Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

March 09

YEAR WAIT FOR "PRIORITY" DISABLED

31-03-2009

Disability protestors who staged a demo in Birmingham yesterday have been promised a meeting with the City Council. Officials insist they haven’t been failing in their duty, but admit that even “priority” home adaptations may take more than a year. more


NO JOKE FOR STAYAWAY COUNCILLOR

31-03-2009

Attention seeking Wolverhampton councillor Jonathan Yardley has attracted national headlines today with a non-story about political correctness – but fellow councillors are asking whether he should be paying more attention to matters closer to home. more


SOAR POINT OVER AIRPORT PLANS

31-03-2009

Plans to reduce the environmental impact of Birmingham International Airport’s runway extension have been dismissed as a “wasted opportunity” by Friends of The Earth. Solihull Council will be discussing an updated planning application today. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

IT’S IRAN

31-03-2009

Obama’s offer of better ties with Iran provides a welcome opportunity to improve relations with the Islamic state…and it’s also a timely moment to visit. Stirrer columnist Richard Lutz is going to Teheran this week to find out more about what makes this country tick. more


KING IN NO HURRY TO END EXILE

31-03-2009

Former Northfield MP Roger King has laughed off suggestions that he might be seeking a return to his old constituency – although he hasn’t categorically ruled out the idea. more


HOME SECS APPEAL

30-03-2009

There are many reasons to oppose Jacqui Smith in her role as Home Secretary. Her husband’s taste in late night entertainment isn’t one of them. more


Get Out More..............................Gig Review

DAVID BYRNE (Symphony Hall

30-03-2009

Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne goes down a storm at Symphony Hall. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg enjoys the show – with one serious reservation. more


DISABLED CAMPAIGNERS TAKE TO THE STREETS

30-03-2009

Disability campaigners who claim they’ve been snubbed by Birmingham Council are planning a protest today in the city centre. more


WARDS OF COURT?

30-03-2009

Now the dust has settled on the Staffordshire NHS scandal, Brendan King wonders when legal action will be taken. more


Get Out More.......................Music Review

LAST NIGHT OF THE SPRING PROMS (Symphony Hall)

30-03-2009

Terry Will enjoys a night to popular classics ranging from Tchaikovsky to Eric Coates. more


Poet’s Corner

COUNTER CULTURE

30-03-2009

Daytime TV, tabloid newspapers and even the government are on a mission to slim down the nation’s waistlines. Fat chance says Brendan Hawthorne. more


DAN THE MAN

28-03-2009

In time, Dan Hannan’s filmed attack on Gordon Brown will be widely recognised as a piece of political genius. Weekend editor Dominic Fisher attempts to deconstruct. more


COLLEGE CHAOS

28-03-2009

The college building funding shortfall is a perfect example of the chasm between government rhetoric and on-the-ground delivery. Moreover, the fight for funding looks like turning into a free-for-all. Stirrer Weekend editor, Dominic Fisher attempts to cut through the noise and finds out who is standing up for Birmingham’s share of the pie. more


WHEN SATURDAY COMES

29-03-2009

Starved of your usual footy fix because of the weekend's internationals? Dave Woodhall suggests an alternative. more


MAD MEN - MAD TO MISS?

28-03-2009

Regular contributor, Beefheart, is mad on madmen. Here’s his latest review. more


CZECH MATE?

28-03-2009

The chess world is open to all. Whether 8 or 80, in Havana, New York or Budapest, chess players have a common language that unites nations and generations. Weekend editor, Dominic Fisher writes about Birmingham’s rich chess heritage. more


WHAT’S OFF

27-03-2009

Birmingham listings magazine What’s On has become the latest victim of the recession. Owners Trinity Mirror are also cutting a range of other titles around the West Midlands including the Black Country Mail Extra and Wolverhampton Adnews. more


BUS IMPROVEMENTS CAUGHT IN THE SLOW LANE

27-03-2009

Bus passengers have seen no significant improvement to services in the last five years according to figures released today. Kevin Chapman reports on the latest, unimpressive punctuality statistics which show that four out of ten services are likely to arrive too early or too late. more


Get Out More.............................Gig Review

JOE GIDEON & THE SHARK

27-03-2009

Steve Beauchampe has seen the future of Blues music...and it’s from Birmingham! He caught them at that fine Kings Heath venue, the Hare and Hounds. more


LABOUR SECURES ETTINGHSHALL

27-03-2009

Wolverhampton’s Labour party are once again the largest group in the city following yesterday’s victory in the Ettingshall by-election – but they still can’t prise control from the Tories who remain in charge, propped up by the Lib Dems. more


Barbara’s Blog

PROTEST TOO MUCH

27-03-2009

Thousands of people will be protesting over the next few days at the G20 summit in London, exercising a right which is being increasingly curtailed – witness this shocking post by Barbara Panvel. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

A GEM OF A PIECE

27-03-2009

As a former TV producer Richard Lutz has an appetite for quirky news stories – and he’s come across a real gem. Which is more than can be said for the administrators of a troubled Shropshire construction firm. more


