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Given that distinguishing 'Indians' from 'Muslims' is a hard call, I'm surprised by your confidence that there were no Muslims around then. Care to explain your confidence?
Many Birmingham residents repeatedly vote Labour knowing and caring nothing of the candidate they voted for. As a consequence the City has been appallingly badly run for at least thirty years. Unfortunately, Mr Street is unlikely to be elected and tribalism will continue to blight the City and the West Midlands for the foreseeable future.
' “make sure you’ve got plenty of Pork Scratchings available,” says one operative over the phone '
Those will go down great with the moslem voters for sure :)
Just how many people in the Midlands are really interested I wonder?
Here in Liverpool there seems to be general apathy. Did anyone consider that this regional mayor might be unwanted. Especially with a cobbled together area unrecognisable as an entity to those within it.
Just another political vanity project, adding an extra layer of expense and bureaucracy.
I worked in Birmingham in the early 2000's. The city has fallen on hard times, as have other industrial areas, but the people retain a great spirit to work and to enjoy life. The Indian immigrants have done a fine job of rehabilitating the city center. I don't remember seeing any Muslims in the early 2000's. Perhaps there are many more now than then.
Not to worry.
GenerationXcess and GenerationYners are more educated - and smarter? - than the Boomers and the Greatest Generation.
At least that's what they will tell you.
(Get ready for their backlash replies.)
One issue raised by the article is this. It has been widely commented that it is not obvious how those many people who are opposed to Brexit should vote (unless they live in Scotland). The article brings out the fact that it is also not now clear how those who favour economic liberalism should vote. The Conservatives seem to be offering us Mrs Thatcher's style, without any substance, other than, indeed, a return to things which the Conservatives gave up on, for good reason, under Mrs Thatcher. To favour economic liberalism does not mean that one simply neglects those who are doing badly (as has been all too common). But it does require that their situation be addressed not just with compassion, but with policies that make sense.
Given the divide between Indians and 'Muslims', or rather Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, is almost wholly on religious lines (though there are some Indian Muslims) a name, first or last, is a very quick indicator. Besides if you live and work in Birmingham long enough you find yourself quickly recognising the differences between Barbadians and Jamaicans; Ghanaians and Nigerians; and even Kashmiri Pakistanis and Punjabi Pakistanis, let alone Indians and Pakistanis. Such is the nature of the city.
Anecdote isn't data, but it's striking how incoherent the voters were about their "reasons" for voting one way or another. Who on earth thinks that it's a good idea to let ignorant thoughtless citizens vote for incompetent representatives in order to prop up a system of self-governance that is clearly long, long past its sell-by date?
Bagehot is to be commended for chronicling the demise of representative democracy; now if only TE could also perform the necessary analysis regarding the final condition of the corpse.
Sounds a lot like Chicago, without the guns.