Birmingham has long had a special place in my heart. I fell deeply in love there and visited dozens of times for work enjoying the pubs and the people.
Then, for nearly two decades, I went regularly to see a close family friend.
So it was with much anticipation I sat down to watch the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games — only to collapse in despair as this hand-wringing, baffling event unfolded. I lost count after 15 of the number of times I heard the word ‘diversity’, and gave up the will to live when I had ‘inclusivity’ preached at me more than 30 times.
Expecting a celebration of all great things Brum — the sense of humour, talent for self-deprecation, their stoicism, work ethic, capacity for fun, rich heritage and vibrant multi-cultural population — I got instead a woke BBC whinge-fest.
Are we really supposed to celebrate the fact that more women will get medals at these Games than men. How is that inclusive?
And much as we admire her, what does the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who has settled in Birmingham, have to do with sport? ‘Every child deserves the chance to pursue her wildest dreams,’ she said. Sorry lads, you’re excluded from that, too!
And it was great when that magnificent giant, 35ft raging mechanical bull entered the arena. Yet, incomprehensibly, he was being dragged by 50 women in chains supposedly representing the oppression of women during the Industrial Revolution
Yes there were magical moments: the spectacular fireworks, the Red Arrows, diver Tom Daley waving a LGBTQ+ flag highlighting that 35 of the 56 member states competing still criminalise gay relationships.
And it was great when that magnificent giant, 35ft raging mechanical bull entered the arena. Yet, incomprehensibly, he was being dragged by 50 women in chains supposedly representing the oppression of women during the Industrial Revolution.
The bull was an icon for the famous Bull Ring shopping centre. What’s that got to do with female emancipation?
Famous Midlanders — Shakespeare, Dr Johnson, Elgar — were portrayed as hideous puppets. They’re among the greatest geniuses the world has ever produced yet drag queen Ginny Lemon, screeching from a hot air balloon, was given higher billing.
Did we really need lectures on diversity when before us were 6,000 of the finest female, male and paralympic athletes in the world from all over the globe? They deserved so much better.
As well as We Are The Champions, couldn’t we have had Elgar’s Land Of Hope And Glory — or is that not inclusive enough these days?
Having fainted during TalkTV’s leadership debate, it’s good to hear presenter Kate McCann has recovered. Yet the mystery remains: did she really faint — or, like the rest of us watching it at home, collapse from sheer boredom?
So how can it be just that the final report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 97 young footy fans died will not report until next year, more than three decades later? It seems the more serious the investigation into alleged criminality of police, the further it is kicked into the long grass.
A flaming nuisance
Only wacky bo-ho fashion designer Alice Temperley would think it fun not only to light a bonfire in her countryside pile to celebrate her 47th birthday bash during one of our hottest summers, but then post pictures with friends laughing as they try to put out the blaze with a hose pipe.
She ended up calling out a fire crew desperately needed elsewhere. Alice won’t be laughing when orders from her eco-conscious clients such as Keira Knightley and Kate Middleton go up in smoke.
The funeral of Dec Donnelly’s older brother Dermott was held at the same church where Dec married Ali Astall, just as my own big brother Michael’s funeral was held at the church where he wed his sweetheart Hellene on a joyous day. Despite dwindling congregations, church is still the place that houses the happiest and saddest moments of our lives.
While casting no judgment on who was most horrible in the Wagatha Christie trial, it’s bewildering Coleen Rooney is still wearing that medical boot. Does she keep damaging her ankle stomping on her errant husband Wayne’s thick head, or is she simply trying to attract the sympathy vote?
So that’s why Ben’s feeling so J-Low
Now we know why Ben Affleck looks so miserable after his marriage to Jennifer Lopez. On honeymoon in Paris she looked like any other middle-aged mum, a bit hot and sweaty; yet on billboards promoting her new bottom-enhancing cream she appeared a flawless goddess. As Marilyn Monroe said about men bedding a sex symbol: ‘They go to bed with Marilyn and they wake up with Norma Jean.’
