Retired policeman Ray Egan, Birmingham’s very own John Bull, is to join the race to become the city’s first elected Mayor.
And the 71-year-old patriot, a veteran campaigner in industrial battles over Rover, LDV, Cadbury, HP Sauce and others, has already drawn up his Mayoral manifesto.
Ray, whose red jacket, white breeches and Union Jack waistcoat are a familiar sight to many in the city, plans to stand as a rival to the likes of Sir Albert Bore, Sion Simon and possibly Carl Chinn or Lord Digby Jones.
The pensioner, who pounded the beat for years on the streets of Handsworth, Ladywood and Winson Green, plans to campaign in his colourful John Bull outfit, accompanied by his trusty bulldog, the Big Bopper.
Ray said: “I would like to see a Red Light Tolerance Zone in the Jewellery Quarter and a Cannabis Cafe in Broad Street. It works in Amsterdam – let’s legalise these things and get some tax out of them.
“I would also like the council to supply Union flags to every manufacturing site in the city – we should shout out more about what makes Birmingham great.
“And I would like to see prisoners from Winson Green paint some of the road signs in Birmingham which are in such a mess.
“And people should be able to adopt a road sign and get a certificate from the council as a Good Neighbour project.”
Ray also wants to see the return of the giant King Kong statue which once overlooked the Bullring markets and is now in Penrith, and a new theatre/restaurant-style bar for over 40s.
Ray’s bid for political power could edge closer later this week with the publication by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles of the Localism Bill, clearing the path for an elected Mayor in Birmingham.
Birmingham Labour veteran Sir Albert Bore has already signalled his intention to run and is likely to face former Erdington MP Sion Simon.
But Ray could follow in the footsteps of novelty candidates such as Hartlepool’s Stuart Drummond, the self-styled Monkey candidate, who won the election.