So the first stage of Birmingham’s double political coup has come and gone.

And what was the general response to Gordon Brown’s historic decision to hold his Cabinet meeting outside of London or the Prime Minister’s country bolt-hole for the first time?

Well, by and large, the meeting could have happened anywhere as far as the media was concerned.

The fact that it was held in Birmingham wasn’t even enough to elicit some pun-tastic headlines for the best efforts of the political hacks and sketch writers, who also made the trip north from Euston station to New Street.

There was plenty written about yesterday’s meeting, the lead up to it and the aftermath, but frankly they really needn’t have bothered to forsake London for Birmingham.

The bulk of the coverage focused on what was regarded as yet another attempted image make-over for the PM, the fact that David Miliband is still being touted as the next leader and whether Mr Brown has any realistic hope of finding the “common touch” between now and the next election.

Even The Birmingham Post didn’t make any attempt to gloss over the charade of staging a Cabinet meeting in the city.

One of the Post’s bloggers did attempt to drum up some enthusiasm by seeing how well Birmingham managed to promote itself during this questionable slice of political history. But even that largely falls flat – not least because it hinges around the utterly ridiculous debate on second city status and the alleged competition for this most dubious of titles between Birmingham and Manchester (whoever wants to be regarded as second-rate that badly really deserves to be known as second best).

Arguably the biggest, most influential, most important and most charismatic visitor to Birmingham on Monday had nothing to do with the Mr Brown’s lurching bandwagon.

Stevie Wonder was in Birmingham for the first night of his European tour and Richard McComb has written a suitably entertaining review of a master at work.

Needless to say, Mr Wonder probably left a much longer lasting impression on all those fortunate to witness his show at the NIA than Mr Brown and his Cabinet managed during their visit to the ICC a few hundred yards away earlier that same day.

Never one to shy away from a political issue, Stevie Wonder could give Gordie Brown a few useful tips on charming an audience.

Tip one – quit while you can still hold your head up relatively high.

As for Birmingham taking advantage of its 15 minutes in the spotlight, did anyone really expect the city would raise its game sufficiently to grab a golden opportunity like this?

After all, it isn’t every day of the week that Stevie Wonder kicks off a major international tour in your city.


One response »

  1. […] Pointless exercise for brand Birmingham […]

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