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Sleuth 03/04/2009

Karney capers, Civic Society cracking up, Bez and singing Blue Moon

Published on April 3rd 2009.

Sleuth 03/04/2009

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Sleuth’s quote of the week

Sleuth thinks Manchester’s lucky to have Pat Karney as a councillor. He’s a man who loves his job and has some fun with it. He’s a character or seven and politics needs people like that. So, as reported in our 250 section on Monday, Sleuth was pleased to see a Karney quote in the MEN on Monday following the city’s lack of response to last Saturday’s Earth Hour. The latter was supposed to highlight climate change ahead of the G20 summit in London: it was supposed to do this by exhorting us all to turn off our lights for an hour. Nobody in Manchester could really be bothered. Good for us. Karney said: “We can only apologise to the rest of the world.” Very funny. Sleuth can almost see the cheeky glint in his eye when he was saying this. The whole notion of Earth Hour was ridiculous humbug anyway.

Lights off...er no thanks

More humbug in that same three-quarter page MEN story. The headline was ‘Dim view taken as Manchester shines through big switch-off’. There was a shocked tone and lots of big photos taken from (a lit) Cloud 23, and a sentence which told how the lights of the city shone brightly including ‘the corporate Spinningfields district off Deansgate’. Now where is the MEN located? Yep, Spinningfields. And what was that building in the middle there burning brightly? Why it looks like the MEN building. Humbug indeed.

Every Lidl helps

So Sleuth was shopping in the Barbakan in Chorlton when he heard the shock news that all clean living Chorlton folk were dreading. Famous locals have crossed the road and started patronising Tesco Express. But who was this convenience shopper extraordinaire? Who was that man? Sleuth can reveal it was freaky dancer Bez, local resident and general good egg. “We’ve lost Bez,” the local independents wailed. Actually not at all he was just popping in for a pint of milk after t’other shops had closed. Panic over. Calm down people would you, it’s only a tiny Tesco? Not the thin end of the wedge.

Upper Crust

Nick Clegg, the party leader of the Liberal Democrats paid a visit to Chorlton last week to look at the independent stores. He was welcomed but didn’t have much luck with soundbites. He popped into the Barbakan bakery and deli and had a chat with Victor, one of the wittiest men in the city. Victor scuppered a broadcast interview with the sage words, “I’m a man of bread, not of politics.” The boy Clegg then tried his luck at vegan grocery Unicorn. Sleuth hears he had a nice little stroll around. But again nobody would be interviewed with him on air. Vegan’s apparently don’t want to be party affiliated. Especially in a cooperative. Or maybe the Lib Dems just aren’t beefy enough in their policies.

Handiwork in the window

Sleuth adores the 40 Days of Solitude art show at Nexus, the Methodist run cafe on Dale Street. This is where people as part of an art project occupy the window space doing whatever they want. Yesterday the Bishop of Middleton conducted a service from there at 11am, but he only stayed an hour not the whole day. A harsh critic said, “that was a cop out, he should have stayed all day like the other people have done in the window.” Sleuth told him not to beat the bishop.

Whalley Range

Sleuth wants to get serious. Sunnyside House in Whalley Range Conservation Area has been demolished. Needlessly. Range Warehouses had used the house for 40 years to store fridges and washing machines. But there were lots of original features. It could have been saved. Sadly before a full investigation of this important building could be undertaken it was demolished. This gets Range Warehouses out of the Conservation Area of Whalley Range and provides a two acre site for lots of little houses to be built but forgets one thing. The whole point of a conservation area is that buildings like Sunnyside should survive. The villa was important, architecturally, historically and socially. There were maybe forty letters objecting to its demolition. But still it went. Weird. Confidential will be investigating the matter after the Easter hols and contacting SAVE ()which worked to save the building.

Civic Society shambles

As pointed out on this page previously the people who should be campaigning to make sure the heritage of Manchester isn’t carelessly discarded is Manchester Civic Society. But the latter is now an ineffective farce with the good people formally involved abandoning the Society to its current leadership. Sleuth got his hands on one of the jokes doing the rounds entitled Cows. This goes: ‘In Socialism you have 2 cows, you give one to your neighbour; In Communism you have 2 cows, the State takes both and gives you some milk; In Nazism, you have 2 cows, the State takes both and shoots you; In Manchester Civic Society you have a cock and a bull, you pretend they are cows, you slaughter and eat your asset to hide the evidence, catching mad cow disease in the process, your farm fails. But you don't know this has happened, because you have mad cow disease.’ Miaow. Sleuth thinks it’s time for a new version of the Civic Society to be set up.

