Extracts: Birmingham Post Comment August 12th 2011

. . . [T]he subsequent investigation into the disorder must not ignore the underlying social conditions in Birmingham, where long-term unemployment in many areas is endemic.

Far too many people in this city leave school with little prospect of a well paid job, or any job at all, yet they can see for themselves the great wealth that does exist in Birmingham city centre and they are envious . . .

Much money and brainpower has been directed at promoting Birmingham in the past 20-odd years, with varying results. Certainly, the emergence of the Bullring and Mailbox shopping centres, Brindleyplace and an impressive number of Michelin-starred restaurants give the impression of a successful and wealthy city centre.

But move even two miles from the central core in any direction and a very different picture emerges of communities struggling to come to terms with a Birmingham stripped of its traditional manufacturing industries and not yet possessing the skills to embrace new high-tech employment.

Announcements of job creation, routinely praised to the rafters by the council, all too often turn out to be poorly paid positions in the retail or the service sector.

A confident, wealthy city cannot survive by these jobs alone and will only progress if it can once again become a major manufacturer . . .

The full Post Comment can be read here.