Willo Talk: North-South divide

WE’VE heard a lot about the north-south divide in recent years, but up until last week I hadn’t taken much notice of it.

They get more opportunities down south, the standard of living is better down south, there’s more jobs down south and you make more money down south.

They like a moan down south too – as any EastEnders fans will testify – but last week the whinging cockneys really took the biscuit when they started moaning about the “killer smog”.

The number of 999 calls rocketed with people trying to get to the hospital because they were struggling to breathe as the air was so polluted.

Schools stopped kids playing outside and there was a bloke on a bike who had a hanky over his mouth when he saw the Sky News camera crew.

If we’d had the same conditions up here, Pam and Ian off the Tyne Tees news wouldn’t have even given it airtime.

But back down south, the TV crews couldn’t get enough of it and they found one woman to interview when she was out walking her dogs.

She was worried sick about it, bless her, it had been thick for three days and it was so bad when she was being interviewed she even gave a little cough out.

It wasn’t like a cough that you used to get off the tabs advert, it was more the type that people used to do at The Crucible when the snooker was on, but there was no getting away from the fact it was a cough.

No doubt the wee cough will result in a week off for Mrs Dogwalker.

We deal with air pollution every day in Hartlepool, whether its from the wind blowing down from the chemical works or from the various landfill sites dotted about the town.

I’m just pleased that we don’t have many buses using the transport interchange centre because the fumes from the engines would be dreadful.

But the difference between us and them is that we just get on with it.

The weather forecaster could hardly contain her glee as she stood in her London studio with her map telling us that the way the wind was blowing meant the the smog would soon be moving away from London, and moving further north.

Bring it on, pet. You won’t catch us moaning about it.

And if it doesn’t venture this far north, we can always jump on the Number 1 along to Middlesbrough.

Now that’s what I call proper smog.