From The North…

May 17, 2013

This is Granada…those of you who can still hear the finish to that line in your head could well be cursing me for reminding you of it ( because I can’t get it out of my own head either ). What brought it to mind in the first place is the result of a little conflab I have just had with somebody on  Facebook concerning the BBC’s move up to my wonderful neighbouring city of Salford. Aside from the odd quip about Yorkshire, as opposed to  those of us that live the right side of the Pennines (  I won’t mention cricket ), the thread did seem to be beyond the usual healthy banter that can ensue when speaking of our home towns.  Although, I do discount football from this discussion because I am also old enough to know the beautiful game is more important than life and death!

 

To return to said discussion, it’s fair to say that it’s got under my skin in a big way because I really hadn’t understood just how much our Southern counterparts held the North of England in such disdain. I don’t exactly hold this against them but it did occur to me that if I continued as a minority in that thread, my attempts to paddle along nicely and go with the flow might have been hampered by an occasional tendency to leap in with both great feet. Not, of course, that the owner of the thread couldn’t have stood their ground and retaliated in spades ( as we say up here ) – far from it, in fact, but I felt it unfair to use their space as a place to vent my own gripes.

 

So, the problem kicked off with an article being shared on FB that was from the Daily Mail which ( in my opinion ) chose to slag off the BBC’s choice of Salford Quays as the choice of relocation of some of their services. By the way, I have not been one to think good things of the BBC of late ( apart from the wonderful drama  Our Girl that went out a few weeks ago ) because I think they have let a lot of vulnerable people down. I am also an occasional reader of the Daily Mail so I think my comments can be seen as unbiased as most as I have no particular axe to grind, either against the DM or for the BBC.

The feeling behind the DM article was that some of the people working within the BBC were choosing to stay down in London and record their programmes there ( even though there is now facility for them to move up here and make Media City at Salford Quays their default work place ). Indeed, when they did have to come here, it seemed to be, on the whole, at the expense of the BBC and this was the crux of the argument;

 

The BBC were wasting money.

 

I’m afraid, however, that the argument doesn’t wash with me. Rather, it was the metaphorical wolf – of the South not wanting to lose their cosy little set-up in the whole shebang being on their doorstep, not forgetting the opportunities that the kudos of being the holding city brings – in the sheep’s clothing of being seen to be reigning in the BBC’s profligate spending.

 

When you consider the advantages for regenerating the areas north of Watford with an injection of cash that is, after all, from an organisation not just funded just by London, they are immense in the sense of giving the people who live there, something to be very proud of and which allows them to feel connection with the richer end of society.

 

It does make you think that, as Manchester happens to be the most applied for University in the country and one of the writers on the thread referred to those at the BBC in the context of ‘no self respecting celebrities…etc’ ,  we might just be better off without them  – after all, I’d go for education over celebrity any day.

 

All this while the  DM even brought in the likes of Valerie Singleton from the wonderful Blue Peter to state their case.

 

Having said that, I feel that because the BBC have already taken a leaf out of what was the aforesaid Granada in moving Up North, they understand the situation all too well being that celebrities are like the Royal family ( not the programme, of course ) in that they are there at the country’s  behest ( not that I see Valerie Singleton wishing to be described as a mere celebrity – nor does she deserve to be ).

 

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