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Watch out! Watch out! There’s a minister about. Gordon Brown is in Birmingham today, Housing Minister Yvette Cooper is in the city next week, and yesterday it was Peter Hain’s turn. Blimey, anybody would think there’s an election coming up.

The Stirrer and Peter Hain MP

The Stirrer caught up with Hain (the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales) in Weoley Castle where he was handing out leaflets for local Labour candidate Mike Drinkwater.

He’d already been to nearby Shenley and Kings Norton and had just visited a children’s centre attached the local primary school: “It’s part of our message that we offer wraparound care, with pre-school and after-school facilities, so parents can have their children looked after while they go to work or get training to go to work” he said.

As for Birmingham, he reckoned that under the Tory/Lib Dem partnership, “the city has a sense of drift. There was a time when a lot seemed to be happening, and it was the place to be.” According to Hain this was, unsurprisingly, when Labour was in power in Brum.

And with that he was gone, leaving a bemused pair of butchers looking out of the doorway of the shop, while the rest of the late afternoon shoppers scurried to fetch the kids from school.

Will it affect the vote in Weoley? Who knows. But with David Cameron seemingly in Brum on a weekly basis, perhaps there'sa belatedrecognition among the Labour hierarchy that Scotland isn't the only significant election battleground next week.

Does it matter if Ministers and other leading politicians come and visit? Who else has been around during these elections? And you have you seen in previous elections? Leave a comment on our messageboard.

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