THAT KING THING

27-03-2009

And still the rumours persist that former Northfield MP Roger King is considering a return to politics with a possible coup in his old constituency. Tory sources suggest his supporters are paving the way for him to supplant Keely Huxtable as the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate. more


SUM THING PUZZLES THE STIRRER

26-03-2009

Being a simple soul, The Stirrer is puzzled by savings being demanded by the City Council of Birmingham’s devolved constituencies – not least because they’re being asked to pay for the controversial Business Transformation scheme. Er, wasn’t this supposed to provide more cash at local level, not less? more


TORY CUTS TO BUILD UP "WAR CHEST"

26-03-2009

Wolverhampton’s ruling Conservative group has been accused of scrapping popular events and padding budgets in order to build up a tax-cutting “war chest” ahead of next year’s local council elections. The charge comes as voters turn out for the Ettinghsall by-election today. more


Get Out More..........................Gig News

DEPECHE MODE (LG Arena 13/12/09)

26-03-2009

Doomy electro survivors make long awaited return to the West Midlands. Tickets go on sale this Friday. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

26-03-2009

How to laugh at the Grim Reaper. Some philosophical and hopefully consoling stuff from Mr Inman. more


LEFT RIGHT?

26-03-2009

Looking for the reasons behind the recession? John Tyrrell reckons he knows – and the solution, he argues rests with Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party, who are holding an open meeting in Birmingham on Saturday. more


Poet’s Corner

VERSED IN RECESSION

26-03-2009

Wolverhampton poet Beverley Mckenzie will be attending this weekend’s Put People First march in London this coming Saturday. Here, in verse, she explains why. more


Library Closures 1

“MISCHIEVOUS” STIRRER LEFT ON THE SHELF

25-03-2009

Birmingham council staff have been warned to stop circulating Stirrer articles about the possible risk of library closures. Originally described as “scaremongering”, they have now been upgraded to “mischievous” by Yardley constituency director Adnan Saif. more


Library Closures 2

LIBRARIES AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE CLAIMS TILSLEY

25-03-2009

Claims that three Birmingham libraries will be closed are based on a misunderstanding claims deputy Council leader Paul Tilsley – who insists there are plans to roll out extra book lending services across the city. Yet he doesn’t deny that existing premises might be shut. more


RETURN JOURNEY

25-03-2009

Once again, ministers are floating the idea of yellow buses operating on school routes in the UK - just like America. Barbara Panvel traces the recurring links between the transport business and government. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

IN THE PSYCHIATRIST'S CHAIR

25-03-2009

Tony Mowbray reckons anyone writing Albion off needs their head examined. Terry Wills makes a Freudian slip. more


Audrey's Grow Yer Own Blog

YES WE CAN

25-03-2009

US First Lady Michelle Obama is set to break the ground for an organic garden on a patch of the south lawn to grow produce for the White House kitchen. Audrey Miller rejoices. more


ECK AND CHIPS

25-03-2009

Our Blues blogger Andy Munro blows The Stirrer expense account to enjoy some posh nosh and polite conversation with St Andrews boss Alex McLeish*. more


IT'S A BANKER FOR BRUM

24-03-2009

Birmingham Council’s plans for a new Municipal Bank are still on course – despite newspaper reports to the contrary. But unlike the city’s old municipal bank, it won’t offer personal accounts or have a branch network – at least not in the short term. more


“FORCED ENTRY” CLAIM AT CRICKET GROUND SQUAT

24-03-2009

Social housing campaigners Justice Not Crisis claim contractors for Warwickshire County Cricket club illegally broke down the front door and forced an entry at one the properties they are squatting next to the County Ground. more


Get Out More.............................Comedy News

FRANK SIDEBOTTOM (Wulfrun Hall, 5th Dec)

24-03-2009

It’s a long way off, but make a date in your diary for the long awaited return of 80s music/comedy legend Frank Sidebottom – the titan of Timperley, and possibly the finest turn to wear a papier mache head (apart from The Residents). Support comes from Charlie Chuck. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

YELLOW PERIL

24-03-2009

Blues are the automatic promotion places, but Andy Munro already has his eyes focussed on the play-offs. That’s how bad Blues are right now. more


Martin Longley's Music Blog

JAZZ SOUNDS: NEW YORK (Part 935)

24-03-2009

Mr Eclectic's latest mooch around the jazz haunts of Noo Yawk City. more


VILLAGE PEOPLE

23-03-2009

Now that the fuss has died down over the recent police incident outside the DV8 club in Lower Essex Street, are we to assume that all is well between the cops and regulars in the gay village? Not a bit of it. more


BUILDINGS IN SPACE

23-03-2009

Alan Clawley’s campaign to maintain Birmingham’s existing Central Library prompts him to assess the likely architectural merits of its proposed replacement in Centenary Square. more


P45 FOR NO HOPE MINISTER

23-03-2009

After last week's demo at Bilston in the Black Country, campaigners opposed to Royal Mail privatisation moved to Corby in Northants. The Stirrer's man on the spot reports on an embarrassing day for Phil (No) Hope. more


SUMMIT TO THINK ABOUT

23-03-2009

Next weekend, dozens of Third World debt campaigners from across the West Midlands will be heading for the capital to lobby world leaders ahead of the G20 summit. John Nightingale explains while he’ll be joining them. more


