So why did the free ticket to the opening England game of the World Cup come to Mike Whitby? He's merely the political leader of the council. The representative of the City of Birmingham should surely be the Lord Mayor. You would think that somebody managing the despatch of the tickets would drop a quick email to Birmingham City Council to see to whom the ticket should be addressed and then somebody could check the diaries to ensure that a representative goes along. I'm not saying that Whitby should miss a family wedding, but somebody should have gone as a courtesy - there would be a long queue to get that golden ticket, I don't doubt. Even without that check, once the ticket arrived, couldn't somebody have sorted it?
So, did the ticket really arrive 'out of the blue' or has Whitby cocked up yet again and managed to offend one of our European partner cities, while managing to put a positive spin on it?