You need only watch one episode of HBO show Game of Thrones to realise North trumps South every time.
The northern Starks are honourable until the end, while the southern Lannisters are cunning and spiteful.
According to a recent YouGov poll, 28% of the British public have a “less positive view” of people from London than people from elsewhere and only 14% have a positive view of Londoners.
Northerners, with their jolly, happy-go-lucky attitudes, proper water and brass bands are stereotypically more approachable and better at making mashed potato than their southern peers. Londoners are angry and impatient, although I put this down to the city’s extortionate rent and expensive beer.
I’m as southern as they come. I was born in Kent, brought up in Cambridge and went to university in London. My best friend moved from Manchester to London four years ago and, although she sees herself as an honouree Londoner, in the years we’ve lived together she hasn’t lost her northern charm.
Loud, sociable and not afraid to say what she thinks, her no-nonsense attitude epitomises the very best of the north. She’s taught me to make a proper pie, to pace myself on a northern night out and to ask for a sausage ‘barm’ instead of a sausage sandwich.
I love London. Granted, it’s not everyone’s cup of (Yorkshire) tea. It’s smelly, noisy and full of tourists trying to find Buckingham palace. There’s no fresh air, no green fields and everyone sneezes black, polluted snot. You’d be grumpy too if you had to travel home every day tucked into a stranger’s armpit.
The 2012 Olympics changed Londoners, albeit briefly. As Team GB stormed to golden success, they chatted on the tube, gave directions to lost Americans and cheerily waited in line to buy overpriced drinks. Unfortunately, the Olympic spirit extinguished with the flame and, as the last athlete was loaded onto the final plane, Londoners returned to their sullen selves.
But, like it or not, the capital is a diverse hub of culture and business which always has something exciting to offer. Londoners come from all corners of the world and in Brixton market alone you can eat your way around Europe, Asia and South America. While the London Eye and Buckingham Palace entertain tourists, Londoners squirrel themselves away to dingy clubs in Shoreditch, rooftop bars in London Bridge or to the Hampstead ponds to swim in the open air. Plus, the city’s always a few degrees warmer than the country because of the urban heat effect, which is nice.
Unsurprisingly, people from the North were the most scathing about London: 42% have a low opinion of Londoners, compared to 41% of those from Scotland, 34% of those from the Midlands and Wales and 18% from the rest of the South.
Interestingly, the feeling wasn’t mutual. Just 28% of Londoners thought less of those from the North, although I wonder whether that percentage will change once the survey goes live!