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Sleuth 04/04/2008

Weatherfield weed revelation, stupid Britain, more Ramsay and bogged down by political correctness

Published on April 4th 2008.

Sleuth 04/04/2008

Gladiator attacks tree
Sleuth had to admire the headline story in the Manchester Evening News on Thursday. It read: ‘A boss crashed his sports car into a tree after a drinking session and then fled – dressed from head to toe as a Roman gladiator. William Bianchi, 38, was found by police in a hospital A&E unit kitted out in a red tunic, breastplate, sandals and wearing black body paint.’ But the killer line came next. ‘He was with a friend dressed as Superman.’ Brilliant. Meanwhile Confidential has tried to contact the victim, the tree, but it was receiving psychiatric treatment and unavailable for comment.

Ramsay and Cathedral demolition
The story above would have made a good April Fool. Confidential’s April Fool of ‘Ramsay comes to Manchester’ was a runaway success with tens of thousands of reads – click here. Best rant was this one; ‘You got me with that. My wife will never let me forget it. I live almost next to the Cathedral, and I was saying, 'Oh, they've turned it into a restaurant.’'

B of the Bang and food packaging
Meanwhile our other stories about B of the Bang being melted down and poor people being given pre-packaged food also really confused punters – click here. One rant read, ‘I was outraged at the fate of B of the Bang being melted down to make a statue of Sir Richard Leese, and then appalled that Government minister, Hazel Beers, had claimed that, “Excess wrapping can be good for the poor, opening ready made food packets is the only exercise some people get.' Then I saw the Minister’s name and realised it was an April Fools.’' Bless.

Grassroots abuse
Sleuth was looking for a bit of pro footy action last Saturday. The only local games were Bolton v Arsenal, United v Wigan and Oldham v Huddersfield. The only game you could actually just turn up and pay at without being anally frisked was the last of these. Sleuth got into the Chaddy end at Boundary Park, where the home nutters congregate. It was a splendid occasion. Oldham won 4-1. Strange chants though and this was the oddest: 'I’m a bastard, I’m a bastard, I’m a bastard, yes I am. But I’d rather be a bastard than a fucking Yorkshireman.’ When Huddersfield scored in the ninety-second minute all the Oldham fans celebrated. Sleuth loved it, he's going to give up the precious bloody Premiership.

In a taxi from Victoria Station, the cabbie turned out to be a Salford Reds rugby league fan. He listened to Sleuth's tales from Oldham – see above – and said, “I bet they chanted some rum stuff about sheep and Yorkshiremen too, didn't they?” Sleuth nodded. “Reminds me of the time we played Dewsbury over there. We were singing a song about illegal habits with sheep when their mascot came onto the pitch. Couldn't believe it. It was called Roger the Ram. We didn't stop laughing all game.”

Weatherfield weed shock – well, perhaps
Sleuth was wandering around Granada TV the other day when he found this suspicious green-leaved plant in spitting distance of the Coronation Street set. Could this be the cause of the strange food cravings in Weatherfield which force people to buy their dinner in Jerry's Kebabs? It may also explain David Platt's psychotic state and maybe even Vera's untimely passing.

Even more pampered footballers
Phil Spencer of Channel 4’s smugfest Location, Location, Location was up in the North West launching his upmarket homefinder firm Garrington in – of bloody course – Knutsford. He told a local paper how he’s been meeting with sports agents because, “many footballers could do with guidance because they can end up paying over the odds.” As if we care whether pampered players on £80K a week with Play Station addictions get ripped off by a few thousand. Sleuth also wonders how much the consultancy with Spencer will cost and when that’s added into the purchase price how much he will actually save our preening pitchside prima donnas? You’re just all charity Mr Spencer aren’t you?

Britain made simple
Sleuth was in Waterstones the other day when he doubled over with laughter in front of the Citizenship section. The book he saw is pictured below. Do we really want to be granting citizenship to these people? Then again if you look around at some of the natives....

Dead sensitive
Serious one this. Sleuth is getting excited about the return of Lindow Man from the British Museum to Manchester Museum later this month. Lindow Man is the fella ritually murdered in Wilmslow more than 2000 years ago for never having owned a BMW. Or something like that. There are posters everywhere around the city advertising the return of his peat bog preserved body. But the posters show a shield, not the man himself – the main attraction.

