Tuesday, 16 June 2009


An international weekend just been with Celebrating Sanctuary, visitors and bands from around the world including the Congo and Zimbabwe.

Also the German Meetup which is going strong now, a chance to talk German with other interested parties, not least a good number of native speakers who find themselves in Birmingham or nearby, by accident or design.

So while the pictures are copying onto the computer, for later deletion no doubt, here's some thoughts ..

A place is what it is through the people that stay with it and come to it, without migrants, immigrants it stagnates, lacks the impetus and fresh outlooks that others bring: without a certain mass of 'locals' it can be transitory, lack roots. At best, there's an openness and tolerance (despite extremists) about Britain that can absorb and grow from influxes: at worst, a suspicion of anything from outside.

Birmingham is remarkably peaceful in diversity, but the real problems need addressing. I love being in the city centre at the weekend, or at Cannon Hill Park, because so many different communities are there, but different peoples tend to dwell separately. Common ground is a step forward.

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