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Sleuth 02/11/2007

The Guardian to relocate North, holidays in Zimbabwe and other dreams

Published on November 2nd 2007.

Sleuth 02/11/2007

Mast debate
Take a look at this picture, a long-term landmark is shortly to disappear. The tall mast on the top of the Granada building is going to be pulled down asap. A property bod involved in one of the nearby developments says that it’s a pretty open secret that this is the preliminary move in demolishing the whole Granada building. After recent redundancies on top of previous redundancies this will mark the symbolic passing of Sidney Bernstein’s mighty northern TV empire, which will then be reduced to a few offices possibly at Media City in Salford. And a big office in London.

G-force reduction
When Confidential asked Granada about demolition plans they were directed to the parent company in London. The press officer who initially fielded the question had a little trouble with the name, stuttering along the lines of, “Garanade, Granola, Granpianer..er..sorry could you repeat the word?” Oops.

G-force reduced further
Meanwhile another G-force is also shedding its Northern connections. The Guardian, aka the Manchester Guardian, by making 60 or so members of its Manchester sales force redundant, have also started a whole scale retreat from the city. Account holders and telesales have all gone. “It makes no sense,” one of those affected told Sleuth. “Northern customers work differently from those in the south.”

Sleuth suggestion
The Manchester Guardian was once the best paper in the UK, it was a world-leader and it came from a regional city. It’s time for it to come home. In today’s electronic world, aside from a Westminster presence and account holders for some of the bigger companies, it could transfer the whole operation back up North. Come on Rusbridger, you know you want it? Let's start a campaign.

Flash down the pan
Sleuth was sent this snippet by a bar mole from the Guardian’s little brother, MEN. ‘Does Manchester need another style bar? We’ve already got Relish, Tiger Tiger, Paparazzi and all those flashy numbers. So why would we want another?’ Er..style bars? Problem is, to Sleuth’s mind, Manchester has bugger-all real style bars. If, by this, we mean an urbane meeting place, full of beautiful people, beautifully dressed, inside a top notch expensively designed space that gets photographers putting it in the top 100 bars in the world. There’re a few hotel bars that get near….and then? Answers below please.

Who put the ball in the recycling bin?
Sleuth was amazed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanting to demolish his very handsome house near Knutsford and replace it with a ‘green’ dwelling (which in the artist’s impressions looks like the sales office for a caravan park). To mark this, Sleuth has come up with a version of the traditional Solskjaer song sung by the Old Trafford faithful to tune of ‘You are my sunshine’. Altogether now.
You are my Solskjaer
Recycling Solskjaer
You make me happy
Alan Shearer’s big carbon footprint
Won’t take your green credits away.

Climate changes
There’s been a big hullabaloo surrounding the failure of the quango, Sustainable Northwest – a body set up to advise companies on green polices and how to adopt them. The organisation has gone up in global warming flames after making ‘a balls-up’ of a particular initiative according to the bloke winding the company down. Sleuth feels it’s a shame than none of the commentators had the ‘balls’ to simply say that Sustainability Northwest had become..er.. unsustainable - as is so often the case with bodies built around worthiness rather than reality.

Careful with that slogan, Captain Mainwaring
In amongst all this was the Cooperative Bank. The lovely, Mancunian, Cooperative Bank.With its ethical stance about green issues and not investing in corrupt regimes Sleuth reckons Solskjaer banks there. Sleuth’s been worried about the new slogan for the bank for some time. Companies should never tempt providence with their branding. The Coop was a key funder from the beginning of, the insolvent and impecunious, Sustainabilty Northwest. And the bank’s new slogan: ‘Good with money’. Doh.

Best Travel Tip
Student Direct, the University of Manchester’s student paper, made a remarkable suggestion in its travel pages last week. A writer from the paper, Daniel Woods, informed readers that, ‘a visit to Zimbabwe in its current state will be an experience you’ll never forgot’. Or return from. There were lots of intriguing phrases such as ‘AK-47 wielding cops’, ‘shot dead’ and so on. Sleuth hears that next up it's Iraq, followed by Afghanistan and North Korea.

The unbreakable bond between mother and son
These are the first three paragraphs of the MEN this fine Friday. ‘A mother cremated a man she believed to be her missing son – only to be told the next day that he was alive. Gina Partington even identified the body and confirmed it was her son, Thomas Dennison, after police found a dead man in Rusholme. She also held the dead man’s hand and spent a tearful 40 minutes saying goodbye.’ Sometimes Sleuth has nothing to say.

Sleuth’s favourite Confidential rants this week
These rants have been edited into full words and so on.
After the Charlie Butterworth article on whether Manchester should swallow Trafford and other areas (Click here ), Diane wrote: ‘There's…a debate on whether to spend 50k on re-branding Oldham. I seem to remember Manchester got re-branded as a capital M. Did that make people think more kindly of Manchester?’ Wasser replied: ‘Maybe Oldham can be re-branded with a capital O as in 'O my God did a neutron bomb fall here'.’

After the onslaught against the Hilton Hotel’s Cloud 23 bar Dave Austin wrote, ‘I went to Cloud 23 it was for a private function. I rushed home put on a pair of jeans and expensive trainers (£140). When I got to the front I was told I couldn't enter due to wearing trainers. I stressed how ridiculous this was. The girl who was letting people in said, I should “jump in a taxi to ASDA Hulme, only 5 minutes away and buy a pair of shoes, they do some for £10. Then I can let you in."

Where is James Purnell?
Following James Purnell’s faked photographs at Tameside Hospital, we ask the Culture Secretary and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, where he’s not been this week.

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Pat MullinNovember 2nd 2007.

What's happened to the digitally enhanced Tameside Hospital photo. First James Purnell MP was added; now David Heyes MP has gone. What the thump is going on?

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2007.

Cloud 23 has no heart or soul it is shallow, pretentious and a great big rip-off! I'd have taken your £10 and gone for lovely smooth glass of roija next door at Evuna instead of buying a pair of shoes.

g fentonNovember 2nd 2007.

Cloud 23 Bar : 'The girl who was letting people in [said], I should “jump in a taxi to ASDA Hulme, only 5 minutes away and buy a pair of shoes, they do some for £10. Then I can let you in.'Isn't style a wonderful, yet cheap, thing. You've got to love it. Priceless.

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2007.

If a place has a dress code it has a dress code- I don't see the problem with that. Stop expecting exceptional treatment I say.

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