Today the British Ambassador to the E.U. delivered a letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, starting the process by which Great Britain leaves the Union.
Though few expected it there are so many reasons why this is happening. The principal one is that we were allowed a referendum on the subject and other countries were not. Other reasons include the credible threat that Nigel Farage and UKIP posed to the Conservatives and the fact that at least one third of the British wanted to leave in every poll taken since 1973. Even well-informed British opinion-formers mostly never understood that the EU was not a trading bloc, but an embryonic federal state. Free movement of people was a design fault in a trading bloc, but it makes perfect sense if Europe is a sort of country.

The E.U. is now widely seen for what it has become: an oligarchic structure, riddled with corruption, built on a denial of any sort of popular sovereignty, enforcing a bitter economic regime of privilege for the few and duress for the many.
Perry Anderson, former editor of New Left Review

Since the break-up of the post-war settlement which gave us decades of ‘never-had-it-so-good’, British society has been destabilised. A large section of the middle class hates the resulting liberalisation of a new order, dominated by large-scale uncontrolled immigration, crypto-socialists, so-called “modernising” Tories – and hung down by debt. Another, younger section, better at adjusting, quite likes it.

Lower down the scale, the old division in the working class between “rough” and “respectable” has been exacerbated as their settled security of jobs, full employment and welfare was replaced by employment insecurity, lagging household incomes and the death of traditional industries. The result was alienation, resentment and impotent anger, all greater among the “rough” than the more conformist “respectables”.

In June 2016, the two disgruntled groups, the alienated middle and the rough working – both left behind and resenting it – took their revenge by voting Brexit – to the horror of the modern middle and the respectable working, who saw it as a takeover by ignorant, xenophobic, racist, obscurantist, out-of-date yobs and geriatrics. On this analysis, both vote and reactions have more to do with the social antagonisms of class-divided Britain than either the iniquities, or the benefits, of the European Union.
Austin Mitchell, former Labour M.P.

The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.
Mikhail Gorbachev

For all its faults, provided that the world economy remained fairly stable, the EU would probably have been able to stagger on reasonably well. The trouble is, though, that over the past few decades the world has undergone three enormous shocks: the collapse of communism, the advent of globalisation and the communications revolution. These shocks demanded the utmost flexibility in order for the economy to adjust to them. But flexibility is exactly the thing the EU has learnt not to do.

Not only that, but more recently it has made three big mistakes. The first is the formation of the euro, which many economists, including me, correctly identified as a prosperity-destroying machine long before its inception. The second was the failure to amend the free movement rules once the EU had been extended to encompass the former communist countries of eastern Europe. The third was the introduction of the Schengen passport-free travel zone, which has proved to be a security nightmare at just the time that security is at a premium.
Roger Bootle

Delight at BBC boost

Hurrah BBC 3 coming to BRUM! But we do NOT want Channel 4 and its awful programmes loike Benefits Street which made ordinary Brummies look feckless and denigrated Birmingham my home city and made Brum and Brummies a laughing stock……Clear off Channel 4 we don’t want or need you after the hatchet job you did on Birmingham with ‘Benefits Street’ welcome to the Beeb, building on your presence at the iconic Mailbox…..Keith Bracey, former investment promotio and inward investment professional with Locate in Birmingham, the city’s former investment promotion agency….I bought the Elmhurst School for Dance from Camberley to Edgbaston in Birmingham to become the feeder Ballet School for the Birmingham Royal Ballet from 2000 until 2004 when I project managed the relocation and new build.

Leader of Birmingham

Birmingham City Council leader, Cllr John Clancy, responds to the announcement that a new base for BBC Three is to be created in Birmingham.

Remember when Pebble Mill put Birmingham on the broadcasting map? Remember when shows like The Clothes Show, Pebble Mill at One and others were watched by millions of people across the UK?

Birmingham was once at the very heart of broadcasting in the UK and today’s announcement hopefully heralds a return to prominence for our great city.

The BBC has announced a package of measures that will build on the Corporation’s existing £125m investment in Birmingham.

These plans mean our city will be home to:

  • The second base for BBC Three
  • Multi-platform news and factual content for young audiences, the Digital Innovation team, a public facing Blue Room, the
  • Space, and digital dimensions of pan-BBC seasons like the Shakespeare season.
  • Local and Regional News HQ, including new…

View original post 430 more words

Why Birmingham is the obvious location for Channel 4’s new home

I don’t want Channel Four in Birmingham…..remember ‘Benefits Street’…..the residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green were ridiculed and pilloried and lives were destroyed. Ordinary Brummies were held up as some sort of laughing stock and my home city of Birmingham’s people were made to look feckless and idiotic……people have short memories……We don’t want or need you Channel 4 with BBC 3 moving to The Mailbox or your awful programmes like ‘Hollyoaks’ ‘Big Brother’ (which started on Channel 4 and is a voyeuristic ‘freak show’ of awful folk trying to publicise themselves for so called entertianment…..NO…NO..NO TO CHANNEL 4 in Birmingham! Keith Bracey

Leader of Birmingham

Channel 4

Birmingham is the obvious location for Channel 4’s new home outside of London, Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy said today.

Councillor Clancy has extended an invitation to Culture Secretary Karen Bradley to visit Birmingham “to see for herself the rich pool of talent this city has to offer”.

Ms Bradley yesterday announced a period of consultation into moving Channel 4 out of the Capital.

Her statement came after the BBC last year confirmed it was moving part of BBC Three to the Mailbox, further enhancing Birmingham’s reputation as a media city.

Councillor Clancy said: “Channel 4 has a Government remit to demonstrate ‘innovation, experiment and creativity’, so what better location than Birmingham for a television station at the cutting edge of arts and culture?

“Not only is this a phenomenally creative city, we are also a young city – Europe’s youngest. We have more under 25s than any other…

View original post 170 more words

Birmingham and the Midlands at the heart of Britain’s offer to Qatar

Prospect of investment from Qatar in #Birmingham

Leader of Birmingham


  • Birmingham hosts the second day of the joint Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum
  • Qatar commits to investing £5 billion in the UK over the next three to five years
  • First time a Qatari delegation has visited a UK city outside London
  • The forum showcases high-profile, ‘investment-ready’ projects from across the city of Birmingham
  • Last year the Midlands exported £144.3 million to Qatar

The second day of the joint Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum is being held in Birmingham today (Tuesday 28th March), with the city hosting the largest ever Qatari business delegation as part of the Government’s drive to create a global Britain.

Earlier today, the Forum was attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Qatar Prime Minister Abdullah…

View original post 669 more words