Iron Angle picks up on something that Labour missed when it tried to hang abuse of council property on Whitless. Certainly, he used it to pop to the supermarket up the road from his house and he seems to have been a regular traveller between the Council House and Skeldings, the company he apparently runs. However, the real fun starts when you look at how this new, green Tory uses his council Jaguar - complete with chauffeur - to drive around the city.
Clearly, Mickey can't be expected to walk amongst the plebs. That would be too much for him to bear. It might even be too much for us to bear.
So, he has used the Jag for trips to the BullRing, Alpha Tower, the Radisson, the Hyatt, Snow Hill, Bank and Opus restaurants and to New Street station. The picture below shows you a few of these destinations. To give you an idea of the scale, the picture shows an area about 2500m across. The BullRing and New Street are just off the edge to the bottom right, the Radisson is a little way below the 'T' of Tower, the Hyatt is to the left of Alpha Tower and the Bank Restaurant is a bit further away to the left.
If Whitless comes back and says that the car is quicker, my experience is that walking to all of these destinations from the Council House is going to be shorter and quicker than driving. For example, the walking distance from the Council House to Alpha Tower - cutting through Paradise Circus, is a quarter of the driving distance, which has to take into account the one-way system. He could walk to New Street or Snow Hill stations and do half the distance it would take a car and that isn't taking into account the inevitable delays caused by traffic jams. Bear in mind that for some of those journeys, the driver would have been sent away after dropping his master off and would then have to make a return trip, so potentially doubling the total driving distance. As the Tories' own policy group on transport puts it
growth in motorised transport is associated with a number of environmental and social problems, ranging from climate change and the loss of greenbelt land to health problems such as asthma and obesity
Or as Mike himself responded to the original accusations
my administration is delivering... a cleaner, greener and safer CitySo come on Mike, take a stroll through the city you claim to represent. Take a lead in cutting emissions from your car, even if you can't reduce the hot air emitted from your mouth. Or from wherever else you speak. By the way, the picture here suggests that you could do with the exercise (I'm perfectly well aware that I'm chucking stones from the security of my own greenhouse on this issue). I'm not sure whether it shows a Teletubbie reunion or a poor-quality swingers' convention, but fortunately, BrummieTory enlightens us that it was a post-election party.
On another tack entirely Paul Dale also takes a pop at one of my blogging colleagues, BrummieTory, the attack puppy of the local Tories (think of him as a boisterous Labrador puppy). While Gary comes across as occasionally naive and sometimes downright silly, I will defend him (just as I defended John Hemming the last time his blog was attacked) on the basis that it is a good thing that young people are interested and involved in politics - even if they are wrong-headed about their ideals. Aside from his politics, my biggest criticism of young Sambrook is that he could do with taking some more care over his spelling and grammar - and another observer notes that he has pinched some of the format of this blog.
Paul picked up on the guests at the mayor-making banquet nicking the flowers from the table and had the temerity to write about it, something that Brummie Tory thought was a waste of newsprint. I get the feeling that if it had been about Labour members wandering off with flowers, then BT would have been fulminating about the theft of public property (no doubt aided and abetted by the coterie of tame Tory bloggers who all join in these attacks in the hope of creating a little maelstrom of bad publicity for Labour). Thing is, the Tories always prefer to attack the messenger rather than deal with the issues raised by the message itself. Was it a big story? Nope - which is why it was a paragraph in a weekly diary column rather than a front page splash.