Thursday, February 23, 2006

Train Planes and Automobiles

It appears that car production may be returning to Birmingham as the lease on part of the Longbridge site is renewed by new owners Nanjing automotive. Around 600 - 1000 jobs may be created to build the MG TF sports car. If the business cannot be resurrected however,they have an option of canceling the 33-year lease in 6 months.


Meanwhile a plane nearly crashed in Birmingham airport as it came into land. The Mahan Air plane from Iran had to 180m six miles from the airport when it should have been at 500m.


We always seem to have problems with the transport in this city.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Trains (Plain) and Automobiles

Yesterday it was revealed that Birmingham is the biggest emitter of carbon after London in the country. Now it is not surprising that the a***hole of England (look at its position) is the biggest emitter of noxious vapours, and really it is not that surprising that the second city is, well, second. As the report by the Carbon Trust pointed out, there are many unnecessary car journeys in the city which could easily be made using the existing public transport.

It is interesting that this report came out in the same week as the redevelopment of New Street hit the headlines. Mentioned here on this bog before, unfortunately it seems the City leaders are still intent on re-developing New Street at a cost of half-a-billion pound which would increase passenger numbers but not capacity for trains unlike the rival idea of a Grand Central Station. One of the councillors involved claimed re-developing New Street was the only sensible option because it was Birmingham's main station. The truth is that people interested in the history of the railways in this city know that New Street's dominance was a quirk of history caused by BR deciding to electrify the lines through that station rather than the superior Snow Hill, which is only a shadow of it's former self in its re-opened state.

Another potential problem noted by the media is that any potential investment may come hand-in-hand with a congestion charge.

The People's Republic thinks this is another reason to go ahead with the development. After all, currently the consensus is that congestion charges are ten to fifteen years away - and that's too much time to spend being stuck in a traffic jam.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

London Lets us Down Again

There were two pieces of good news for Birmingham City this week concerning their FA Cup run. Firstly, in the quarter-finals they have a home tie against Liverpool, who have only beaten the Blues once since promotion to the Premiership. Secondly, if they make it all the way to the final, they won't have to take the week off trying to get to London for the final.

This is because, surprise, surprise, Wembley will not be completed on time and the final will be in Cardiff for another year. This was hailed as the worst kept secret by the national media this week - perhaps it should have been hailed as the longest running scandal in this country as London lets us all down.

Again.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Brummies on a Cup Run

All-in-all, I think it was a good day in the FA Cup for Birmingham. City fortuitously reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 22 years after a jammy win over the old enemy Stoke, including two world-class saves from goalkeeper Maik Taylor to deny the Potteries side. Meanwhile across the city Villa almost pulled off a jammy win of there own, scoring against the run of play against Manchester City only to be denied by a last-minute goal from Richards, who is apparently a Brummie but sounded suspiciously like a Manc to me.

Especially after he swore in the post-match interview.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Leak in the Jacuzzi

The Floozy in the Jacuzzi, one of Birmingham's most famous landmarks has apparently sprung a leak. Up to 15 cubic metres of water are being lost a day despite repairs, costing the City taxpayers thousands of pounds.

Must be a crack somewhere.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Footie Rumours in Funny Camp

Footie rumours are incredibly strange but very fun. Take for example Matthew Upson's *alleged* relationship with Pop-idol winner Will Young. In the same week the Sun reported that Barcelona were after him. This week it appears Barcelona are after Curtis Davies and Anton Ferdinand - any connection?

Sol Campbell has recently been in the news a lot due to his personal problems. Rumours have been circulating in the football community for years that he bats for the other side (no that doesn't mean he plays cricket). One theory going around my office at the moment is that his current problems stem from Sven Goran Eriksson's Fake Sheik sting, where the England boss spilled the beans on some of his players by claiming Michael Owen was unhappy at Newcastle (really?), Rio Ferdinand is lazy (never) and he has a good relationship with England captain David Beckham (I though he hated the guy).

Perhaps he also let something slip about Sol that they didn't publish with the rest of these *revelations*. Their headline after team-mate Robert Pires supported him - "We're right behind you".

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Armstrong Whipped into Shape

Poor old Hillary Armstrong. The Labour Chief Whip sent the Prime Minister home on Tuesday night believing they had a vote on the religious hatred bill in the bag, only to see them lose it by one vote. Most commentators agree this is a sackable offence for a Chief Whip.

Even George Galloway turned up to vote for the Government on this one. A bit ironic really, given that Ms Armstrong had spent so much time recently setting up a clinic for the voters of Bethnal Green and Bow while publicizing the fact that the Respect MP wasn't representing his constituents while in the Big Brother House.

Perhaps she should concentrate on doing her own job properly...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Prime Minister of Birmingham

The People's Republic have always known that Birmingham is more important than Britain, but we were surprised to see that this idea was shared by Birmingham City Council. Apparently the new Chief Executive will get a package totaling (including benefits) £230,000 per annum, compared to the Prime Minister's paltry salary of £183,000.

We haven't got independence yet boys...

On Monday councilors from Birmingham were in their London office (!) to lobby the Government over funding for New Street Station. Apparently the Minister for Transport has decided that something finally needs to be done about Birmingham New Street station come what may and thcouncilorsrs have a plan for a underground rail link that will cost nearly a billion pounds according to some estimates. Meanwhile, a more realistic individual has proposed a Grand Central Station near Moor Street station where the railway lines cross, which is a cheaper alternative because there is plenty of space in this area. This proposal would leave New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street stations still serving the city.

The People's Republic says the cheaper the better - we need to end the congestion now and we don't need any capital-style white elephants.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

PRoB on the (American) Political Spectrum

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(31% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test
It's official - you would have to pay to see your own grandson because we hate life and ourselves and we can't govern!
Apparently, we would support the Demmycrats if the People's Republic were part of the electoral college.
As long as the votes weren't stolen...