The best way to truly understand and appreciate a place is to speak to the young people that grew up there. Moseley was recently voted the best place in the country to live. Although this positive recognition for the area, there is a worry that with this new found popularity, Moseley may lose its flare. In recent years, gentrification of the inner city village has led many chain restaurants and cafes such as Prezzo, Pizza Express and Costa to stake their claim on the high street. For most people this would be seen as a positive thing, more business, more people, more money. However, there is a fear that this commercialisation will have damaging effects on the home of Birmingham’s independent businesses.
Dan Turner, 22 from Moseley, Birmingham, gives his opinion on modern day Birmingham life.
How would you describe Moseley to those not from there? I’d describe Moseley as a great place to grow up in, there’s a great community feel to the area, with lots going on and a good amount of quirky independent business, mirrored in the diverse range of characters making up the community. Some people might describe it as ‘Bohemian’, though I’d probably say that’s going a bit too far. It’s been weird to leave, as life has of course moved on since I’ve left and it feels like it’s maybe losing some of the eccentric attitude it once had in favour of a more commercialised and middle class environment. However, I’ll always love Moseley and at the end of the day it’s the best place in Brum.
Do you have or are currently completing a degree? If so what in? Currently in my fourth year of studying medicine at Uni of Leeds.
Do you work in Birmingham? If yes, did you want to stay in Birmingham for work and how do you like working here? Before going to uni, and during my summer breaks I’ve worked at various businesses around Moseley (Lewis’s Deli, The Prince of Wales, The Dark Horse). In the future I can definitely see myself moving back to work in Birmingham as I think it’s a great city that in many ways is on the up.
Birmingham being a majority Labour constituency, what do you think of the recent changes in government? I feel very exasperated by the state of UK politics at the moment, and I get the impression that vast majority of the populate feel the same way – evidenced by the rise of far right populist groups such as UKIP. The ‘recent changes’ in government have, in actuality, not amounted to much at all and we’re just left with a fairly spineless leadership with an equally ineffectual opposition. In my opinion people are sick of the status quo, and desperate for change.
How do you feel about Brexit? Continually pissed off. But hey, was at the very least pleased to see Moseley overwhelmingly voted remain.
Were you aware of the nearly £1 billion investment of EU funds in Birmingham? Including the renovation of New Street Station, the City of Birmingham Library, the business district and Paradise Circus amongst others. How do you think this will affect the city and are you excited for the changes to come? I’ve found it pretty interesting to see all the regeneration that has occurred, fairly dramatically, over the past few years. However, I am definitely worried that this will lead to the further commercialisation of Birmingham into a corporate city, harming the independent and home-grown vibe of places like Digbeth through gentrification.
What issues are most affecting you right now? Personally I’m most affected by all the issues going on with the NHS, and am seriously concerned about its future in the face of the creeping privatisation that’s occurring along with the persistent underfunding and mismanagement by the Tory government.
How do you feel about American politics and their new president Donald Trump? Fuck Trump. I feel powerless to help, and am terrified for the millions of people who will be harmed by his and his cabinet’s brand of poorly thought out fascism.
How do you think this will affect the world as we know it? If Trump pulls out of the Paris agreement, then there’s probably fairly little chance of stopping climate change, and so any other atrocities caused by the Trump administration may ultimately be overshadowed by the drastic changes we may see worldwide (not that I am minimising the suffering of particular groups).
Are you hopeful for 2017? I’m hopeful that the left will start to sort itself out and present a serious alternative to neoliberalism and capitalism, which is what the world needs.