Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportEvents & Listings.

Mouthing off

Philip Hamer remembers 18 months of Circle Club debates with affection and not a little passion

Published on June 24th 2008.


Mouthing off

With solitary internet communication prevalent nowadays, many have said that the art of debate is dead. The fortnightly Tuesday evening meetings at The Circle Club suggest otherwise.

"At a time of chronic political blandness, the debates have unearthed plenty of controversy. Some people’s sensitivities are still smarting from opinions aired in the discussion about the rights and wrongs of cosmetic surgery."

I’ve attended most of them, earning a reputation as the deep-voiced heckler who doesn’t need a microphone, and sitting on the panel that looked at youth crime some nine months before it acquired national topicality. In fact, many of these debates have had an impressive clairvoyant quality, presaging topics such as the credit crunch and compromised property prices long before they became national news.

At a time of chronic political blandness, the debates have certainly unearthed plenty of controversy, and always a large dollop of passion. Some people’s sensitivities are still smarting from the opinions aired in the discussion about the rights and wrongs of cosmetic surgery. On this occasion, rock musician and astute cultural commentator John Robb chaired the panel. He decided to shrug off impartiality and refused to disguise his contempt for the cosmetic surgeon's knife, making for an animated exchange of views.

Most of the debates have been in the capable and experienced hands of Channel M breakfast presenter, Byron Evans, and Manchester Confidential chairman, Howard Sharrock. Their sometimes humorous, interrogative teasing is reminiscent at times of an early-career David Frost – and it has created some lively evenings.

The debates have also seen some unexpected moments of poignancy. During the crime discussion, reformed Moss Side gang member Anthony Stephens recalled seeing his friends gunned down in the city over 20 years ago. He discomfited those present by telling them about how attractive gang membership is to a rootless young person.

Last year’s final debate was devoted to the international conflicts that defined 2007. On that night, the club was silenced by a moving address from a successful Iraqi businessman, now based in Manchester, who had personally paid Saddam Hussain to let him leave Iraq for Jordan after most of his relatives were slain in the first Gulf War in 1991. Sometimes these debates transcended the mundane aspect of our daily media. These were two unforgettable examples of this.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

TomJune 24th 2008.

I'm sure hes is Richard Burton reincarnated with a santa laff... Keep up the good hecking boyo

Mike BarnettJune 24th 2008.

"I've attended most of them, earning a reputation as the deep-voiced heckler who doesn't need a microphone," says Phil. What does he mean, 'acquired'? Phil, you acquired that reputation many years ago, and your friends in the local media wouldn't have it any other way!

Mike BarnettJune 24th 2008.

"I've attended most of them, earning a reputation as the deep-voiced heckler who doesn't need a microphone," says Phil. What does he mean, 'acquired'? Phil, you acquired that reputation many years ago, and your friends in the local media wouldn't have it any other way!

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT HERE..
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Anonymous

Depends on the arse.

 Read more
Anonymous

As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .

 Read more
Anonymous

Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…

 Read more
Anonymous

There are no excuses for arse-kissing.

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2017

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord