BRUMHOLE: 6 Birmingham Pubs for party leadership hopefuls

Still available for booking tonight.

If you’re a member of the Labour Party you’ll be inundated right now with texts and emails from the various comrades who want to lead the party, or even stand around in the background while someone else does.

From the triumphalist Andy Burnham campaign, whose emails read like they’re shouting “we’re alright” at you in a hall in Sheffield, to the terse, Hemingwayesque prose of a Jeremy Corbyn text message* (“Running for leader. Text STOP, messages will be ended”) via Caroline Flint and her amazing x-factor-emotive backstory VT (“growing up we had it tough, me mom taught me to work hard”).

And then this week we had an email from Liz Kendall, asking us out for a drink in Moseley at “the Dark Horse public house”. Yes everyone knows that the working class likes a drink (just ask Nige), so it’s good for Liz to have a go at reaching out to us proles. Her researchers have let her down a bit though as “public house” is the language of someone who might have an occasional Campari at the golf club but wouldn’t really be found propping up the bar at The Gate, in Sutton Coldfield, talking about the latest transfer news from local boys West Ham. It’s a strange choice of pub too, unless you’re keen to appeal to an aspirational slate-as-a-plate gourmet burger munching third way metropolitan voter type. We suspect it was the name that attracted her to the venue. Well you may think you’re a Dark Horse, Liz but we all know you’re a shy tory.

Here’s a rundown of some of the other political events happening in Birmingham pubs this weekend:

  1. Andy Burnham, oblivious to how it looks, is inviting people to join him at One Trick Pony Club. His one trick being glossing over how he quite liked privatising the NHS when in power. The One Trick Pony Club used to be O’Neil’s in Moseley, it’s now got hipster food, old-sock tasting craft beer, and exposed brickwork but there are still confused old guys propping up the bar wondering what the hell happened. If that’s not a metaphor for new Labour and socialism, then we haven’t laid it on thick enough. Burnham’s tab opens at 8pm, Liam Byrne is holding the kitty. By 8:15pm someone from the Tories will be in shouting about there being no money left.
  2. Deputy Leadership front runner Tom Watson is more usually found in a curry house, but tonight he’ll be in the new Snobs. It’s also very much like new Labour, they’ve just pushed the loudest coke heads to the front and hidden the old tunes out the back. And the carpet is sticky or something, right I Choose?
  3. Yvette Cooper will be in an Ember Inn. We’re not sure which one, it’s hard to pick out anything to say about them as they have no character. It was there or the function room bar at the Press Club, where they are used to cleaning up after Ed Balls.
  4. Did you know ‘Stella’ Creasy is actually her nickname after her usual drink at the Swan Yardley, where you can join her tonight? Jess Phillips always lets the Deputy Leader longshot stay on the hard shoulder of the Coventry Road in her camper van if she misses the last train back to London.
  5. The Tory’s European Union working group are have a meeting at the Fighting Cocks.
  6. And the Lib Dems are warming up for their national conference and leadership election at now officially Britain’s second smallest bar Cherry Reds in Kings Heath. The phone box on York Road having been vandalised.

*it’s a little know fact that Jez wrote the world’s saddest six word short story: Socialist party for sale, never used.


Photo by Dan Slee

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.