The scallop line: the true boundary of Greater Birmingham

It’s going to be fun to stay in the WMCA. The West Midlands Combined Authority that is. It would be called Greater Birmingham if those from the Black Country could see beyond their mounds of faggots, scratchings and closed heavy industry. Sorry to piss on their chips (we know they’d rather have mushy peas) but we’re going to call it Greater Birmingham anyway.

But a bigger problem is where it covers. At the moment it’s just a portmanteau of councils who are taken in by Tory devolution rhetoric, but there is a real Greater Birmingham and we can find it. Language and culture are more effective indicators of statehood than anything as gauche as economics, or the whims of business leaders. 

Defining the boundary of Greater Birmingham is too important to leave to our ‘betters’, who are useless (and will farm it out to Capita, who will fuck it up). The People’s’ Republic can only be defined by the people. But who are those people? Where do we draw the lines?

Paradise Circus can settle this easier, quicker and cheaper than Capita with a few simple questions about chip shop dialect. Half a million only, and we’ll chuck in a free website. 

Our methodology is that Birmingham’s influence, our Greater Birmingham orbit, extends to our shared cultural and culinary heritage: to wit. 

“Where do you get potato in batter if you ask for scallops at the chippy?”

So we asked. And amongst other things* we got this:

The Scallop Line

  
You can still take part in the research, but answers have reached an equilibrium and we have out Greater Birmingham. This may upset yam yams, but there it is. Under our new tax raising powers Dudley Zoo, IKEA, The Robin, and Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Shop will pay extra rates: the proceeds of which we’ll spend on a statue of Michael Elphick for Victoria Square. It will be a huge Boon for the whole area. 
We’d like to welcome the new ‘greater’ brummies to Greater Birmingham. Many of your heroes already have their names under the litter and vomit on Broad St and now we allow you in too. Please wipe your feet. 

Any data visualisation experts who would like access to our data on scallops, cobs, and curry sauce can find it here. 

  
*Other things we learnt from our research

  • Now look, there’s a colony of scallop eaters in New South Wales, in Oz.
  • People who do ‘funny answers’ to serious research questions mostly live in the Black Country.
  • People from Sutton won’t put ‘Birmingham’ in answer to “where are you from”, not even if it’s given in the instructions.
  • There exists a tin foil hat brigade who will fill in forms asking about language and location but still enter fake postcodes. And they all live in Moseley. 
  • And no one laughs when you refer to finding out what people have on their chips as crowdsaucing.

By Howard Wilkinson

Director of Satire, Paradise Circus. Howard adds stability at the top, taking a strategic overview of operations whilst also stepping in from time to time in a caretaker author role.

Director of Satire, Paradise Circus. Howard adds stability at the top, taking a strategic overview of operations whilst also stepping in from time to time in a caretaker author role.

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