DRINKERS WILD

23-03-2009

Lynn Hawthorne wonders whether proposals to push up the price of alcohol have been well thought-out. more


“SCAREMONGERING” STIRRER SLATED BY COUNCIL

21-03-2009

Claims by The Stirrer that libraries in Birmingham are set to be closed down have been dismissed as “scaremongering” by the City Council. Yet once again, they’ve cast doubt on the story without actually denying it. more


Get Out More...........................Film Review

THE DAMNED UNITED

21-03-2009

Brian Clough’s family boycotted the premiere of this controversial movie about Ol’ Big Ead’s traumatic 44 days at Leeds United. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg showed no such scruples. more


RANKING ROGER

21-03-2009

Former Northfield MP Roger King has risen to prominence again recently with his campaign to strongarm Birmingham City Council into bailing out troubled car maker LDV. Now Tory insiders are asking whether his high profile campaign signals a desire to return to parliament. more


CAN I HAVE MY LIFE BACK PLEASE?

21-03-2009

The Birmingham man wrongly jailed for his role in the killing of newspaper boy Carl Bridgwater has warned that a prisoner released this week after serving 27 years for a crime he didn’t commit is bound to suffer post traumatic stress disorder. more


The Stirrer’s Talk-In Radio Blog (5)

THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE

21-03-2009

Anjem Chodary may have become the most vilified man in the British tabloids, but I’ll say this for him – he doesn’t duck a challenge. more


"THIRD WORLD" CHILDRENS HOSPITAL JOINS SICK LIST

20-03-2009

Too few beds, poorly trained staff, equipment in short supply…the Healthcare Commission has delivered a withering verdict on Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital whose Chief Executive Paul O’Connor quit earlier this month following complaints about "Third World" conditions. more


TILSLEY BLAST OVER "LIBRARY CLOSURE" CLAIM

20-03-2009

Birmingham Council’s deputy leader Paul Tilsley rang last night following claims in The Stirrer’s Birmingham Mail column that three city libraries had been earmarked for your closure. “Do your homework” was the gist of Tilsley’s message. Trouble is, we have. more


GREEN LIGHT FOR TRAFFIC REVOLUTION

20-03-2009

Birmingham councillors are being asked to consider a revolutionary traffic scheme which would see pavements and roads brought to the same level, guard railings removed, and traffic lights reducd to a minimum. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

FRITZL FREAKSHOW

20-03-2009

The Josef Fritzl trial is over. But Richard Lutz wonders just why we are so obsessed with psychopathic behaviour. Are we brainwashed by the media? more


Get out More.......................Gig Listings

THE ROBIN (Bilston)

20-03-2009

Some terrific visitors coming up at The Robin in the next few weeks - Focus guitarist Jan Akerman, Newport Folk Festival Julie Felix, local heroes The Beat and Steve Gibbons, as well as Chumbawumba.

For the full listing, click here Robin gig list


TORIES NOT BANKING ON WHITBY

19-03-2009

As the row continues on about the prospect of a Muncipal Bank for Birmingham, The Stirrer can reveal rumblings of discontent on the Conservative backbenches with the Council leader Mike Whitby. more


Get Out More.........................Dance Review

THE PIED PIPER (Hippodrome, till Sat)

19-03-2009

Or to give it it’s full title – The Pied Piper, A Hip Hop Dance Revolution. Troubled critic Sibyl Ruth enjoys the spectacle…her daughter (aged 11) rates it “the best night ever. more


HOLLOW HOLOCAUST DENIAL SHOULD BE CRIME

19-03-2009

Should denial of the Jewish Holocaust in World War Two be a crime? After watching a recent TV documentary, Brendan King has no doubt. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

MEGGO'S RETURN

19-03-2009

Albion take on Gary Megson's Bolton this weekend - but while a warm reception is guaranteed for the "Ginger Mourinho", can the Baggies send him packing up the M6 with "nul points". Terry Wills isn't counting on it. more


Barbara's Blog
LIVE LOCAL, BUY LOCAL

19-03-2009

With more than 200,000 people unemployed in Birmingham alone, Barbara Panvel considers the merits of buying homegrown products. more


“SUBSIDISE WAGES” CALL AS BRUM DOUBLES DOLE

18-03-2009

Latest unemployment figures published today show that with the jobless total now exceeding 2 million, dole queues in Birmingham are twice as long as the national average. That’s prompted calls from a leading bosses’ organisation for wage subsidies. more


BIRMINGHAM MALE STEPS UP BANK PRESSURE

18-03-2009

Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson is stepping up the pressure on the City Council after it accused his paper of getting a major story wrong earlier this week. more


LAST DISORDERS IN GAY VILLAGE

18-03-2009

A club owner in Birmingham’s Gay Village has launched an outspoken defence of his venue – just 24 hours after West Midlands police accused him of creating “substantial and widespread disorder” with a drinks promotion. more


STAFFORDSHIRE'S CASE FOR NHS SURGERY

18-03-2009

The disgraceful failure of Staffordshire General Hospital may not be proof that the NHS is a terminal case but it could certainly withstand the amputation of a couple of useless appendages – namely Health Secretary Alan Johnson and junior minister Ben Bradshaw. more


