Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Journalists at the BBC have finally nabbed the exclusive that many of us here in the Potteries had been hoping to keep to ourselves until - OoooOh - at least 1993.

The results of their survey show that Stoke-on-Trent, our very own town(s) that time forgot, is(are) in fact the most marvellous place(s) on earth, most of the time. This is based, apparently, on the relatively low pervasiveness of anomie (feeling feint? wiki it instead).

This might have seemed a little strange to the researchers in question had the state of local politics been accounted for. As it goes, the vital signs seem to go uncorroborated by any kind of living, breathing survey based on attitudes - no matter, see a nice video here and get yer sweet, sweet schadenfreude here!

They'll be dancing in the streets of the Mother Town (or, at least, its hinterland).

Whatever. They'll also sigh knowingly and offer up a "right y'are then, duck," before ambling off down Waterloo Road with a wary chuckle. Still, we/they can rest contentedly in having the strongest sense of 'belonging' of any (ahem!) 'local radio area' in the UK - a finding that has spurred the most unlikely comparison between Burslem and Bayswater.

I've blogged about this before, from my own perspective as an outsider who is both peeping and creeping in with my swagbag full of anomie and dislocation. It's fairly clear that all is not well in Stoke-on-Trent generally. However it's great to see something so bluntly (if inarticulately) positive all over the national media, especially after this and other recent media beatings.

Incidentally, Bramhall, where I sometimes haul my trolley of job-related oddities, is supposed to be the UK's most 'rooted' community... *adjusts collar*.... spot the mysterious connection, folks!

In fact Sam and I were interviewed by Radio Stoke (token male at toddler group, see) on this very issue, but before I could slavishly reprise Benedict (or even Brett) Anderson, Sam had lunged at the terrified reporter yelling "scary biscuits!" at the top of his little voice.

Which is probably about right as an erudite response; for my part, I just blathered twitchily about knowing and trusting our neighbours, the toddler group being very welcoming, and so on - though I'm still not sure I'd commit to that fortnight in Benidorm out of 'street solidarity'...

Curiously, a quick bash on 'anomie stoke-on-trent' chucks you this beauty...

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