Now we know why Ben Affleck looks so miserable after his marriage to Jennifer Lopez
Is calling our football team the Lionesses sexist? Not in my book — in the wild, the lioness is less showy than the male, cares for the cubs, does all the killing then waits while he who has sat on his a**e all day eats first, then mates with other females. What IS sexist is that our Lionesses get an average salary of £30,000 while men get millions. But now we’re roaring them on, it’s about to change.
Talking to a former lover of mine on the phone and reminiscing about the last time we danced to Dire Straits’ Romeo And Juliet, up piped Amazon’s Alexa: ‘Amanda, I’ll replay Romeo And Juliet, Dire Straits, live in Basel 1992.’ Before the phone call I’d told her to ‘shut up’ but despite being silenced, she was listening in to my phone calls. How creepy is that? And crikey, the mind boggles over what else she’s heard.
Farewell Chris, a real gent
Sad news that our former ambassador to the U.S. Christopher Meyer, 78, has died from a massive stroke in the French Alps watching TV beside his inseparable wife Catherine. Not only was he among the cleverest and most gracious of men, his marriage was one of the most tender I’ve seen in politics.
A new study concludes air pollution causes dementia, others blame smoking and drinking, while another says gardening and housework cuts the risk. What tosh. My mum lived in pollution-free suburban Perth, didn’t smoke, was teetotal, never had a cleaner, kept house for a messy family of five and loved doing all the gardening — yet was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her early 80s.
Amid accusations of misogyny and bullying on Love Island, with more than 5,000 complaints from viewers, the show’s boss Kevin Lygo says ITV will ‘sit down and review’ it after this series to see how they can improve. Given their stars Ekin-Su and Davide have attracted a record 5 million viewers, I’m guessing they’ll be doing everything they can to find a bunch of even more desperate, vacuous twerps who are meaner and better at bed-hopping than this lot.
Looks good, sounds dire
Her detractors gossiped that Carla Bruni was a gold-digger who set her sights on Nicolas Sarkozy and the glitter of the Elysee Palace to further her flagging singing career. Yet pictures of them kissing on holiday prove theirs is an enduring love song. And unlike most older models who claim their slender form is down to good genes, it’s honest of her to admit that to keep her figure sensational at 54 requires two hours of exercise every day. The one consolation for us mere mortals is she still can’t sing.
Her detractors gossiped that Carla Bruni was a gold-digger who set her sights on Nicolas Sarkozy and the glitter of the Elysee Palace to further her flagging singing career
Yet pictures of them kissing on holiday prove theirs is an enduring love song. And unlike most older models who claim their slender form is down to good genes, it’s honest of her to admit that to keep her figure sensational at 54 requires two hours of exercise every day
- Enough about Rishi’s £3,500 Savile Row suits. At just 5ft 6in and with the body of an underfed teenager, the Chancellor can hardly shop off the peg in John Lewis men’s department, now can he?
- The guest list for Boris and Carrie’s lavish post-wedding party today at billionaire Tory donor Lord Bamford’s country pile is not expected to include his ex-wife Marina nor all their four grown-up children. Is that because so many believe had he remained married to the sensible, tough-talking Marina, he’d still be PM?
- Keir Starmer’s bid for a national day off to celebrate if the Lionesses win tomorrow has been quashed and rightly so. With his union paymasters already announcing ten days of strikes in August and more to come, they’re already getting half next month off.
