john clancy 2John Clancy was well received by a hard to please city group last week. Feedback from three present ranged from a brief ‘convincing’ to ‘intellectually a cut above any other Birmingham councillor that I’ve come across’. This was followed by a very positive twenty minute account from a hypercritical source with inside experience of the city’s political scene over the years.

His manifesto policies, some of which were outlined in the Chamberlain Files, offer obvious benefits to poorer residents and small and medium businesses – and many applauded his support for the wholesale markets, in an article which began:

“The decision which the City Council is now prepared to make to dismiss from the city centre some of its oldest business inhabitants, by moving the Wholesale Markets out of their current site to somewhere outside the city centre, is a momentous, colossal mistake . . .”


Practical socialism, offering increasing equality of opportunity and security:

“We have to leave big commerce, big retail, big construction and big business to find their own sources of funds. Instead we need to seek out new sources of finance to invest direct, including taking shares, in small, medium-sized and micro-businesses, and remodel the existing Tory LEP to support them.

“We need to become a city of a thousand trades once more – through 100s of new SMEs and sustaining our existing, endangered SMEs.

“We need to step in where the banks have failed. Not just in hubs and zones, not just in corridors and belts but in every ward in the city.”

It is regrettable that many of those who have most to gain from such development are either not on the electoral register or do not turn out to use their vote in their own interests.

Jeremy Paxman summed up this paradox: “those who are most dependent on the state seem to have the least engagement with it”.

john clancy 3Clancy – ‘the arrows’ – might connect! If this section of the public became aware of his manifesto proposals many might well recover faith in the democratic process and develop hope for the future.