Doves soar at City

The editor interviewed Jimi Goodwin of Doves on Thursday in the wonderful space that is Moolah Rouge studios. We’ve got the full story going up on Monday – with a video of the interview if the tech-heads can sort it. The bands’ new album Kingdom of Rust is out on the same day. But it’ll be missing a track Sleuth reckons. A classic. Jimi said, “Manchester City asked us do to a version of Blue Moon (the team song). So we did. We got in a choir from Preston a big one, with about 35 people, and it’s sort of Public Image Limited meets Doo-wop. “ Sleuth can’t wait to hear it. “It’s not going on the album though,” said Jimi. Sleuth thinks it should. Is there time to whack it up on iTunes? The song should be available from the club in the next few weeks.

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

societybagApril 3rd 2009.

Could the Sleuth explain to me, how come all the original and long standing committee members have been forced to resign from the Manchester Civic Society? Could he also explain.....or at least go sleuthing to find out why the Civic Society's committee is now full of members of the Conservative Party..all of whom have never previously had anything to do with the Society??? What exactly is their interest? And why are they turning it into a 'Manchester Central' platform for their politics? Something is seriously amiss!

foolish apeApril 3rd 2009.

Sounds about right for that lot at the MEN...

Bob the BakerApril 3rd 2009.

How is Mr Clegg akin to an abortive bakery product?

StephanieApril 3rd 2009.

The power of Sleuth. Recently I wrote in having whinge about the lights in the new Civil Justice Centre never being switched off. Withing a few days, darness reigned.Well done Sleuth.

MApril 3rd 2009.

Hilarious work by doves with the choir from Preston of all places. What was wrong with St Winifred's?Just proves what we all knew, there's only one team from Manchester and they haven't been owned by a Human Rights abuser. yet.

DaveApril 3rd 2009.

The local shops around tescos seem busier than ever, as though everyone is making a point of it. A while back, before khawaja bros opened, I remember a fruitless search for sugar and white flour around there. I could find organic fairtrade molasses and wholeground organic fairtrade spelt flour. On the whole, these shops are mutually exclusive with the tesco express, except for the petrol. The others have wider choice and better quality, for less money (khawajas, bargain booze, even unicorn). Like bez, it's handy for that bottle of milk when they've all closed.

mark mApril 3rd 2009.

Is beating the bishop like spanking the monkey?

SleuthApril 3rd 2009.

Whalleystrange I'm trying to find a link to the song...do you know of any? So we can let our readers hear it.

Hooray For HollywoodApril 3rd 2009.

People still talk about the public row there was one time in The Hollywood Showbar between Mr Karney and Julia Grant. Of course Mr Karney was in the thick of things at Mardi Gras 1999 when nothing was raised for charity despite enormous ticket income for the first time ever, so he wasn't very popular at the time. In the following years it was pretty much all out war. At one point Europride 2003 was almost moved to Salford, Trafford or Bury (reported in The Independent).

Kev PApril 3rd 2009.

Nick Clegg is like a loaf of bread that fails to rise. Much like his policies.

Ali McGowanApril 3rd 2009.

I didn't realise they'd turned the lights off at night in the Civil Justice Centre. I've not been past for a while. What a frikkin shame - that building is truly awesome by day or by night. Light it up again :)

WhalleystrangeApril 3rd 2009.

Sleuth needs to get his backside down to Eastlands if he want to hear Doves rendition of Blue Moon where they have been playing it at matches for a few weeks now.It's better than the national anthem.

Blue JohnApril 3rd 2009.

Blimey, M, you even mamage to get in a sort of ant-City dig based on a record.We all voted in Thaksin Shinawatra at Eastlands 'cos that's how it's done of course - because Messrs P Pot and A Hitler hadn't come up with a decent proposal for funding the purchase of new players. And they're both dead.

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