David Milliband visited the City today ahead of "no-holds barred" conference on what Birmingham needs to compete with similar European cities. While making the comment above, he praised Birmingham trailblazing move to bring culture to the city ahead of many other cities in the country, but said that it was not enough alone to make a city great. He also pointed out that although the city has a great sense of identity, this was not necessarily enough to make a directly elected mayor work.
Although it is refreshing to see a minister speak frankly (and for that matter take an interest) in the city, we at the People's Republic believe that a directly elected mayor is needed for the Brum. For a start, there are far too many councillors, and as the biggest council in Europe, we need a problem solver similar to Ken Livingstone with who the buck stops. The right candidate with a proper vision could revolutionise the city's economy, and put us where we belong in the country and in the wider European picture. We hope these no-holds barred talks produce an outcome that Birmingham needs.
After all, it could be the first step to independence.