smog hanging over the city from all of the pollution.

I eventually left recognising and enjoying the fact that there is great value in not being in London or the south east and nowadays I actually consider myself lucky to be away.
Given the choice I imagine few would actually choose to turn their area into becoming another London or the SE.

IMO London is a great place to go and make a lot of money when you are younger so long as you have the sense to eventually leave to go live somewhere far less crowded and conjested, much cleaner and far more sane where you can raise a family safely and properly.

I suppose the long and the short of that is that my attitude is absolutely not one of "hatred" to London at all but one of fond regard but decidedly tinged with pity.
I really couldn't see myself going back for any reason.

[edit on 6-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 04:15 PM
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Hi Sminks

TBH I meant to come back and change 'hatred' for 'apathy' but got distracted cocking up cooking the tea (grrrr!). I have heard many people 'up North' tell me they 'hate' London but I know that's just people talking.

I'll change it if I can. (:up


I agree with the London for the young sentiment and will probably head North in the next few years as I is getting well old innit?


If were discussing 'apathy' rather than 'hatred' would you agree with the supposition that the London Olympics won't help lessen this apathy but will, in fact, increase it?

Edit: changed the title, not trying to distract from the pints you made

[edit on 6-7-2006 by Strangerous]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Strangerous
I agree with the London for the young sentiment and will probably head North in the next few years as I is getting well old innit?


- Comes to us all eventually, naa whhaa ahhh mean mite!


If were discussing 'apathy' rather than 'hatred' would you agree with the supposition that the London Olympics won't help lessen this apathy but will, in fact, increase it?


- I dunno.
I kind of agree with what you're saying when it comes to something more local like the Millennium dome but I can't help thinking the Olympics is something so very different it will turn out to go way beyond all of that.
I expect a big success and it to attract people from all over the UK in big numbers.

The Olympics is a really big deal, they get very large viewing numbers when they're just on the TV so I expect attendance when it is actually here in this country to be really big (and we have excellent links to continental western Europe that is bound to attract our near neighbours in big numbers too).

I reckon it will escape the standard 'anything beyond the parochial gets treated with indifference' routine; it's really is such a big big deal.
A 'World Cup' type big deal but perhaps even bigger and encompassing even more of the whole world.

The whole world's coming and it is one of the globe's most massive periodic events; I can imagine whatever sour feelings some have being put aside to ensure a good showcase the whole UK, if only through London and the SE.

You going to go?
I may well take a trip over to see some of it, myself (and it's not often I feel drawn back there, I can tell you)......and I bet there'll be tens of thousands of folks from all 4 corners of the UK doing likewise (nevermind the huge numbers of foreign visitors for it).

Once in a lifetime stuff and all that, eh?




[edit on 6-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 07:18 PM
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Nah mate I'm thinking of going robbing among all the visitors who will be camping out on Clapham Common (the robbing's a joke, the camping isn't).

As I say it seems, to me, a con; getting the whole of the UK to pay for the regeneration of East London and I reckon that feeling of disenchantment will become more vocal in the non-London areas of the UK.

Already they're saying that the Council tax in London won't be increased to pay for it - that can only mean it's coming from the total UK tax take.

I appreciate it's a global event but given that isn't it even more strange that it's all in London / M25?

At least with the WC (or Euro '96 which I did go to) the benefit is spread around the hosting country.

I suspect it's going to be a tram-smash, the transport in London can barely cope on a normal day (well actually it can't) add in all the visitors and I think it's going to be grim.

If I'm still in London I'd imagine I'll be getting out of town for the duration (and maybe letting the flat to refugees from the Common
)



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by Strangerous
Nah mate I'm thinking of going robbing among all the visitors who will be camping out on Clapham Common (the robbing's a joke, the camping isn't).


- A good point behind the joke, burglars are probably going to have a field day with so many of those people away at it!



As I say it seems, to me, a con; getting the whole of the UK to pay for the regeneration of East London and I reckon that feeling of disenchantment will become more vocal in the non-London areas of the UK.


- I agree that there will be those seeking to exploit those kinds of feelings but that works both ways and I think most understand that well enough.
Plenty of places in the UK have had decent dosh lashed out over the years to help regenerate them, not just London (and, true, just like some parts of London some places have been disgracefully neglected too).


I appreciate it's a global event but given that isn't it even more strange that it's all in London / M25?


- In the case of the Olympics no, I don't think so. They always are held in and close around the host city.
Unlike, as you mention the WC, which to begin with at least is much more spread.


I suspect it's going to be a tram-smash, the transport in London can barely cope on a normal day (well actually it can't) add in all the visitors and I think it's going to be grim.


- Now this one, I agree, is the $64 000 question.

It has to be said though that this is a fear they all have recently seemed to go through and yet so far at least it has worked out in the end.
Last time everyone seemed to think Athens wouldn't even be finished and ready to not cope nevermind have the problems expected anyway.
But by and large it did.


If I'm still in London I'd imagine I'll be getting out of town for the duration (and maybe letting the flat to refugees from the Common
)


- Could be a big money-spinner for you, good luck!



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