Sometimes, I really worry about Birmingham's ability to move forward as one.

For all too often, it seems, we remain plagued by disunity.

We never quite seem to have MPs, local government, business and industry leaders marching in step.

What, in some ways, has been most encouraging is that Birmingham City Council is continuing to show leadership despite the ruling party changing from Labour to a Conservative and Liberal Democrat alliance.

Sir Albert Bore ' sore ' s intelligence and vision have produced great things.

I also have a lot of time for new council leader Mike Whitby whose openness, integrity and pragmatism is, I feel, serving Birmingham well. But our new London lobbying office will only work if, in particular, the city council and Midlands MPs can act together.

And others have questioned the commitment of those MPs.

There were howls of protest when about a year ago in a column inThe Birmingham Post divorce lawyer Diane

Benussi laid into them and their alleged failure to deliver the goods.

But it seems nothing has changed because only last month new Birmingham Forward chairman Derek Inman declared: "I would say one of our major weaknesses on punching our weight is our MPs."

He added: "They rarely meet with business organisations and more importantly do not act as a cohesive group for our benefit."

Incidentally, there is an organisation - Birmingham Forward - which with new chief executive and former MEP Simon Murphy and Mr Inman, a former BT executive beholden to no-one and able to say exactly what he thinks, which looks as if it has sorted itself out and is pushing ahead.

But the jury has to be out on whether the NEC Group is doing the same.

Its new head, Andrew Morris, has announced a major facelift, badly needed in the wake of losing the Motor Show, and has cleared out many of the senior figures left over from the Barry Cleverdon days. The trouble is new brooms can all too often sweep out the good with the bad.

Bosses, who get rid of all possible rivals are, to my mind, suspect at best and dangerous megalomaniacs at worst.

Maybe a shake-up was needed, and maybe not, but there can now be no excuses for failing to deliver.

Equally the jury is out on Neil Rami at Marketing Birmingham. It still remains early days for Mr Rami, who seems to have some good ideas but who will also be judged on whether he can deliver. Worryingly, there are whispers abroad that he is not getting the free hand he had expected.

Oh dear - Marketing Birmingham was always a political football everyone thought they could interfere with.

And finally we have the mess that is MG Rover. Is it on the cusp of a new future or is it a lead weight holding Birmingham and the West Midlands back?

Either way, despite the job implications, I think the last thing we needed was a £100m Government "bail out".