Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Off to Sunny Birmingham

It seems as if we'll be off to Birmingham for the 2008 Conservative Conference. After last year's fiasco in Bournemouth no one should be surprised. And we all know about the legendary efficiency of the West Midlands Police, so nothing can go wrong can it? Mike Flowers has more HERE. This is from tonight's Birmingham Mail...

BIRMINGHAM has hit a £25 million jackpot by being chosen to host the annual Tory conference in 2008. Conservative Party leaders are expected to make the formal announcement in the next few days. The conference costs are to be underwritten by a £2 million subsidy from the city's council tax payers in what has turned out to be the winning part of the bid. The subsidy will underwrite the hire
of one of the city's major conference facilities - either the International
Convention Centre, National Indoor Arena or National Exhibition Centre.
It will also help to fund transport for hundreds of delegates staying at the city's
hotels. City leaders believe this £2 million is a sound investment, as their
economic experts have forecast that the Tory conference will generate a £25
million-plus boost to the Birmingham economy. As well as helping hotels,
restaurants and night clubs, daily TV coverage will establish the city's name as
a major venue for high profile national conferences as well as showing off its
facilities and attractions. A private tip-off that lobbyists had succeeded
in luring next year's conference to Birmingham led to the setting up of the
multi-million pound war chest earlier this month. The city's Cabinet gave
the money to Marketing Birmingham, the local quango that has headed the city's
negotiations with the Tories. Their chief, Neil Rami, has been running an
all-out campaign to woo high profile conferences, major cultural events and big
name televised sports. Council leaders, delighted at the Tory conference
booking, are hoping that it will help Birmingham win government and other
political gatherings. But other parties are booked years ahead and can't be
wooed from the seaside until 2011 at the earliest. No-one at Birmingham
City Council or Marketing Birmingham would confirm the deal. But a Tory insider
today said: "It's becoming our worst kept secret that we're coming to Birmingham
in 2008."

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not Manchester then ?...

Anonymous said...

Thought the Tories always went to the Brighton seaside at Conference time?

Anonymous said...

Surely Blackpool will need the trade now ?!....

Anonymous said...

They went looking for a major English city where the Tories haven't been wiped out electorally and came up with Birmingham and... er... Birmingham.

Golightly said...

Nice place Birmingham are you sure the London mp's know where it is ,I understand you Londoners think the M25 loop is the end of the known world

Praguetory said...

Hello anonymous.

It has been reported that we'll also be in Brum when we're back in power in 2010.

Andrew said...

Sky News now: Levy arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice :-)

Anonymous said...

Great
so the party of free enterprise needs a £2 million bung to pitch up in the shithole that is Birmingham and waffle for a week.

Swordsman said...

I am disgusted that the Tories are accepting a two million quid bung from Birmingham. Can't the party of free enterprise give hard-working Brummies a break?

Or is it a "Green Tax" and therefore all fine and dandy?

Swordsman said...

Great minds think alike...

Anonymous said...

ty addrew

michael murphy said...

Time was when politicians would 'junket' on the rates of their own constituency. Now Birmingham is to pay for the blather.

John Moss said...

I understand the "bung" gets bigger the closer to power you are. Labour were reputed to be asking £5m from Brighton, Bournemouth and Blackpool in 2000, I doubt they can ask for diddly squat now.

Anonymous said...

Mr swordsman that was uncanny and spooky ! (+:

Philipa said...

I know this may expose naivete on my part but I just think the tax payers funding a conference is wrong. They should be attracted to a place because the place can provide what it needs. It seems all parties need cash handouts more than anything else and this cash carrot business just leads to corruption. It shouldn't happen and transparency shouldn't mean being honest about corruption.

Praguetory said...

I understand that all three political leaders - Whitby (Tory), Bore (Labour) and Tilsley (Libs) worked towards this deal. An excellent one for Birmingham.

Anonymous said...

And Jasper Carrot as the main conference speaker to inject a little policy.
Great idea.

Margaret on the Guillotine said...

Huh! Just as I move from the Midlands to the big smoke, the Party moves from the south coast to Brum!

But an excellent move. Hope it's a good one and that we keep coming back.

Rush-is-Right said...

Peter Hitchens, you can fuck right off.

There's nothing wrong with Birmingham. Home to Tony Hancock, Brian Walden, James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Enoch Powell, Joseph Priestley, the CBSO and the REAL Claret & Blue. Yes, I know it was home to the ghastly Roy Hattersley for a bit but you can't have everything.

Anonymous said...

The conference might gross £25 million for the 'local economy'(probably far-fetched), but even then I doubt if any profit would exceed £2M.

What sort economics is this demonstrating?

Anonymous said...

Mr Rush
I Have stayed at the Hyatt regency Birmingham a few times , great views at night , then in the morning you pull the curtains back and stand there bollock naked hung over looking out over some canals and shit office blocks all through ten foot high floor to ceiling windows(thank fuck the glass is tinted)
The M6 is the best part of Birmingham, it takes you out of the place.

chadlands said...

Rush is right, Casinos at Solihull or Wolverhampton too, plus grammar schools, and some of the finest early 20th century architecture around. (Later in the century I pass over in silence).

Anonymous said...

Speaking of conferences, is 'Rebel With A Cause' still to be shown on 17th February on Channel 4 or have nulab managed to have it shelved?

The 30 minute film examines the undemocratic, bully boy treatment meted out to 83 year old Labour Party member, Walter Wolfgang, at the last nulab conference.

Anonymous said...

State funding for State parties and State funding for party conferences.
What a fucking State we're in......

Anonymous said...

I always thought the two worst Conference venues I've been to were Eastbourne (where NWYC's booked us all in a tee-total methodist hotel and Dundee. Nice to see some competition.
There's a book called "Crap Towns". Is Cameron using this as Biedeker for possiblew conference locations?

Matt Davis said...

Excellent news! As those who have seen me banging on about this on Conservativehome may recall I strongly believe that it is time that conference moved to the big cities that we need to capture in order to win a General Election. I'm very pleased.

Anonymous said...

Iain - earlier in the year you reported a change in conference organising company for the party. Is it a coincidence that a new company come on board - a 2 million subsidy is offered to take conference to Birmingham!! And sure enough we are off to Birmingham? Coincidence or what?