Another Post blogger!

Well, Mr Scotney may have evaporated from the blogosphere (I am assured it’s temporary, with a new blog due in the new year), but now Post journalist Rhona Ganguly has stepped up to the plate and launched her own independent blog.

Community Affairs in the Second City deals with the issue of social cohesion in Birmingham – a subject I know Rhona feels very passionate about.

One of her first posts is a thoughtful response to an appalling story that appeared on the front page of the Daily Express some weeks back.

The headline was: Migrants take ALL new jobs in Britain. (NB. The story has been removed from the Express website. The link above takes you to a site which also provides a bizarre photo library of international passports!!!)

Not only does the article make ridiculous and inaccurate statistical assumptions, but it is also inflammatory and, above all, an insult to journalism.

Grrr. I find it hard to write about such things as it just makes my blood boil. Luckily Rhona is far more clear sighted.

Thanks Jon

Birmingham’s immigrant communities

On Tuesday a new five-part series started on Radio 4 looking at different immigrant communities in Birmingham and at the centres in which they gather.

Centre of our World is, of course, presented by uberBrummie Carl Chinn. The first episode focuses on Digbeth’s Irish Centre. It’s a place that, when I worked in the Custard Factory, I passed every weekday without a thought.

It’s wonderful to hear the history and the personal stories of those that use it:

“It wasn’t easy getting a job. I walked from Balsall Heath almost to the Dunlop before I found a job. I tried at every factory the whole way out. I walked out, all the way out there, through Aston onto the Tyburn Road and I got a job in this little factory and then I got into the Dunlop where I worked for five years making bus tyres.”

It’s only 16 minutes, but also covers the effect on the community of the Birmingham pub bombings and the current decline of the West Midland Irish population. If you missed it you can listen again.

This Tuesday will be the Polish community centre.