Birmingham and the West Midlands region has benefited from £778 million worth of investment to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The public funding has helped to drive regeneration across the region, including upgrading and building new sport venues. built which will then open to the public in 2023.Why should people support the Commonwealth Games? ›
"Commonwealth member countries have acknowledged the important contribution that sports and physical activity can make to improving wellbeing and healthy lifestyles, socio-economic development, and helping to build just and peaceful societies.How many people are expected at the Commonwealth Games 2022? ›
In July and August 2022, Birmingham hosted the 22nd Commonwealth Games, the largest multi-sport event to be held in England in 10 years, featuring thousands of world-class athletes and over 1.5 million spectators. Home to more than 180 nationalities, Birmingham 2022 has been a home Games for every nation.What are the social benefits of the Commonwealth Games? ›
The Commonwealth Games has generated between 13,600 and 23,000 full time equivalent (FTE) years of employment before, during and after the competition. In addition, there has been a successful volunteering legacy with the report revealing that hosting the Games has improved community cohesion.Has the Birmingham Commonwealth Games been a success? ›
The event has been heralded as a roaring success for the Midlands city, with more than 1.5m tickets sold – making it on track to be one of the most successful Commonwealth Games in history.Will Birmingham make money from the Commonwealth Games? ›
We estimate that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will lead to an increase in output of £346-£518 million, an increase in GVA by £167-£251million and create between 4,678 and 7,002 jobs (FTE). The jobs created by the Games, a temporally fixed one-time investment, may not endure after the game's end.What is the impact of the Commonwealth Games? ›
The Commonwealth Games Value Framework report studied the economic impact of previous games on their respective host cities between 2002 and 2018, finding that there has been an economic increase of at least £1 billion for each previous host city, as well as an abundance of long-term social and environmental benefits.What are the values of the Commonwealth Games? ›
The three core values of the Commonwealth Games Federation are humanity, destiny, and equality.Why did Birmingham host the Commonwealth Games? ›
Birmingham was awarded the games in 2017 after the Commonwealth Games Federation stripped Durban of the right to host the event for failing to meet promises made in its bid. The total cost of the event is expected to be around £778m, with the city council and local partners contributing around £184m.How many people will visit Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games? ›
A record 1.5 million spectators bought tickets for the event, making it the most popular Commonwealth Games ever to be hosted in the UK. More than 5 million people came to Birmingham city centre during the two-week period of the Games - a 200% increase on the same period in 2021.
So far, the World Games has sold more than 350,000 tickets for the 11-day event. Organizers said people from over 40 different countries have bought tickets, and that number is expected to grow, with over 100 countries being represented in the games.How many people go to Birmingham Commonwealth Games? ›
More than five million people came to the city centre during the two-week beginning 25 July, with 4.62m visiting during the actual Games period of 28 July – 08 August, according to figures from Central Business Improvement District (BID).How much do athletes get paid for Commonwealth Games? ›
India won 22 gold medals, now earning those champions 2 million rupees (£20,800/$25,000/€24,700) each, while silver medallists took 1 million rupees (£10,400/$12,500/€12,400). Those who claimed bronze received 750,000 rupees (£7,800/$9,400/€9,300).Which countries have been excluded from the Commonwealth? ›
Four countries have been suspended from the Commonwealth since the inception of the device in 1995: Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Fiji and Pakistan have each been suspended twice, and Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth.Is Birmingham UK a good place to live? ›
Birmingham is certainly one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. With a lively economy, some very affordable living and a friendly atmosphere, the city's popularity comes as no surprise! And with an expanding economy, now could be the perfect time to move to Birmingham.How many people are watching the Commonwealth Games? ›
28.6m viewers watched Commonwealth Games coverage via BBC's TV channels. Coverage of the Birmingham 2022 generated a record 57.1 million streams on the BBC digital platforms, setting a new record for the Commonwealth Games.Are the Commonwealth Games big? ›
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022 and will be the biggest sporting and cultural event ever held in the city featuring thousands of world-class athletes and over a million spectators.Do athletes get paid for taking part in the Commonwealth Games? ›
But fortunately, our athletes do actually get paid. A spokesman for Commonwealth Games Australia told The Courier Mail that they “provide significant investment into its member sports and individuals through those sports.” They also said, “Investment targeting bests performance.”Do English Commonwealth athletes get paid? ›
Athletes do not recieve any prize money for winning medals at the Commonwealth Games. However winning medals can increase the profiles of athletes and increase chances of sponsorship deals and earning potential. Although some countries may give out prize money to their own athletes who achieve success at the games.How much does the Commonwealth cost the UK? ›
The combined GDP of the 56 members is more than $13tn (£10.8tn). That's more than twice the size of Japan ($5tn, £3.75tn), but some way behind the US on $23tn (£17.2tn). Trade with the Commonwealth accounted for 8.7% of the UK's total trade in 2020 - around the same as the UK's total trade with Germany.
In January, it was reported by the BBC that the local authority was expected to provide £184.2 million for the event, £75 million of which was due to come from what were referred to as 'partners'.How much does it cost to host Commonwealth Games? ›
In 2019, the Commonwealth Games Federation – the organisation that oversees the competition – revealed that the Birmingham 2022 games would receive an estimated £778 million in public funding.Who should be hosting Commonwealth Games? ›
Commonwealth Games Host City List.
