Monday, March 27, 2006


Well, 4th May is fast approaching, and my nomination should be going forward tomorrow (just need to sign the DNO form).
So, as with many other blogs I will be signing off for a few weeks while my life is overtaken with the re-election campaign.
Good luck to everyone else who is standing, or working for a campaign. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Open blog for friends

Those of you who have lent me various items in the past (CDs, furniture, kitchenware, electrical stuff etc) on a long term basis should be aware that I cannot bestow you any great honours (freedom of Stirchley for example).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Birmingham Cycle Map

It's been a hectic week or so at work, but on Tuesday managed to pop into the City centre for the launch of the Birmingham Cycle/Walking map. The weather was awful: as soon as I got out of the house and onto my bike the heavens opened. Unfortunately this put a dampener on the launch as a "commuters breakfast".
The map is a great piece of work, its taken a long time to achieve, but well worth it. Its also nice to know that you've had some impact on the map through its drafting, and "road" testing bits of it. You can request a copy through
The BBC is currently running with some "funny" photos of cycle lane madness. I've never come across anything like these in Birmingham. Although I'v always wondered what the speed limit is on a cycle lane shared pavement...

Monday, March 13, 2006

A return to two party politics in inner city Birmingham

Yesterday evening marked a return to "normality" to inner Birmingham politics when the PJP (peoples justice party) councillors and supporters came over to the Lib Dems. This now means there will be a straight fight between the Lib Dems and Labour.
This is great news for the Lib Dems, but also for local politics in Birmingham as it moves matters back to their normal place, and we can campaign to improve local communities, rather than concentrating on single issue of Kashmir.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

AUT/NATFE day of action

What a bloody awful day to be out on strike! I don't mind cold as you can just where lots more, but continuous rain eventually gets through any amount of layers your wearing.
A fairly uneventful stint on the picket line this morning, more about raising awarenes with students and parents dropping prospective students off for open days (who are statistically less likely to accept Birmingham as they visited with bad weather...)
I'm sure all sides will claim some sort of success (bit like an election really), but despite the weather, more members came out to picket than originally on the rota. I think the actions of several university managements have actually made the union members more inclined to take action. (Those taking action short of a strike will be docked 10% for not taking part in assessment activities. Some academics think this is good value, especially when they want to spend more time researching and preparing for the RAE...)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Least predictable election ever...?

Ming is the main man. And a great result for us blogging mingers.
The media seemed entirely uncertain about which way this one was going to go, but the betting exchanges, and bookmakers always seemed to have Ming on top.
I think the least predictable aspect of the election wasn't who was going to win the most first preferences, but who was going to get Hughes' 2nd preferences. As it turned out, they split almost neatly 50:50 between Huhne and Campbell, rather than skewed to Huhne as some previous polling had suggested. This even split meant that in the end it was a relatively comfortable win for Ming.
But why were the 2nd preferences so evenly split? My hypothesis is that the armchair members aren't nearly so ideological as the activists, and that if you believed Hughes' supporters there was no way they would ever give Ming a 2nd preference, and that they'd cast it to Huhne as a "stop Ming" approach. But the armchair members probably gave their preferences to the two most recognisable faces on the ballot paper (Hughes and Ming), and cared little for the supposedly huge differences in platforms.
What does it all mean? Huhne is the "big winner", in that he will have leapt from moderate obscuraty amongst the members to being more high profile. Will he be a leader in waiting? Possibly. His team will have collected a large amount of internal canvas data for future use.