Capital Punishment for the City That Brought a Smile to the World

By Ellam, Dennis | The Birmingham Post (England), August 21, 1998 | Go to article overview

Capital Punishment for the City That Brought a Smile to the World


Ellam, Dennis, The Birmingham Post (England)


To be Second City is to be second choice, in many influential minds; it means, as the second biggest car hire company used to observe in its advertisements, having to try that much harder.

And there is no question that Birmingham has tried, with bravado and enormous effort, as plainly evidenced by its spectacular successes during the first six months of this year.

It achieved things which the First City could never have hoped to do.

The trio of prestige events which were brought to Birmingham - the G8 summit meeting of world leaders, the Eurovision Song Contest and the world's biggest assembly of delegates, the International Lions Convention - could never have gone to London.

Suitable venues, with the space and flexibility required, would not have been available. Travel connections would have been tortuous and slow. Moving presidents between their meetings and their accommodation would have either required their sitting in tr affic jams, or creating new ones while they passed by.

Consequently, there was little choice but to put the Second City first on these occasions and, given the opportunity, Birmingham excelled.

But now we are in the period of post-euphoria.

The statesmen and the delegates and the showbiz glitterati have moved on. While they were in town, they ensured that Birmingham benefited both commercially and by having its transformed image relayed to a worldwide audience, but they have left behind a v acuum.

The Second City, in effect, must determine how it will build on such a concentration of success which came in so short a time.

It can expect no sympathetic co-operation from London and the metropolitans. The old rivalries between Second City and First are likely to re-emerge, this time perhaps with a renewed degree of animosity.

Those who might insist that Birmingham's international standing as a centre of excellence must surely have been established beyond any doubt should bear in mind the most recent evidence - that metropolitan bias still exists and that it inevitably entails prejudice against cities beyond the capital.

Only last week it was revealed that a treasure of Pre-Raphaelite art which is to be passed to the nation will be housed in London's Tate Gallery, and never mind that the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelites, by far, is in Birmingham.

In fact, the Second City was never even informed that the painting was becoming available, far less consulted about where it ought to be placed.

The presumption, as it must have been among the lawyers who proposed the deal, the civil servants who negotiated it and the Culture Secretary Mr Chris Smith who eventually approved it, was that such a national asset must automatically be sited in London.

It is a sign that no matter how Birmingham proved itself when put to the test - and the Prime Minister himsel of course, led the chorus of praise for its accomplishments - the underlying ethic remains that primary consideration must be awarded to the cap ital.

No doubt it will be explained away, as the Tate offering the best possible surroundings for an important acquisition, but the fact is that the purloined Pre-Raphaelite is merely the latest example of the southward drift.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Capital Punishment for the City That Brought a Smile to the World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.