The Commonwealth Charter
Central to the charter are the beliefs in democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
A central part of the CGF's Gender Equality Strategy, the Women's Coaching Internship Programme will help build women's coaching capacity across the Commonwealth, and in turn stand to benefit athletes from all Commonwealth countries and territories.What is the purpose of the Commonwealth? ›
The Commonwealth is an association of 56 countries working towards shared goals. The Commonwealth is an association of 56 countries working towards shared goals of prosperity, democracy and peace.Why did Birmingham get the Commonwealth Games instead of Durban? ›
Durban was awarded the Games in 2015 and was set to be the first African host in history before the CGF reversed its decision two years later, due to a series of financial problems. Birmingham was named as the replacement host in December 2017, and the CGF has since released its new vision for the Games.What is Birmingham famous for? ›
Birmingham is said to be the home of heavy metal with the likes of Black Sabbath (led by Ozzy Osbourne), Judas Priest and lead singer of Led Zeppelin originating from the city. The Streets, UB40, Wizzard, Laura Mvula and Duran Duran also originate from Birmingham. We host over 50 festivals across the city each year.Who did Birmingham replace in Commonwealth Games? ›
Birmingham took over hosting the event after Durban, which had been named for the role, stepped down in 2017 due to financial constraints. Former world number one 400m sprinter Katharine Merry, who covered the event, said she felt the city had changed how people see the Commonwealth Games.Has Birmingham 2022 been a success? ›
John Crabtree, Chair of Birmingham 2022, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been an incredibly successful event, from the packed venues to the bustling city squares, from the warm welcome to the outpouring of pride and joy across the city and region.
People have more leisure time. Many countries have invested money in facilities and infrastructure that make it easier for tourists, such as roads, airports and hotels. Ageing populations - people are able to travel in the free time that they have when they retire.How many tickets sold at Commonwealth Games 22? ›
Birmingham 2022 has confirmed that a record number of people have bought tickets to watch the competition at Edgbaston Stadium. It has revealed that more than 150,000 have been sold, beating the previous record of 136,549 which was set at the 2020 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women's T20 World Cup in Australia.How much did Birmingham make off The World Games? ›
The World Games 2022, held in Birmingham last month, cost $65.1 million to produce—$10 million less than initially projected. However, the 11-day event fell short of its revenue goals, generating about $51 million through sponsorships and ticket sales, leaving a $14.1 million shortfall, according to CEO Nick Sellers.How much money did Birmingham spend on World Games? ›
I couldn't be more proud of our team at The World Games 2022 Birmingham Organizing Committee. We delivered an amazing event for $65 million, $10 million under the original budget of $75 million. This event is a major platform for the Summer Olympic Games. And we delivered an Olympic caliber program.How much money did The World Games bring to Birmingham? ›
The city of Birmingham spent at least $5.7 million. The Birmingham City Council also gave Mayor Randall Woodfin emergency spending power through the duration of the Games, meaning that number could soar higher.Does Birmingham have a flag? ›
Flag of Birmingham.
|Adopted||23 July 2015|
|Design||Golden vertical zig-zag offset to hoist dividing blue and red, with a bull's head in the centre.|
Commonwealth member countries benefit from being part of a mutually supportive community of independent and sovereign states, aided by more than 80 Commonwealth organisations. The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965, supports Commonwealth member countries to achieve development, democracy and peace.Does UK give Commonwealth countries money? ›
The value of UK exports to the Commonwealth increased by 7.1% in cash terms between 2020 and 2021, while the value of imports increased by 20.8%. The Commonwealth accounted for 9.4% of the UK's total trade – 9.8% of UK exports and 9.1% of UK imports.Why is China not in the Commonwealth? ›
Q: Why China is not part of the Commonwealth Games? A: As China was never a part of the British Colonisation thus it is not a Commonwealth of Nations.Is Commonwealth medal real gold? ›
The gold and silver medals are both made of silver. The gold medals are then coated with gold. Each Olympic gold medal is made up of 210g of silver and is coated with 6g of 24 carat gold. The bronze medals are made of copper, zinc, tin, and a very small amount of silver.
