Martin Wainwright’s Myth of the North

24 April 2014 | by D.J. Taylor


BBC Radio 4The distinguishing mark of Martin Wainwright’s week-long assault on the “Northern myth” (14-18 April) was its array of regional accents. Apart from the notably suave tones of Tristram Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary, the platform was given over to engaging Geordies, combative Merseysiders and blunt Mancunians, and the general effect was horribly reminiscent of standing in the college lunch queue sometime in the early 1980s and hearing one of the Northern chemistry students, leonine hair extending beyond his collar, Adidas bag plonked by his feet, remark that ee, e’d had some really nice chips the other night.And here, perhaps, I am betraying some of my own prejudices about “Northern-ness” and of what it might consist – prejudices,

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