A little bird has told Sleuth that, apparently, a huge number of people, perhaps numbering up to seventeen, believe that displaying the ancient dead in museums dishonours them. These lot have created a society called Honouring the Ancient Dead which is described as a ‘pagan advocacy group for ancient human remains’. Manchester Museum is engaged in a consultation process with these and others. A Museum official is on record as saying, 'if this process shows there isn't an appropriate way to display the dead in a sensitive and informative way then it is an option that we will not display them’. Indeed the Lindow Man exhibition has been designed to ensure that anyone who doesn't want to see the body can bypass the remains. It's this type of sensitivity which has, seemingly, led to the adoption of the shield not the leathery bogman as poster boy.

Madness. The implications are vast. This might mean bye bye to the Egyptology collection in Manchester Museum. It might be goodbye to all such collections in all museums everywhere. Sleuth wonders how we've got to a stage where tiny minority interest groups can dictate to the rest of us. Where superstition and whimsy can stand in the way of science and education. Sleuth thinks he might as well join in. He's going to set up the Society to Ban Anybody Doing Anything in Case it Offends Somebody.

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

Lo-LoApril 4th 2008.

Oh dear, I was trying to be clever and add that last comment to James' post.Perhaps I should join the pagans as I have a similar understanding of modern technology.

Green FingersApril 4th 2008.

Mmmmmm suspicious looking plant at Granada. Me seems to think that it's a Japanese Maple. Cannabis or Hemp leaves are much more spikier affairs and have a distinctive smell whereas (Acer)Maple has almost no smell. If David Platt and Vera have been smoking that **** it my explain their growling voices.

KarenApril 4th 2008.

It's definitely oak leaves, they're wicked

future dead personApril 4th 2008.

I'm not sure how I'd feel about my own remains being put in a museum and I don't want to see anyone elses but I can understand how a lot of people would. When we visit Manchester Museum I bypass the mummys with my youngest while my eldest son and his dad go and have a look. As long as the bog man is displayed in this way I don't see a problem in it and I don't think any group of people have the right to enforce their religious beliefs on anyone else.

Lo-LoApril 4th 2008.

I'd just like to confirm that I personally agree with putting human remains on display in museums, I think it is the only opportunity most people have to come face to face with death. However, I sympathise with pagans as they are entitled to their opinion just as much as I am mine. If you look at the lindow man exhibition material you will see that quotes are given from a pagan as well as a local woman who remembers the excavation and from archaeologists. Manchester Museum have managed to involve all of these groups in developing their exhibition and find a way of putting on the display without causing needless upset. This is to be applauded in my opinion, perhaps we could all learn a lesson from their enlightened actions in trying to find a middle ground and not cause conflict.

Lo-LoApril 4th 2008.

I think that Sleuth needs to think a bit more carefully about their attitudes. I couldn't care less about people's opinions of modern pagans - to an atheist such as myself all religion is nonsensical but people sem to like it so good luck to them.I think the point that Sleuth is missing is that Lindow Man was once a human being in his own right. Mentioning that he is 'the fella ritually murdered in Wilmslow more than 2000 years ago for never having owned a BMW' or some such belittles the grisly death he did suffer. I think you are absolutely right that 'It's this type of sensitivity which has, seemingly, led to the adoption of the shield not the leathery bogman as poster boy.' - this gives people the choice of whether they want to look at a dead body, I remember not so long ago Bodyworlds getting slated in this fair city. And more to the point, he's not a leathery bogman - he's a dead person who tells us vast amounts about the time he lived in. He does deserve our respect and I applaud the Manchester Museum for giving everyone the chance to voice their opinion, no matter how small the minority and clearly finding a respectful way to display the remains - so I very much doubt Egyptology is going anywhere - tut tut reactionary, unthinking Sleuth. (The Romans accused the Christians of 'superstition and whimsy' once you know)

deli llamaApril 4th 2008.

.........egyptology going anywhere, tut tut reactionary ,unthinking Sleuth.....King Tut to you.

JoApril 4th 2008.

The main thing here is that nobody can say this man was their ancestor, no-one can say that their family feels upset by his display. No-one but science perhaps can speak out for him, certainly not some pagans who have no real idea of what those ancients thought and how they worshipped. Or how they sacrificed. Let's hope the modern pagans don't think sacrifice was a good idea...or justify it by saying that it was a cultural thing and thus ok. This new level of minority group mind-control is terrifying. Put Pete Marsh on the posters were he belongs.

The best thingApril 4th 2008.

The best thing about the Ramsay review was that reader who rang his dad up to go and pick up a copy of the menu.

Green FingersApril 4th 2008.

@beefy unless its a seedling, I would guess its 8 or 9 years old. I do seem to remember Mavis and Derek having a fit over Des' garden. Common Hemp is quite legal in the uk. it looks and smells like weed but getting high, you need to smoke an acre of the ****. ;-)

AndyApril 4th 2008.

"Minority interest groups should largely be ignored." Best. Line. Ever.

beefyApril 4th 2008.