The gold medals awarded to the winning athletes are not made of gold. It is only gold plated. However, silver and bronze medals are made entirely of silver and copper. Meanwhile, in the Commonwealth Games 2022, the Indian team has so far won a total of 55 medals including 18 gold, 15 silver and 22 bronze medals.Why is USA not in the Commonwealth Games? ›
The non-participation of the US, unlike their neighbours Canada who are a Commonwealth Games powerhouse, has often attracted a few curious questions. One of the reasons, according to the Birmingham Mail, is war. They were once a British colony but unlike most others, they aren't a part of the Commonwealth Games.Can a country leave the Commonwealth? ›
Nowadays both independent and republic states can maintain membership to the Commonwealth. Ireland and Zimbabwe are the only republic states to have withdrawn from the Commonwealth entirely.Which Commonwealth country has the smallest population? ›
The Pacific nation of Nauru is the smallest Commonwealth member country with a population of about 13,000.Which Commonwealth country has the largest population? ›
Countries. India is the most populous member country, with over 1.4 billion people.What are the benefits of hosting a major sporting event? ›
|Advantages of hosting a major sporting event||Disadvantages of hosting a major sporting event|
|Improved status||High cost of improving transport links|
|Increased tourism||Vulnerability to terrorism|
|Improved infrastructure - roads, rail links, accommodation (housing)||Risk of complaints about the organisation|
Melbourne received an increase in Gross State Product of around $1.6 billion over a 20-year period, with around half of the impact occurring in the year of the Games and employment of around 13,600 full-time or equivalent jobs.Which countries have been excluded from the Commonwealth? ›
Four countries have been suspended from the Commonwealth since the inception of the device in 1995: Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Fiji and Pakistan have each been suspended twice, and Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth.Where did the Queens Baton Relay start? ›
The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently King Charles III. The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner.What are the negative impact of hosting a global event? ›
Travel inconvenience was the most negative impact recorded, followed by price inflation, security and crime concern, risk of disease and pollution and environment concern.
|Promotes new and alternative opportunities||Reduces emotional wellbeing that comes from escaping digital pressures/routines|
|Supports less-wealthy sports to promote themselves||Increases costs to sports and participants|
India won 22 gold medals, now earning those champions 2 million rupees (£20,800/$25,000/€24,700) each, while silver medallists took 1 million rupees (£10,400/$12,500/€12,400). Those who claimed bronze received 750,000 rupees (£7,800/$9,400/€9,300).What are the three core values of the Commonwealth Games? ›
The Commonwealth Games bring nations together in a colourful celebration of sport and human performance. Underpinned by the core values of humanity, equality and destiny, the Games aim to unite the Commonwealth family through a glorious festival of sport and culture.How much did Commonwealth Games cost? ›
In January, it was reported by the BBC that the local authority was expected to provide £184.2 million for the event, £75 million of which was due to come from what were referred to as 'partners'.Does the UK give money to Commonwealth countries? ›
The value of UK exports to the Commonwealth increased by 7.1% in cash terms between 2020 and 2021, while the value of imports increased by 20.8%. The Commonwealth accounted for 9.4% of the UK's total trade – 9.8% of UK exports and 9.1% of UK imports.Can a country leave the Commonwealth? ›
Nowadays both independent and republic states can maintain membership to the Commonwealth. Ireland and Zimbabwe are the only republic states to have withdrawn from the Commonwealth entirely.How does the UK benefit from the Commonwealth? ›
Trade with the Commonwealth accounted for 8.7% of the UK's total trade in 2020 - around the same as the UK's total trade with Germany. UK exports to the Commonwealth that year were worth about £56bn, while imports from the Commonwealth were about £48bn.What is Queen's baton made of? ›
Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to Her Majesty The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360 degree-camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.How many queens batons are there? ›
Birmingham 2022 is staging the 16th official Queen's Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen's Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories. The Relay began on 7 October 2021, with Her Majesty The Queen placing her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.How many baton bearers are there? ›
The Baton spends between two and four days in each country and territory, and more than 7,500 Batonbearers are trusted to carry the Baton during the Relay - a once-in-a-lifetime experience.