TAKEN FOR A RIDE

18-03-2009

The Stirrer’s campaign to persuade rail operator London Midland to staff their ticket offices full-time struck a chord with angry passenger Russ Vale. more


MAIL'S COUNCIL OF WAR OVER BANK

17-03-2009

Is Birmingham’s proposed Municipal Bank being scrapped or not? Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson has moved quickly to defend a story in last night’s paper claiming the plan had no future – opening up a war of words with Council spinmistress Deborah Harries. more


POLICE DV8 FROM VILLAGE VERSION OF VIOLENCE

17-03-2009

West Midlands Police have moved to damp down anger among Birmingham’s gay community following an operation outside Club DV8 in last week. Allegations of heavy handedness have led to suggestions there might be a protest march. more


STALLING? NOT US SAY BROMSGROVE

17-03-2009

Claims that Bromsgrove Council is stalling on a meeting with campaigners opposed to the closure of lottery funded Haybridge Sports Centre in Hagley have now got a response – of sorts. more


DON’T BANK ON BANK COLLAPSE

17-03-2009

Birmingham Council has rubbished newspaper reports that proposals for a Municipal Bank have been withdrawn because of the mammoth £500million cost. more


Get Out More........................................Gig News

WOLVES CIVIC LISTINGS

17-03-2009

Maturing boy band McFly and Radio Four’s favourite punning funster Milton Jones are among the recent gig announcements at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall complex. Paul Weller is on tonight, too... more


Dave Woodhall’s Fighting Talk

MATT FINISH PAINTS ELCOCK INTO A CORNER

17-03-2009

In the Battle of Brum at the Aston Events centre on Saturday, Matt Macklin pulled off a surprise victory against British middleweight champion Wayne Elcock. Dave Woodhall reports from ringside. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

PUT A DONC ON IT

17-03-2009

Blues are now looking odds-on for promotion – despite an unimpressive series of performances this season. At least they looked the part against Doncaster at the weekend, as Andy Munro reflects. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (Part 24)

17-03-2009

Hot stuff as Brummie Mummy finds herself entwined with the amorous Ian. But does she or doesn’t she? more


THE JIMI HENDRIX INEXPERIENCE

17-03-2009

The Boat That Rocked is the new Richard Curtis film about the days of pirate radio in the 60s - a celebration of rock n roll, of free radio, of youthful exuberance. But just how accurate is it? more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

IT’S NOT OVER TILL IT’S OVER

17-03-2009

Championship leaders Wolves are now ten points clear of third placed Reading with just seven games to play. Brendan King has the finishing line in sight. more


“NO HARRASSMENT IN GAY VILLAGE” SAY COPS

16-03-2009

West Midlands Police have denied allegations of harassment in Birmingham’s Gay Village which have appeared on The Stirrer Forum. They say their increased presence in the area can be explained by an investigation into a recent assault. more


HAYBRIDGE SPOILSPORTS

16-03-2009

Campaigners trying to save Haybridge Sport Centre in Hagley have accused Bromsgrove District Council of “stalling” after failing to stick to a promised meeting. No wonder, says Dr David Nicholl – a leaked email reveals they have legal advice which suggests they could avoid replaying an £800,000 lottery grant. more


BATTLE ROYAL IN BILSTON

16-03-2009

Thousands of people gathered at the weekend in the Black Country town of Bilston – constituency of Postal Minister Pat McFadden – to protest against plans to part privatise Royal Mail. more


METRO PRIORITY FOR SNOW HILL AND WOLVES LINK

16-03-2009

Travel bosses have prioritised three major schemes for expanding the Metro tram system in the Birmingham and the Black Country. If they get government backing, there’ll be a long awaited link between New Street Station and Snow Hill, and a new loop around Wolverhampton city centre. more


THE LURE OF THE NEW

16-03-2009

Birmingham’s proposed new central library will be unveiled to the great and good early next month. But will the assembled dignitaries be brave enough to ask the questions that really matter asks Alan Clawley. more


IAN McDIARMID RIP

16-03-2009

Tributes have been paid by friends and colleagues of Birmingham stand-up and comedy promoter Ian McDiarmid who died last Tuesday of a heart attack. more


RECORD TURNOUT FOR BRUM'S ST PATS DAY

16-03-2009

An estimated 80,000 people watched Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Day parade yesterday – a record turnout. Stirrer bloggers, though, were divided in their opinions about the event. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

OUT AND NEARLY DOWN

16-03-2009

If Albion’s visit to West Ham isn’t quite the “last chance saloon” for Tony Mowbray's side, then it’s certainly the pub next door. Terry Wills takes little heart from recent performances. more


UNDER POSTAL ORDERS

16-03-2009

The weekend rally in Bilston to prevent the part-privatisation of Royal Mail has got Brendan Hawthorne’s creative juices flowing. Funny how cash is available to bail out the banks, but not save the Post Office, eh? more


WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN....WIN....WIN...

