"... and people from Birmingham kept insisting there was a place called The Midlands"


(Daniel Hollands) #1

Although I can’t find it now, I’m pretty sure that one of the threads on this forum contained a link to a map showing the north/south divide. If I was able to find said link, I would have added this video to that thread, but as I can’t, I’m going to post it here instead:

(For what it’s worth, I discovered Jay Foreman yesterday via his Unfinished London videos, and he’s both very interesting and entertaining)


(Andy Wootton) #2

I drew a map of where I thought ‘Midland’ was: https://andywootton.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/where-is-midland/
but that’s more an oval than a line. I think the North starts between Cannock and Stafford. You can hear the accent change. I think that’s because of Midland expansion due to coal though, because for about a thousand years the Watling Street seems to have been the border, putting Derby, Nottingham and Leicester in the North rather than the East Midlands, “me duck” (just like in Stoke-on-Trent!)


(Andy Wootton) #3

This clears things up https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North–South_divide_(England)

We act as a buffer zone, much like Tom Watson. Him being located in the Midlands can’t be a coincidence.

I’ve been messing about until now but this just got serious. I’ve realised that by drawing a line across Staffordshire, I’ve put the North Midlands in the North. The clue is in the name. It’s both. We’re seeing intertwingularity again. Lines on maps should be fades. This belongs in my book! Midland is non-binary in a tribal sense. Maps are category graphs as well as navigational aids. We’re imposing an unnatural hierarchy on a population, like we do with company hierarchies, which encourage tribal divisions instead of cooperation.

It might even be why Brits have a different psychological relationship with Europe. We can see a hard geographic border and have a history of mostly defending it successfully or sucking up to invaders. It really is binary. Mainland Europeans know their borders are unstable because they’ve been fighting over them for thousand of years and know they can’t win sustainable victories. Our relative directions to stability lie in opposite directions.
H
…and: it offers a solution to one of the problems I have with the Silicon Canal white-paper. It refuses to define the borders of Midland then gives statistics about the tech companies in the the Midlands. I found that non-sensical. But if you periodically statistically sample where people believe the borders to be, you can place a theoretical border, just as we do the orbit of an atom, even though we know about quantum uncertainty. That means that you can grow the size of the Midland tech economy by good marketing that makes people want to feel part of it.

If would also make Midland bigger than Greater Birmingham, so it’s win-win.


(Andy Wootton) #4

It shows you need to be careful what you wish for. I was right that the Metro Mayoral candidates needed to be worried about the Black Country but not about the reasons. The disaffected UKIP-tendency seem to have voted against Corbyn for being anti-Brexit, though the Labour candidate appears to have been his enemy too. I wasn’t very impressed by what I heard of the Social Democrat candidate, so I’m not surprised she didn’t trouble the ‘leaders’. I’ve liked what Andy Street has said so far. He gets that his decisions affect people who didn’t get to vote for him and appears set to co-operate with the other cities rather than compete with them. What is the link between our tech community and the Metro Mayor of Birmingham & Midland? Obviously ‘the Midlands’ includes E.Mids. and our shared Engine. I haven’t heard him mention that yet.