I'm pretty sure the plant used to be Des Barnes' about 15 years ago - I remember a storyline about it when he and his wife moved onto the street.

JamesApril 4th 2008.

Good point. 'Sleuth wonders how we've got to a stage where tiny minority interest groups can dictate to the rest of us.' It's happening everywhere this. The Museum should just say bugger off you lunatics. I bet the Honouring the Ancient Dead are bunch of flip-flopped beardies who think cars and computers are the devils (all the different ones they believe in) own work. Of course Museums should carry on displaying mummies. And what do we do about those charnel houses of the Mediterranean, should those be bricked up? Minority interest groups should largely be ignored.

Dead BodiesApril 4th 2008.


KarenApril 4th 2008.

Interesting this about the shield and the bog guy, shows how this expanding worry about offending people is spreading to all walks of life. I can see the 'pagans' point of view but I absolutely don't agree with it.

AlApril 4th 2008.

Lo-Lo trying to cheat us you minx. Any way I agree with Sleuth in as much as giving minority groups this sort of little victory will lead to greater victories and possibly in the end the removal of those exhibits from the museum. If you extend this level of sensibility to the ancient dead humans, then next there will be groups declaring that we shouldn't look at dead animals in our collections as well. Then of course learning and the opportunity to learn starts to disappear and it becomes more stuff that we have to do third party on the internet. And if we have to think twice whenever we look at dead bodies or be given the choice then all out studies about war and the evils of war will be sanitised until they don't exist. Sometimes you have to say things like, dear pagans we understand what you're saying but you're wrong.

Jack DApril 4th 2008.

Actually Vera loves a bit of sycamore

Respect for the LivingApril 4th 2008.

James, you missed my point entirely. The HAD members are not objecting to the display of the Lindow Man. All they are asking for (in a peaceful manner) is a reasonable measure of respect in the handling of what is after all, a human being. Rather my point was your complete lack of good manners in applying childish stereotype labels to a group of people whose views you happen to disagree with. If you don't like HAD's viewpoint, that's your right. However, branding pagans 'flip-flopped beardies ' and telling them to 'bugger off' really does you no favours at all. It just makes you appear ill mannered and immature.

Lo-LoApril 4th 2008.

Yeah, it's a good job we've got people like you to let us know whose opinion is the most important.

Showing Respect for the LivingApril 4th 2008.

James, your comments above sadly exemplify the attitude of a ignorant minority, who think it's amusing to stereotype people whose views are beyond their comprehension. For your information, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a talk by HAD members last summer. Far from being sandal-wearing hippies or pot-heads, both the HAD representatives and a sizeable proportion of the audience were actually intelligent, articulate individuals, who counted among their number, quantum physicists, award-winning documentary film-makers and university professors, which pretty much nullifies your generalisations.It's clear that you have no respect either for the dead or the living. It's such a shame that a small number of people still have such a narrow-minded attitude in an age where so many others are driving forward spiritual evolution and freedom. I hope you come to realise one day that ridiculing the views of others, particularly regarding the delicate subject matter of how we treat the remains of our ancestors, is unkind and certainly not funny. There is no time limit on treating the bodies of human beings with respect and dignity.

DarrenApril 4th 2008.

I was at the Oldham match too, go frequently. Love the Yorkshire chant, love that it sort of insults ourselves and then says nothing about Yorkshire people. It's a harmless chant in a way.

SeakayApril 4th 2008.

I've never considered protesting at the exhibition of mummified remains etc, but your article has really made me think. What is the youngest that remains could be reasonably viewed by the public without permission being given by the deceased's will or a living relative?

SaApril 4th 2008.

You think that was bad I actually rang the bloody number at the bottom of the address on the Ramsay review

CraggyApril 4th 2008.

Lo-Lo you write, 'he's not a leathery bogman - he's a dead person who tells us vast amounts about the time he lived in'. Exactly, and by seeing him up close and learning of his violent death then we can undestand more of his time. You can't defend the who-the-hell-are-they-anyway pagans and then say but we need to be able to see him anyway.

JamesApril 4th 2008.

We should show respect to the living and to the dead. Tell me how displaying a dead person who died thousands of years ago through a cruel, it appears, ritual is not showing respect? It allows us and our children a window on the past, and allows us to put our present and future in perspective. It is knowledge acquired and valuable for that. It seems we are sleep-walking into times where we are again threatened with religion and its dogmas in various faiths asking us to close doors on knowledge which they find offensive. The West fought its way out of that in the early modern age, we do not want those days back again. Allowing this little victory in museums would be the beginning of other areas of knowledge to be questioned and closed off.

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