Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Birmingham - It's not shit! Official

Sandwell is a borough with many immigrant groups, and relatively few racial tensions. It is one of the borough's strengths. Perhaps the shame of being associated with the Tory "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour" election campaign 30 years ago has got something to do with the way new communities are received. Now, I'm not saying everything is perfect, but community relations (or social cohesion, to use the modern jargon) in Sandwell seem pretty good. However... there is one group who, no matter how long we have been here, no matter how hard they try to integrate and adopt the local customs, are never fully accepted. Brummies. It is over 25 years since I moved from Birmingham, three miles across the City, to Sandwell. But still you feel the almost vitriolic dislike and mistrust when people realise you are a Brummie. A former Leader of Walsall Council used to say, "You can always tell a Brummie when you enter a factory. If you see people working, they are from Walsall. If you see a bloke with his hands in his pockets, he is a Yam Yam (A colloquial name for inhabitants of Wolverhampton). If you see a bloke with his hands in someone else's pockets... he is a Brummie.

So, I suppose this site will be wasted on my local readers. Still, at least the people behind it are not as parochial as Sandwellians. Famous 'Brummies' listed include Frank Skinner, Noddy Holder... and Stan bloody Collymore (who is from Cannock, which is up North somewhere), and songs on the site are sung by Bearwood Ted, from my own adopted neck of the woods. Why, they've even got a flikr group with some 'exciting' shots of things happening in the City.