Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Birmingham bash

It's hard to understand what rationale could conceivably have generated Gordon Brown's decision to hold yesterday's cabinet meeting in Birmingham.

Ed Miliband told the Today programme that it "would enable ministers to learn more about events affecting people's lives outside the capital. I do not see it as a cheap gimmick. If you are saying to me, is this going to win us any votes, I don't particularly think it will," he said. "I just think it is the right thing to do. I think it is important for government not simply to spend all its time in London."

Did I miss something? Was it a public meeting at some community centre, or a get-together in the saloon bar at the Kings Arms? Was policy made on-the-fly as they ambled round the Bullring, catching up on their shopping at the same time?

I'm afraid it says a lot for the intellectual powers of at least one cabinet minister that he can't even grasp that a cheap and utterly pointless gimmick was just that.

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