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1:16pm on Tuesday, 2nd December, 2008:



Earlier this year, Birmingham Council sent out a flier promoting "business in Birmingham" or something, and didn't notice until they'd printed tens of thousands of them that the picture they were using was of Birmingham, Alabama. The Radio 4 evening news programme, PM, proceeded to interview the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, to see what he thought of the debacle. He and the interviewer, Eddie Mair, hit it off well, and the mayor came across as a clever, self-deprecating, reasonable and down-to-earth person with some bright ideas. Someone called into PM before it finished, expressing the view that I'm sure a lot of the listeners shared: when Birmingham, Alabama has finished with him, can we have him here for our Birmingham?

I read in the free copy of USA Today I got this morning that this same mayor of Birmingham, Alabama has just been indicted on 101 charges of corruption.

I know this doesn't mean he's guilty of any of the charges (that's for the courts to decide), but still, even behaving in such a way as to attract a year-long anti-corruption investigation resulting in 101 charges is not what you really want from local government officers.

This is what happens when you vote entirely based on charisma, I guess.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).