Over a week since the electorate of Birmingham kicked the idea of an elected City Mayor in to touch, but some people are still grieving. Take this bloke on Birmingham’s pro-Mayor website, The Chamberlain Files:
Since then, however, I’ve been struck by the despondency and near depression I’ve encountered. I don’t budge from my post last week (Say no to the status quo). Having a mayor would have made a difference in all kinds of ways. But – and I’ve used this phrase already too often this week – we are where we are.
From my twitter timeline to the city’s streets, I’ve witnessed tears (that’s just the men), raging anger and even thoughts of of emigration. It has shades of the week following the death of Princess Diana, stopping just short of carpeting St Philips Square with flowers.
But, don’t throw yourself off the top of the Rotunda yet, Mr Johnson… Tory Minister Greg Clark isn’t going to let a small thing like the will of the electorate get in the way of his plans, as we see here in Birmingham could still have an elected Mayor despite voting No in the referendum. Clark boasts…
It means that three out of 12 of the councils originally due to hold referendums, a quarter, now have mayors – and others would follow suit, he said.
Or, to put it more accurately, given that Liverpool and Leicester imposed Mayors without having the good grace to consult the voters, only one out of the original 12 cities has a Mayor with a mandate from the electorate… one twelfth!
The article goes on to quote local Mayor fanatic Julia Higginbottom (elected by precisely no-one, since you ask)
Julia Higginbottom, one of the leaders of the “yes” campaign in Birmingham, said the campaign would continue and was to hold an open event towards the end of June to discuss the next steps.
She said: “If we want Birmingham to be the place we want it to be, that punches its weight, then we have to look at the way it is governed.
“We think that mayors, whether it is the exact form put forward by the Government or not, represent a transparent and democratic form of government that is right for Birmingham.”
No doubt Ms Higginbottom agrees with Tory Greg Clark, who spuriously claims to be a ‘localist’ but wants to ignore the voice of local people, when he says…
The argument is being won.
Cobblers, man! You took a hell of a beating, now bugger off back to your Whitehall bunker and lick your wounds leaving Ms Higginbottom and her couple of dozen business people wasting their time talking to themselves. Let them carry on… the people won’t have to waste their time listening. They have already had their say on what they think of the idea.