All hail our Greater Birmingham leader



The John Lewis flagship store in Birmingham. CC by: Elliott Brown

Do you remember the celebrations, the night Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, was elected and crowned leader of Birmingham? The people were out on the streets waving Denby crocks, chanting his name, making ‘Andy is Handy’ banners on Egyptian cotton bed sheets. It was truly a night everyone came together to celebrate a popular victory of a person no-one has ever heard of, who runs a shop that isn’t even open.

I couldn’t sleep for the peeping of Prius horns, so I was watching the results coming in on television: did you stay up for Keith the landlord of the Prince of Wales losing his seat on the governing body to the duty manager of Poundland Corporation St? Did you, fictionally, cheer when the first preference votes were announced by Adrian Goldberg live from the ICC: Abid from the Spice Merchant in King’s Heath, and the famous Big John (of Big John’s) narrowly failing to get enough votes to lead ‘Greater Birmingham’? Did you?

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13 ways to solve the Birmingham Council funding crisis without flogging the NEC

If we have to take a bath, let's take a bath of beans

The day after they approved their new budget (with £86 million in cuts), Birmingham City Council have announced that they will sell off the NEC Group to help balance their books, worse for them they’ve had to cancel 18,000 bus lane driving fines. We were upset by this news, but luckily we are children of the 80s and we have watched a lot of Blue Peter. We know that when times are tough regular people can dig deep and rally to all sorts of fundraisers. When we did it in the 80s, to pay for a guide dog or a well in Africa or a lifeboat or something, the huge targets on the totalisers would always come good because it’s known that poorer people give more to charity and it’s known that none of us had any money in the 1980s. So we’ve decided to raise some money to save our city, just like we saved whales and stuff when we were kids. We’ve reached back to tea time telly for inspiration, added in some trendy modern ideas too, and are proud to present a range of fundraising options to save the city and to save the NEC. So come on! Get fundraising today and the city can continue to benefit from the profit on Robbie Williams concerts. Forward!

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If new Kingstanding councillor Gary Sambrook was a bit of a prat when he was at school, he hasn’t changed.

Meet Gary Sambrook, he’s just been elected as Tory Councillor for Kingstanding, after quite a few goes. Congratulations, Gary. His mates made him a song.


He seems to be attracted to road signs.

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A Catchphrase for Councillor Bore

We’ll say one thing for Mike Whitby: he was good at catchphrases – very much Local Politician, Global Slogan. You know what a guy with a catchphrase stands for (empty rhetoric and marketing). So we’re surprised that we couldn’t pinpoint what new city boss Albert Bore’s catchphrase was. I mean come on Albert, you’ve had ages – give us something to work with.

Here comes the science

We have taken it upon ourselves to develop a catchphrase for Councillor Bore. We took all of his speeches and reported speech as detailed by BCC News Room from August to today and processed it through Wordle to drill down to his core values.

What Albert Bore says


And this leaves us, dear reader, with a new slogan for the Dear Leader:

Birmingham: city, transport, people.

We actually really like it.