Sunday, March 08, 2009

you've got to get out of the valley

This is sad: ITV kills the Yorkshire Television studios in Leeds. The wikipedia article should tell you why - the first studios in Europe designed for colour TV, the biggest working TV studio in Europe, and a lot of very impressive programmes. The history is interesting, too - the station set up in 1967 was a Wilsonian shotgun marriage between a rich TV-rentals enterpreneur (who had the money), and a ramshackle coalition of interests including Leeds University, various trades unions, and the Yorkshire Post, who had the ideas. Oh yes, and a lot of Leeds vs. Sheffield Yorkshire tribalism.

So, to Michael Lewis's article in Vanity Fair about Iceland and crazy financing. I didn't find it belittling to fishermen, which a number of stockbrokers I consulted did (I couldn't find any deep sea fishermen to ask); if anything I thought it was quite snarky with regard to Anglo-American finance.

It did, however, remind me quite a bit of growing up in the Dales; everyone knows each other, there's a liberating sense of not giving a shit, but everyone is always right, and the thing about men and women socialising on opposite sides of a pub is painfully familiar. And the cocktail of small pond syndrome and raging ambition. At school we had a saying: you've got to get out of the valley.

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