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United Kingdom or divided nation? #life

In Saxon times, rivers divided the land now known as the United Kingdom. Drowning was a common cause of death along with plague and having an axe embedded in your skull. There was also the divide between the nobles, the common man and the slaves. At least, Saxon nobles had a duty to those of less noble birth and made sure they had food and shelter.

The divisions in this land have multiplied a little since then, not content with drowning in the rivers, we built canals. They are picturesque but too slow, so next came the railways and then the roads and now we have motorways crisscrossing and dividing the nation.

Then we have the north – south divide. The north is the powerhouse of industry according to Gideon Osborne, but the south gets the extra cash to help them cope with his cuts. London and the south get all the arts grants too, because by-gum, in the north a pile of bricks is a pile of bricks. You build with them, not put them in an art gallery and stand around admiring ’em.

In London people work in the arts and publishing, t’up north they work in the steel mill or down mine. They have dirty hands and clean minds up north, it is quite the opposite down south.

I live in the Midlands, in the Black Country to be precise. We sit on the fence of the north-south divide and this is where all those bloody motorways intersect. It’s the same with the railways and the canals.

We spend all out time crossing canals and ducking under motorways. We hardly notice people drowning in the rivers anymore. People just go missing and we don’t bother even looking for them…

The government is buying up whole villages and housing estates now so they can build a new high-speed railway from t’up north to down south. I suppose this is to unite the nation. People will be able to travel at high speed from the north to down south where people have clean hands and good jobs. This new line will also divide the country laterally and stop people moving east to west so much.

I see problems with this idea. There will be cultural exchanges between north and south. The southerners learning all about steel making and mining from the northerners and the northerners learning to wash their hands and change their underwear sometimes and realising you can make money without coming home covered in coal dust or axle grease. The problem is, this new line will come through the Midlands and create a new barrier dividing east and west. This could start a new cold war…

I think these divisions make people anxious and depressed. The suicide rate keeps going up and it can’t all be because we have a Conservative government. I worry about suicidal airline pilots and train drivers. I would worry even more if I actually travelled on planes or trains. It’s not like travelling in a car when you know everyone else is suicidal, you expect to be safe on planes and trains. You don’t expect the pilot to have a death wish when you’re on your way to Tunisia for a holiday. After you’ve checked for bombs under your seat you expect to be safe. It’s the same on a train, you don’t expect the driver to go through a red light just because he’s having an off day and wants a change to his normal routine. This is why I drive everywhere. You know where you are with driving, you just assume everyone else is depressed and suicidal and try to avoid them…

Bloody hell, I’ve written over 600 words today. It must be the bit of sunshine this morning stimulating my vitamin D levels or something. I might go out later, there will be fewer suicide drivers on the roads today. If you would like to subscribe to this blog and get an email when I post more of this crap, just enter your email address in

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