On my first visit to Birmingham since graduation the other day, I was amazed by how much it had changed—for the better. The Bull Ring is no longer a squalid cautionary tale of 60s urban design; it is now a clean, light, and pleasant area. Unlike its predecessor, the design is not determinedly avant-garde and therefore much less likely to date as badly.
One thing that I had always loved in Birmingham was the Forward Statue in Centenary Square, mostly because it looked to me like something straight out of the Eastern Bloc. I was therefore extremely disappointed to find it gone. A little research showed that it had been destroyed by arson—an act perpetrated, predictably, by some of England's notorious feral youths.
However, to show just how very socialist it was, here is a graphic comparison. First, Birmingham's statue:
And now, one of the statues from in front of Mao's mausoleum:
Notice any similarities, comrades?