The foot in mouth curse strikes again
Alun Thorne writes.....Reporting on the utterances of Mike Whitby can be something of minefield. So eager is he to push his positive messages about Birmingham that his natural ebulliance often gets the better of him and he ends up saying things he shouldn't. Today provided another squeeky bum moment for those tasked with trying to keep him in check.
In Mike's defence, he is not alone is this habit - just last week the council was forced into a swift retreat after claims were made in a cabinet meeting about UK Athletics and its intentions for Birmingham which were at best still under discussion and at worst just plain wrong. Today's small mishap was at a lunch at Hotel du Vin hosted by TheCityUK looking at how financial services in the regions can help drive the economy. Now it should be stated that having come in for some flack in recent weeks from several quarters about giving the council a fair crack of the whip, I announced to the organiser at the beginning of the event that I intended to write a story from the event if all present were in agreement and that should any comments be made that were not to be included then a simple "off the record" before hand would be sufficient for me to scrub from my notebook. All agreed and we proceeded into a lively debate led by the the leader of the council. He then went on to laud (again) an inward investment success of the last few years but added some new facts that I had certainly not heard previously and thought would make quite a tale. However, such was the maginitude of the story that alarm bells were already ringing and by the time I got back to the office there was already a message waiting for me explaining that if I would be so kind, those comments were not for public consumption. As I said, a minefield.