If you live in or around Digbeth (Birmingham) you'll probably be well aware of the threat to local venues such as The Spotted Dog and The Rainbow due to noise abatement orders being served. The whole issue is quite involved but whichever way you cut it up the damage this could do to the vibrancy of an on the rise Digbeth is not to be underestimated. So last night (19/06) saw the gathering of the outraged for an update on the whole debacle, an impassioned Kent took the stage and gave a rousing speech to the impressive turnout followed by an equally indignant John Tighe of The Spotted Dog (see below). It was fantastic to see the differing cultural sides of Digbeth (the 'old' and the 'new') uniting to stand their ground over what most right thinking people perceive as unfair bureaurocracy (i was just just a bit miffed Kent didn't take up his his boxing gloves and march us round 'there' to have it out in the streets but hey, what y' gonna do?). Double Kudos to the guy who raised his hand and admitted he worked for the planning department and then described the sorry state as "a joke", tbh though i doubt if he'd have got away with his nadgers intact if he had said anything elsewise such was the mood.
The whole issue is likely to be covered in more detail by the ever vigilant Nicky of Digbeth Is Good infamy and others but the point of this post is just to mention how the affair has slightly skewed my perception of Social Media tools. I think it's fair to say i'm pretty sceptical of such things as Blogging/Twitter and usually just see them as an interesting distraction. However last night to see the show of support that had been built from online 'activism' such as the FaceBook campaign made choke on my smugness a bit. I was just cursing my bad fortune that this type of technology wasn't around when pubs like The Fiddle and Bone were under a similar threat (yes, i know there's a bit more to that story) and i felt the best i could do was write an 'angry' letter to The Evening Mail (which got published btw).
So now the wait starts to see how the whole affair pans out, if the online campaigning and support really can make that difference i might just have to reevaluate my opinions of other gimmicky gadgets such as camera phones!.
KEEP DIGBETH VIBRANT!