PIED PIPER - A HIP HOP DANCE REVOLUTION

15-03-2009

We've got two tickets on offer for this Wednesday's performance of Pied Piper - A Hip Hop Dance Revolution at Birmingham Hippodrome. more


Dave’s Villa Blog

REDKNAPP’S RETURN

15-03-2009

Harry Redknapp, previously the subject of abuse from Villa fans in his days as Pompey boss, returns to take more stick from the Trinity Road faithful – this time in the Spurs dugout. But Dave Woodhall only has eyes on his own manager. more


HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY(S)

14-03-2009

OK, so it's not officially Paddy's day until Tuesday, but Birmingham's hosting a fabulous weekend of entertainment, building up to Sunday's midday parade. more


The Stirrer’s Talk-In Radio Blog (4)

OPEN SEASON ON BRITISH MUSLIMS

14-03-2009

This week’s anti-war protests in Luton led to a massive media backlash against Muslim extremists.... and provided no shortage of fodder for Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg on his overnight Talksport show. The hard job was ensuring the debate remained balanced. more


Get Out More...................................Film Review

THE WATCHMEN (18)

14-03-2009

Graphic novelist Alan Moore apparently hates movie versions of his work – but the rest of us will find plenty to enjoy in this bold and challenging movie. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg watches the Watchmen. more


BRUM TELLY IS A SURVIVOR

14-03-2009

The Stirrer's campaign to maintain Birmingham's status as a major BBC production centre has been rewarded with the news that the re-make of the hit 70s series Survivors is being made in the city. more


Get Out More..................................Film Premiere

THE AGE OF STUPID (Vue Cinema, Star City, Sunday)

14-03-2009

A movie premiere comes to Brum on Sunday - a screening of climate change drama The Age Of Stupid. Audrey Miller prepares to walk down the red carpet. more


Dave Woodhall’s Fighting Talk

THE BATTLE OF BRUM

14-03-2009

The build-up continues to the biggest night of boxing in Birmingham for years – Wayne Elcock vs Mattthew Macklin at the Aston Events Centre on Saturday night. Dave Woodhall weighs in with a preview. more


WHO'S BEEN ON THE GRASS THEN?

13-01-2009

Birmingham Council’s cabinet have been summoned to an emergency meeting today to sort out the mess of the city’s tree cutting and gardening contract. A monumental double cock-up prompts the thought - has someone ignored the instruction to Keep Off The Grass? more


COUNCIL "RENT FREE" AT HIGHBURY HALL

13-03-2009

Birmingham councillor John Alden makes the shocking admission that the local authority is currently paying no rent on historic Highbury Hall site in Kings Heath – even though hundreds of functions are held there each year and the council uses its buildings for offices. more


JUSTICE NOT CRISIS MOVE OUT - AND IN

13-03-2009

Social housing campaigners Justice Not Crisis have given up possession of three of the four houses they were squatting next to Edgbaston cricket ground yesterday - but promptly moved into another two properties. more


Barbara's Blog

A FAIR COP

13-03-2009

Barbara Panvel meets a Chelmsley Wood copper who's debut novel has just been issued. It would make a damn fine movie, she reckons. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

WATER WASTE

13-03-2009

It’s one of the most precious assets in the world, and we pay through the nose for it – so why is one local company so unbothered about wasting it? Richard Lutz offers a personal view of Severn Trent. more


WEST MIDS MPS CHOOSE BURDEN

13-03-2009

Northfield MP Richard Burden has been elected chair of the new West Midlands Regional Select Committee of the House of Commons. Their first job will be to examine how the recession is affecting local businesses. more


SQUATTERS ON STICKY WICKET

12-03-2009

Twenty four hours after handing over their long-running squat at The Firebird pub in Balsall Heath, housing campaigners Justice Not Crisis are facing another legal battle – this time to evict them from four derelict houses next to Edgbaston cricket ground. more


ROVER AND OUT?

12-03-2009

As the fourth anniversary of the closure of MG Rover approaches, there’s still no sign of the official inquiry into the company’s collapse – including the bumper pensions enjoyed by John Towers and the Pheoenix Four. Stirrer reader and ex-Longbridge worker David MacKenzie has written this open letter to his MP Steve McCabe. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

A PROPER JOB

12-03-2009

When John Lennon saw a film of Elvis being mobbed by girls after a gig he thought: ‘That’s a good job!’ and decided to become a global rock star. more


Get Out More...................................Gig News

BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL/SYMPHONY HALL

12-03-2009

Here are the latest ticket releases from Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall – including the line-up for the English Originals Folk Festival. There’s an amazing Nick Drake tribute featuring Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton, Graham Coxon and Robyn Hitchcock. more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

NERVOUS TIMES

12-03-2009

With none of the Championship contenders capable of pulling clear, these are nervous times for the fans. Brend King assesses Wolves prospects. more


SOLDIERS SHOULD HAVE RIGHT TO SUE SAYS IRAQ MUM

11-03-2009

The mother of a Birmingham soldier killed in Iraq says she welcomes moves to use human rights legislation to challenge equipment failures by the Military of Defence. more


SQUATTERS HAND OVER FIREBIRD

11-03-2009

Birmingham housing campaigners Justice Not Crisis have handed over the Firebird pub in Balsall Heath – after the owners agreed to cancel costs for a previous court hearing. more


