I hired a car to go up to the Midlands for 2 days. As I drove out through Hammersmith toward the A40 I saw Piers Corbyn and some of this mates outside the Police Station near Brook Green. On the motorway there were messages warning that there may be more traffic as a result of rail strikes.
I listened to some of the news on Radio 4 but it seemed to be mostly Truss and Sunak selling their wares, and a little about the rail strike.
At a petrol station the driver in front of me at the checkout had a bill for something like 56 quid. “The days when you could fill up for a fiver are long gone.” noted the guy at the till. This is the sort of priceless social observational detail that John Harris would kill for. Today I was in a cafe full of chaps in yellow and orange hi-vis outfits and yet not a single one of them said anything about Brexit, completely ruining the moment for me.
This morning I heard it mentioned that Nadine Dorries had blithered that the Commonwealth Games would “put Birmingham on the map”. What the hell? Allegedly we have a professional political class who are all put through rigorous media training, but that must be money for old rope if they come out with lines like that after all.
As it happens, I was in Hall Green in Birmingham today. Here are some images, firstly from an industrial estate with a big scrap car business:
However that’s just one part of the area, which has lots of double carriageways with big green traffic islands down the middle, for example Fox Hollies road and nearby:
Plenty of green space around the tower blocks:
In Redditch I noticed this old story from pandemic times:
A copy of the Redditch Standard from March 18th this year:
Also two pages about local businesses supporting StandForUkraine.
More recently, the July 22nd edition of the Standard has these stories:
The 27th July edition of the Redditch Advertiser, which is no longer delivered to homes and is instead available in boxes at supermarkets. It’s also about 50% as thick as it was 30 years ago:
Neither of these papers bother with readers letters pages anymore.
Mettis Aerospace are now advertising for apprentice positions, so they clearly survived the problems of 2 years ago.
On the way back to London Radio 4 was catching up with the cost of living crisis.