At the inaugural Birmingham Law Society Awards a couple of weeks ago, Tulkinghorn was entertained by a coterie of boisterous Brummies. Tulkinghorn holds no truck with the award winner, who muttered “What a joke” when stepping off the stage to a round of enthusiastic applause.
It was a splendidly chaotic evening, finishing with Birmingham’s legal community decamping to a local bar, where some of them will be pleased to hear that Tulkinghorn kept his eyes averted and his notebook and pen safely tucked away. The energy of these Midlands boys and girls is exemplified by the Confederation of British Industry’s present director-general Digby Jones. Unfortunately, however, Jones was the only winner permitted to make an acceptance speech.
“I’ve just got three points to make,” he began. Tulkinghorn is pretty sure he heard point one, but points two and three got lost somewhere along the way, although whatever they were they did link nicely – if slowly – to the surprise bonus of points four, five and six.
Essentially Jones had just one point to make: be proud to be a Brummie and be sure to tell everyone where you come from.
Tulkinghorn applauds this sentiment, although he is not too sure how it went down with the assembled ranks of lawyers from the likes of Wragge & Co, which won three awards. A quick straw poll of the 500-odd present suggested that fewer than half were genuine-article Brummies. “I’m a Brummie and proud” just doesn’t sound the same in a Home Counties accent.