COUNCIL’S GROWING PAINS CONTINUE

11-03-2009

Yesterday’s Stirrer gave the lowdown on Birmingham Council’s double cock-up over its contracts for parks and trees maintenance around the city. The official response is in. more


Doc Dave’s Blog

PEACE PROTESTS IN OUR TIME

11-03-2009

Anti-war protestors greeting homecoming troops on the streets of Luton are in the wrong place at the wrong time argues Dr David Nicholl – who knows a bit about violent conflict after growing up in Northern Ireland. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

ROLLERCOASTER BLUES

11-03-2009

Last night’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley left Blues in second place in the Championship. Andy Munro reflects on a recent upturn in fortunes. more


Get Out More..............................Theatre Review

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR (Birmingham Hippodrome)

11-03-2009

David Essex treads the boards in this new funfair based musical which trades on some of his best known songs. Terry Wills sings along – and sees the star of the show receive a special accolade. more


HOBBIT’S HIGHBURY HOO HA

11-03-2009

Stirrer blogger Barnard Hobbit has been doing some ace investigative work into Birmingham’s historic Highbury Hall site – which the City Council was considering splitting up until their ruse was exposed by this site. more


Dave Woodhall’s Fighting Talk

WAYNE ELCOCK V MATTHEW MACKLIN

11-03-2009

Our boxing blogger previews Friday night’s Battle of the Brummies at Aston Events Centre – which has a pretty tasty undercard too, including some bloke called Tyson (honest!) more


Growing Pains 1

TREE’S A CROWD

10-03-2009

Birmingham City Council is currently embroiled in an expensive legal battle after the contract for cutting trees in the city ended up in the High Court. It’s the second cock-up in a matter of weeks involving maintenance contracts. more


Growing Pains 2

GROUNDS FOR CONCERN

10-03-2009

The Stirrer hears rumours that council officers were hauled over the coals by their elected bosses in Birmingham yesterday after a cock-up over the city’s annual £20million grounds maintenance budget. more


BRUM TERROR SENTENCES HANDED DOWN

10-03-2009

Four men from Birmingham have been given sentences of up to three years yesterday after pleading guilty to terrorism offences at the Old Bailey. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (PART 23)

10-03-2009

Will it be tears before bedtime for Brummie Mummy as she hooks up with her suitor Ian? It’s starting to get steamy now. Well, nearly. more


Get Out More.............................Gig Review

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT (The Robin)

10-03-2009

For the second day in a row, The Stirrer reviews Half Man Half Biscuit at The Robin in Bilston. This time it’s Dave Woodhall pogoing down the front. more


Get Out More.........................Film News

FLATPACK FESTIVAL

10-03-2009

The West Midlands top indie film festival is just a day away. Here are the organisers' selected highlights of the programme which starts on Wednesday 11 March. You can trust 'em. They're good folk, more


BIRMINGHAM FOUR JAILED FOR TERROR OFFENCES

09-03-2009

Four men from Birmingham have pleaded guilty to terrorism offences at the Old Bailey this morning. Sentencing is due to take place later today. more


IS IT COS THEY IS BLACK?

09-03-2009

If my heritage was African Caribbean and I was living in Birmingham, I might be tempted to wonder how welcome I was being made in the city. As Ali G might say – “Is it ‘cos I is black”? more


Get Out More.............................Gig Review

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT

09-03-2009

The acerbic Birkenhead pub punkers rocked up at The Robin last week. John "Jeff Dreadnought" O'Shea was in the audience. more


Audrey's Grow Yer Own Blog

GREEN PLAQUES, ANYONE?

09-03-2009

Our "grow yer own" blogger Audrey Miller wants to locate the region's eco-friendly rooves - can you help? She's proposing" green" plaques instead of blue ones. more


Poet's Corner

GET DOWN AND DIRTY WITH THE ALLOTMENT CREW

09-03-2009

The Stirrer has been encouraging readers to get their hands dirty in recent weeks with Audrey Miller's "Grown Yer Own" blogs. Our poet laureate Brendan Hawthorne gets into the green spirit. more


Win...............Win...............Win...............Win................

PRIZE TICKETS FOR ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR

07-03-2009

The Stirrer has a pair of prize tickets for All The Fun Of The Fair – the brand new musical starring David Essex at Birmingham Hippodrome next week. more


1970s BRITAIN - PART 3 - BRIAN CLOUGH AND DON REVIE

08-03-2009

The trailer for the forthcoming film about Brian Clough – The Damned United – is now on YouTube. The film is out on 27th March, with Michael Sheen staring as Brian Clough. Martin Mullaney remembers the two titans of 1970s British football – Brian Clough and Don Revie. more


1970s BRITAIN - PART 2 - WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE?

07-03-2009

Life on Mars or Red Riding? Which is closer to the truth about life in 1970s Britain. Martin Mullaney delves into his childhood memories of his life as a child in 1970s Birmingham. more


1970s BRITAIN - PART 1 - RED RIDING 1974

07-03-2009

Channel 4 drama series premiered last Thursday at 9pm. It has been hyped up by the broadsheets, but did it match up to expectations? Martin Mullaney thinks it's a seminal drama dealing with pre-Thatcher Britain. more


The Stirrer’s Talk-In Radio Blog (3)

WHO ARE YOU?

