Following the news that Happy Mondays’ Bez will run for parliament in the 2015 General Election, Paradise Circus has discovered plans by a group of Birmingham musicians to run for office next year under the banner of The Peoples Republic of Birmingham Party.
If all musicians are successful and gain seats, Birmingham will immediately make moves to declare itself independent of the United Kingdom: Ron Saunders will be on the £10 note, Jasper Carrott on the fiver, and border controls will be put in place at Junctions 5 and 7 of the M6.
Here is how the cabinet of the brave new dawn is shaping up…
Prime Minister – Jeff Lynne (ELO, The Move)
A respected elder statesman and Brummie self-deprecation personified, he is also a multi-millionaire and so fits in with the current trend in UK politics of choosing leaders who have only a conceptual grasp of the plight of the working man. Not only that, he is the author of what would be the new Birmingham Republic’s national anthem, Mr Blue Sky.
Deputy Prime Minister – Roy Wood (The Move, Wizzard)
Narrowly beaten in the leadership battle, Roy’s policies are closely aligned with those of his old friend, Jeff Lynne, but with fewer cellos.
First Secretary of State – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Brian Travers (UB40)
No matter where you go in the world you hear the music of Bob Marley, The Beatles and…UB40. They may be deeply unfashionable here at home, but Balsall Heath’s finest shift records and concert tickets by the lorry load in all sorts of exotic overseas places. And even Kim Jong Un himself would be charmed by the band’s garrulous saxophonist, Brian Travers, who, as the only Villa fan in a band otherwise full of Blues supporters, also has living experience of a degree of success in Europe.
Secretary of State for Health – Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath)
A system that has been misused and maltreated for several decades but one that is somehow, despite all the odds, still walking and breathing and which has now become situated firmly in the public consciousness as a doddery old National Treasure…..will fall under the remit of Ozzy Osbourne.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Laura Mvula
A Birmingham conservatoire-trained musician who now makes successful pop records, Kings Heath’s Laura Mvula would be certain to oversee a balanced Arts policy. She also stops this cabinet from being full of old, white men.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – Mike Skinner (The Streets)
Youngish white man Mike Skinner ticks all the boxes for this position, with a good head for business and finance (A Grand Don’t Come For Free) and a refreshing approach to innovation (Original Pirate Material). Also, if the economy of the Republic falls into recession, Mike has already written Dry Your Eyes, which may be of some comfort to those losing their jobs.
Secretary of State for Transport – Kevin Rowland (Dexys Midnight Runners)
In their early 80s pomp Dexys Midnight Runners travelled the country on public transport with a cavalier attitude towards payment, even making their way to the Top of the Pops studio via train using only 10p platform tickets. Band leader Kevin Rowland would therefore be ideally placed to make the numbers around the HS2 project add up.
Secretary of State for Education – Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)
Other than bringing a rudimentary grasp of geography (Rio, Planet Earth) and a modicum of classroom discipline (Wild Boys), the Duran Duran singer is otherwise deeply unqualified for the job of Education Secretary. He is also the archetypal selfish Tory. All of which means that Le Bon’s appointment would make the transition from current incumbent, Michael Gove, a fairly painless process, and it seems thunderously unlikely he could do a worse job.
(NB: Noddy Holder also applied for this position but as e cud not spell 2 well he was deemed an inappropriate choice)
Secretary of State for Justice – Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
Adopting a strict ‘Do As I Say, Not Do As I Do’ policy, the Breaking The Law hit maker will delight those in the new Birmingham republic who are Screaming For Vengeance and want to see some good, old-fashioned British Steel at the heart of the judicial system.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Joan Armatrading
Following several years of nasty Tory meddling in the welfare system, Joan would bring some much needed ‘Love and Affection’ to the governance of the Republic. To show she means business, her first act in power will be to scrap the controversial ‘Bedroom Tax’ currently being tested in various areas of the country (She plans to ‘Drop The Pilot’).