CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Why can't Birmingham do it like Manchester?

A tourist map of Birmingham centre

The short answer to that is because it's Birmingham, of course.

This is something I've never really been able to get, but having suffered the misfortune of being born in Birmingham 50 odd years ago, I've always virtually had to apologize for it. It's never been something to be proud of, but this was never encouraged anyway, because me muvver is from a much prouder breed: generations of true cockneys. She wanted me to be born in London, but in those days, pregnant women were told not to travel, so I made my first appearance in Birmingham, which was never seen as ideal, but rather regretful.

Way back then, it was in Warwickshire too, so I was born in Warwickshire, thank you very much. I can't say that I was born in the West Midlands, because there was no such place as the West Midlands at that time.

Thus, when I have to fill out forms I just put Birmingham, because I never really got into the West Midlands concept at all. In fact, I just consider it to be Birmingham and the surrounding areas, so to me a Greater Birmingham, like Greater London and Greater Manchester is a perfectly logical idea.

Putting a great into the name would help with the confidence problem and, I'm pretty sure the city has one, even if it can't understand exactly why.

Having been to Manchester on a number of occasions, it's very clear they do many things better than Birmingham. Yes, I know, that's a blasphemous statement, but it is time Brum woke up and realized that no amount of tacky urban beaches are going to improve their press. Quite the contrary.

So, yes, I like Jean-Luc Fournier's ideas and his example of Barcelona, which is much trendier than Spain's capital, Madrid, is a good one. If they can do it, why the hell can't Birmingham do better than it's second-rate image?

Would Brum do it though, or does it secretly enjoy being the underdog?

Why can't Birmingham do it like Manchester? Via: Brum Blog

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