Many people believe that the Conservative Party has never before held its annual conference in Birmingham. The conference has certainly not been in Birmingham for a very long time. So the first Conservative Party conference in Birmingham for more than 75 years is an opportunity to understand the Conservative tradition through the prism of that city. This exercise is a surprisingly fruitful way of understanding not just the history of Conservatism but also its future. And it may also be a handy guide to those metropolitans who are perhaps more familiar with Tuscany or shire England than with our Second City.