Friday, May 23, 2008

Iain Dale: Saddling Birmingham with Lord Digby Jones

Iain Dale has been to Birmingham for the sixth time in his life, without the correct dress for the event he was speaking at, but is happy to recommend a mayoral way forward - Lord Jones no less - for the poor old "Second City".

Birmingham isn't really second city ... it just has a much more extensive incorporation through a quirk of history. Manchester has its eight/nine satellites totalling some 2M or so. Plus another 2M in wider journey to work area.

But there're more famous and VIP Brummies than Jasper Carrott - come on Iain!

Including significant industrialists, scientists and thinkers e.g. in the Lunar Society which has had a latter day revival.

But music is just one area where there are more notable Brummies than Iain can conjure up. Sir Simon Rattle is a scouser, though strongly identified with Brum. But in popular music there are dozens of native candidates.

Ozzie Osborne would be a more amusing choice as mayor than Lord Jones. The Wiki listing of notable Brummies omits Steel Pulse, Musical Youth, two tone acts from the city region, Benjamin Zephaniah, and though it has UB40 it is pretty damned ethnocentric.

Asian-led popsters Cornershop are a near miss with their leader Tjinder Singh born and bred in Wolverhampton. More Music data.

Digby Jones? Jasper Carrott? My arse! Ozzie Osborne? Tjinder Singh? Benjamin Zephaniah? Jamelia? Joan Armatrading. Now you're talking.

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