07-03-2009

Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg delivers his latest self-indulgent masterclass in the art of phone-in radio. This week – who listens to an overnight show? more


THE DISASTER THAT WAS THATCHER

07-03-2009

On this site yesterday, Peter Sampson offered a personal perspective on the Thatcher era – 30 years on. Here’s Brendan King’s take on the former PM. more


Birmingham Central Library 1

THREATENED LIBRARY BUCKS TREND AS VISITORS UP

06-03-2009

Birmingham’s threatened Central Library is bucking the trend by attracting extra visitors – despite a downturn in attendances nationally. Not bad for building the Council wants to demolish. more


Birmingham Central Library 2

NEW LIBRARY LAUNCHED NEXT MONTH

06-03-2009

Plans for Birmingham’s new city centre library are being unveiled next month says Alan Clawley – who’s campaigning to save the existing one. Here’s his personal comment. more


STANDING UP FOR STAND DOWN MARGARET

06-03-2009

Along with “Ghost Town”, “Stand Down Margaret” was the theme tune of the Thatcher era. Thirty years since she was elected, should we forgive her asks Peter Sampson. more


LAWRENCE BLAST AT STAR STRUCK WOLVES

06-03-2009

Wolverhampton’s opposition Labour leader Roger Lawrence has weighed in with at two-pronged attack on the city’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance. He’s condemned the authority’s latest audit rating – and claims his party would have offered cheaper Council Tax. more


Get Out More.............................Ballet Review

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES (HIPPODROME)

06-03-2009

Our second review of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s latest shows at Birmingham Hippodrome. This time it’s Terry Wills in the tutu. more


Exclusive

JLR WORKERS VOTE 2-1 TO ACCEPT DEAL

05-03-2009

Workers at West Midlands car-maker Jaguar Land Rover have voted 2-1 in favour of a accepting a new pay deal aimed at preventing hundreds of compulsory redundancies. more


CATCH A FALLING STAR.... OR EVEN TWO

05-03-2009

Birmingham and Wolverhampton Councils have each lost a star in the latest National Audit Commission assessments. Brum’s opposition leader Sir Albert Bore accused the city’s “Progressive Partnership” of being “in denial” about their failings. more


Last Night’s Footy

MOSCOW BACKFIRING ON O'NEILL

05-03-2009

Martin O’Neill’s ploy of resting players for last week's UEFA Cup trip to Moscow last week is backfiring ominously – after Sunday’s draw at Stoke, Villa lost 2-0 at Manchester City. Blues moved back onto the top two of the Championship with a late winner against Bristol City. more


FLICKING THE V AT WESTON

05-03-2009

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the V Festival at Weston Park, near Wolverhampton – and the line-up includes the reunited Specials (albeit minus founder Jerry Dammers) The Killers, Lily Allen, Oasis and Snow Patrol. more


Laurence Inman’s Blog

WHERE THERE’S A WILL

05-03-2009

Shakespeare. He was quite good you know. That’s what Laurence Inman thinks anyway. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

YOU GREEDY BANKERS

05-03-2009

Fred Goodwin’s pension is a hot topic. It is nearly £700,000 per year. But who - really- is to blame? Richard Lutz has a question or two. more


Get Out More.............................Ballet Review

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES (Hippodrome, until 7 March)

05-03-2009

BRB’s latest performance at The Hippodrome reviewed by Richard Lutz. more


Barbara’s Blog

BIN THERE, DONE THAT

05-03-2009

Ever had something strange crop up in your compost heap or recycling box? Barbara Panvel has, er... bin there, done that. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

A TITANIC PERFORMANCE

05-03-2009

Yep... like the classic liner, The Baggies are going down reckons Terry Wills. more


Dave Woodhall's Fighting Talk

BEN WILKES V MARK PHILLIPS

05-03-2009

Dave Woodhall runs through the card at Wolves Civic last Friday - including the featured fight Ben Wilkes vs Mark Phillips. more


FAIR TRADE CADBURY GETS BACK TO ITS ROOTS

04-03-2009

Cadbury is returning to its philanthropic roots by making best selling Dairy Milk bar with Fair Trade chocolate. Good on 'em. more


JUST THE JOB FOR LONGBRIDGE - BUT CUTS AT LDV

04-03-2009

Birmingham is gaining 250 jobs in the motor industry, thanks to the transfer of posts from Leamington Spa to Longbridge by Chinese car maker SAIC. But workers at troubled van firm LDV have been forced to accept a 10% pay cut to pave the way for a management takeover. more


SPELMAN GUILTY OVER NANNYGATE - BUT SURVIVES

04-03-2009

Former Conservative Party Chairman Caroline Spelman has been forced to hand back £9,600 and apologise over the “Nannygate” affair – but she won’t be asked to resign. Tory activists are unimpressed by the news. more


WM CHANGES ITS TUNE

04-03-2009

BBC WM has drafted in former ELO drummer Bev Bevan to beef up its weekend schedule, while Danny Kelly has been restored to his mid-afternoon slot in place of local legend Les Ross who is retiring. more


Last Night’s Footy

BAGGIES AND WOLVES READY FOR TRADING PLACES

04-03-2009

The chances of West Brom and Wolves trading places next season has moved a step closer after a night of potentially decisive footy. more


A FAMILY UP IN SMOKE?

