The new proper Big City Plan, for proper people put together by Jon Bounds, Nick Booth, Nicky Getgood, Julia Gilbert and Michael Grimes will with create a true dialogue between, as Pete Ashton has put it, ‘the governing and the governed’. It is set on the perfect platform for those in the know but how do we get the local public at large to look at the piece, and thats the real irony; that most of the people affected by the plan are the same people that would probably have little knowledge, access or inclination towards the project. But do we need them?
Can a hardcore group of people, set with a goal and the tools to apply themselves, truly make a difference on a large scale in a short space of time? The old cliche and pessimistic view that only the people in power can make the difference, I think, is a massive untruth.
Any large cultural and mind changing events or eras have been created, implemented and spearheaded by a small, strong, talented and, most importantly, fiercely determined collection of ‘little’ people all focusing their attention on one goal, a huge ‘stiletto’ effect.
Look at the Bolshevics and The Beatles. The two groups that had the most dramatic effect on politics and culture in the most important and advanced century of humankind. Both of them were short on numbers, money,and power but both had one clear goal that they achieved in an incredibly short space of time. The knock on and immediate effects of their efforts can be quantified on a biblical scale.
So can this apply to Birmingham’s Big City Plan? I’m obviously not suggesting that Nick Booth is the new John Lennon and nor am I comparing Jon Bounds to Lenin, but they might just reiterate my point that you don’t need power and numbers to make a huge difference to a community, whatever the size.
We have only three weeks to get all our thoughts out there, so if you read this please visit the Big City Plan website and get your head in it, and change Birmingham for the better.