Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jo Goes

It won't have escaped many people's notice that there are two women representing the West Midlands in the Apprentice. While Ruth may have the skills to go all the way, Jo, after surviving four boardrooms, finally went yesterday. Despite working for MG Rover she failed to sell a car. You just knew that was going to happen, just as you knew she was going to get the snide remark from Alan Sugar.

"She didn't sell a car... she worked for MG Rover, training directors how to make a profit. No wonder they went skint"

Oh dear.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bruce Excuse

It is a week since the 7-0 drubbing in the FA Cup (which I was unfortunate enough to witness) and I'm not sure I've recovered yet. David Sullivan has been highly critical of the players, claiming he is sick of footballers. Steve Bruce on the other hand has been a bit too keen in defending them, publicly criticizing Sullivan's statements on more than one occasion.

Now if your the manager, and you don't like what the owner is saying, surely you do what the captain Kenny Cunningham did and ask to have a meeting with him in private? Is Bruce looking for a way out of Blues, preferably with a lucrative pay-off and without having the criticism leveled at him that he has walked out of another club?

The question is where does he go. Newcastle, who he has been linked with in the past, will not want him after this season's performance, and the same goes for the England job. Surely the best thing he can do for his career is to keep quiet and keep Blues up, or at the very least bring them back up from the Championship next season.

And who would replace Bruce. I can think of no-one except for coach Eric Black - but does he have enough experience. This season truly has profited no-one.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gambling Brum's Future Away

It has not been a good week for the Second-City Blues. After losing to Tottenham 2-0 at home on Saturday, the council decided to back the NEC bid over the City of Birmingham stadium for the rights to hold the regional casino, and then they crashed out of the FA Cup to Liverpool losing 7-0, the worst defeat in 48 years.

Off the pitch I cannot understand the council's decision. Well actually I can - Birmingham City Council have a vested interest in the National Exhibition Centre. It is losing money hand-over-fist (particularly since it lost the International Motor Show) and they see the casino as a way of resurrecting the facility. They claim the decision was made because an out-of-town site would discourage addictive gambling - but Birmingham City Council backing a site in Solihull seems rather daft to me, particularly when you consider the opposition the Borough mustered when plans for a national stadium were to be developed there.

In any case these super-casinos were supposed to regenerate inner-city areas. Are the Government really going to give the licence to a site in the middle of suburbia? Birmingham was in need of a World Class stadium to rival the new Wembley and the two in Manchester, but the Cons-Lib council have bottled it again. I was never a fan of the old Labour administration, but some of the decisions made by the "odd-couple" seem to be based in fantasy rather than reality.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

It's a good time to be Irish. On St Patrick's day an Irish horse won the Gold Cup, and yesterday the Irish rugby team defeated England to win the Triple crown. Once again their best player was the match official, who incorrectly judged two line decisions which led to two Irish tries.

When sixteen play fifteen men in rugby, there is only going to be one winner.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Tale of Two Blairs

It certainly is a bad time to be a Blair. Prime Minister Tony, fresh from winning an education bill with the help of the Tories, has walked straight into a row over party funding as Jack Dromey, the Labour Party treasurer, claimed he knew nothing about the multi-million pound loans that prospective peers have given to the party. Referring the problem to the Electoral Commission, he said "It's wrong that Downing Street thinks it can run the Labour Party: we are an elected party, a democratic party."

He doesn't mince his words does our Jack, firmly blaming the Prime Minister where others would have alluded and waffled. Give him the freedom of the People's Republic.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that Ian Bliar may (as I understand it) have known that an innocent man had been shot dead as little as six hours after the event, which means he would have known it at the press conference where he seemed to understand he posed a direct threat to the public (that is the innocent man, not the Chief of the Metropolitan Police).

The Blairs are a joke. They should both go now.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Third Way

Have the Liberal Democrats missed a trick by failing to elect Chris Huhne as leader? Ming is a good politician, but is he genuinely going to attract any new supporters to the party? He has even talked about resurrecting the 50% top rate of income tax, which was surely a vote loser in the Tory marginals at the last election that ended all hopes in their decapitation strategy.

Huhne is seen as a "yellow Tory". With a background in economics he certainly would have been more competent in that respect, and the fact he is young and new to Westminster would have counted in his favour. Many Tories believed getting rid of Charles Kennedy was a real mistake for the Lib Dems - they looked at the potential leadership candidates and saw them as no real contest for David Cameron.

Chris Huhne may have wiped the smiles of their faces.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Popstars: The Rivals

Birmingham was in the news for the wrong reasons again this week but this time with popstars involved. Pete Doherty, lead singer of the Babyshambles but more famous for his involvement in the recent Kate Moss drug-taking "scandal" was arrested driving a stolen car the wrong way done Colmore Row while some of his former bandmates were playing in the Carling Academy.

Meanwhile at a Kayne West gig at the NEC, two stewards were shot after attempting to remove fans who did not have any tickets from the venue. I guess he will be glad to get back to America where it's a bit quieter...