04-03-2009

Should families tolerate their youngsters taking drugs – especially if it starts affecting their other children? One Stirrer reader offers this thought-provoking real life story. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

CALL ME!

04-03-2009

Is this an offer Alex McLeish can’t refuse? Our Blues blogger Andy Munro reckons he could slot in at centre half. more


Martin Longley's Music Blog

GLOBAL SOUNDS: NEW YORK (PART 432)

04-03-2009

Birmingham music scribe continues to straddle the Atlantic. And that takes some doing. more


BIRMINGHAM’S STAR ON THE WANE?

03-03-2009

Rumours abound that Birmingham City Council has lost one star in its annual National Audit Commission rating. more


BEARS BATSMAN CAUGHT UP IN CRICKET TERROR

03-03-2009

Former Warwickshire batsman Kumar Sangakkarra is among six Sri Lankan cricketers injured in a terrorist attack in Pakistan. Five police were killed in the incident near the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore. more


SPOTTED DOG SILENCED IN ST PATRICK’S ROW

03-03-2009

John Tighe, landlord of Digbeth’s celebrated Spotted Dog pub, has had his advert for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade programme censored after poking fun at officials and residents trying to curb late night noise in the area. more


“BACK GARDEN” WAR MOVES TO WOLVES

03-03-2009

The war against “back garden” developments is taking place in leafy suburbs across the West Midlands – with Fallings Park in Wolverhampton the latest battleground. more


Get Out More......................................Gig News

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT (Thurs 5 Mar, The Robin)

03-03-2009

They’re the band who - legend has it – once missed a Top of The Pops appearance so they could watch Tranmere Rovers. Dave Woodhall can’t wait for Thursday. more


AN APOLOGY FOR AN APOLOGY?

03-03-2009

The Stirrer had no sooner apologised to Sandwell Council for suggesting they’d tried to “spin” their Council Tax figures than Birmingham Council’s press office got on the line demanding we say sorry to them as well. Steady on chaps. more


“NO DECISION YET” ON BRAMU FUNDING

03-03-2009

Council officials insist no decision has yet been made to cut funding from Birmingham Racial Awareness Monitoring Unit – even though the Chair, Maxi Hayles, has told The Stirrer he’s expecting the axe. more


Get Out More................................Event News

THE NEC GROUP LISTINGS

03-03-2009

There's some terrific stuff coming up at the the NEC's stable of venues in the coming months - The Prodigy, Gurdaas Mann, Bob Dylan and Al Murray The Pub Landord. more


Poet's Corner

TOP DOGS AND FAT CATS

03-03-2009

It's not an easy task combining the RBS banking fiasco and London Fashion Week - but somehow The Stirrer's poet laureate Brendan Hawthorne has managed it. more


BIRMINGHAM LAGS BEHIND IN ATHLETICS RACE

02-03-2009

Birmingham has been snubbed in the race to become a host city for a major new global athletics competition – despite investing millions in the sport over recent years. more


Exclusive

BRUM RACE ATTACK UNIT FACES CLOSURE

02-03-2009

Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit fears it will be forced to close after the City Council pulled the plug on it’s £60,000 funding. Chair Maxie Hayles insists the organisation has a “vital role” in tackling inequality. more


BLAST FOR SANDWELL’S “BRUM SLUM PARK”

02-03-2009

A prominent Sandwell councillor has used The Stirrer Forum to launch a stinging attack on Birmingham City Council, which he says is allowing Lightwoods Park to gradually decline “into a slum”. more


Weekend Footy Round-Up

HOW BAD ARE BLUES AND WOLVES?

02-03-2009

Are Wolves and Blues the worst teams to lead the Championship in living memory? Maybe not – but right now, it sure feels like it. more


RADIO REQUEST IS A MOUTHFUL

02-03-2009

Stirrer reader Paul Gebhard has sent us this contribution he overheard on BBC Radio Leicester. Kinda leaves a bad taste in the mouth, don't you think? Click here to listen


BATTLE ROYAL COMES TO BILSTON

02-03-2009

It’s not often that Bilston is at the centre of UK politics, but all that will change on Saturday 14 March, when the battle against privatisation of Royal Mail will be brought home to the constituency of the postal minister Pat McFadden – MP for Wolverhampton South East. more


Get Out More..............................Gig Preview

A CAMP WITH NINA PERSSON

02-03-2009

The Glee Club’s dates for March and April are out, and in among the usual fine selection of music and comedy, The Stirrer’s spotted one absolute “must see” – a show by former Cardigans vocalist Nina Persson. more


CONFESSION OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (PART 22)

02-03-2009

She doesn't want to be with Awful Wedded Husband. She doesn't to be with her romantic suitor Ian. But she discovers that women in their 40s should be having their best sex EVER! more

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer