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Sleuth 07/05/10

Electoral hangover, rubbish Manchester turnout, Red Bull revelation, Eddie Izzard fight rumour

Published on May 7th 2010.

Sleuth 07/05/10

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.

Well hung
It's 5am and Sleuth is tired. He's in the Town Hall. Sleuth's had a word with Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley, who thinks he'll still be a Labour MP in a few hours (which he was). Hazel Blears has been returned for Salford. The world is safe for gobby women in leather motorbike gear. Jacqui Smith and her husband's naughty videos have been voted out. Dawn is coming up. That's the real dawn. Everyone in the Press Room is yawning as a hung Parliament hangs in the air.

Withington Counting

Turnout traumas
Manchester Central's turnout is 44.5%. That's rubbish, one of the lowest in the country. Manchester Withington turnout is 60.7%. Blackley's is 50%. All of these show an increase in turnout but not by much: Manchester's showing is still very poor compared to the turnout figures nationally. How easily we forget our radical heritage. Sleuth's eyes need propping up: he's wondering why he's turned out himself. A press bod's just repeated the phrase from the BBC subtitles. “I suppose,” he says: “that the actors are showing dissatisfaction.” He meant the electors.

Central void
Sleuth is chatting to Tony Lloyd, the Manchester Central Labour MP who has no chance of losing. Sleuth asks about the low 44% turnout in his constituency. “There's a very transient population here,” says Tony, “and that contributes, plus people think maybe that it's a foregone conclusion in favour of Labour. You get some odd things as well. I got a complaint from one resident about the different parties' literature coming through the door. He said he was only on the electoral register for credit purposes.”

Balls up
Paxman is shouting at Ed Balls on the TV: “The issue is that Gordon Brown has taken your party to defeat.” Maybe. The Town Hall coffee is stewed. So is Clegg. Sleuth thought there might be more support for the Lib Dems. An election of negatives. The Conservatives are doing not as well as they expected, neither are the Lib Dems, Labour is stuttering. The BNP got stuffed. Which is the only positive.

Late night bubbles
Sleuth bumps into the Town Hall's chief press officer Smyth Harper. He's vibrating slightly. He's on his thirty-third Red Bull. “Red Bull gives you wings, does it Smyth?” says Sleuth. “Red Bull gives you wind” says Smyth with a manic grin.

Lies, damned lies?Sleuth bumps into Manchester City Council's Minister for Fun, Pat Karney. “Where've you been?” he says. “Gordo's putting the rumour about that you were too drunk to come along.” Sleuth tries to deny the outrageous lies, proving by mere his presence that he was not too drunk to turn up. The beautifully focussed picture below of Smyth Harper and Pat Karney allows the reader to decide on the integrity or not of the rumour.Totally sober Sleuth takes photo

No Red Bull for Sleuth
Sleuth told Smyth Harper that Red Bull was bad for him. "Unlike coffee," said Smyth, pointing behind Sleuth.

Sleuth tries to stay awake

Fight Club
Sleuth wanders into the Manchester Withington count. John Leech, the soon to be announced Lib-Dem winner, is nowhere to be seen. Neither is Eddie Izzard who's supposed to be around supporting his mate Lucy Powell. Sleuth asks where Leech and Izzard might be. “Maybe having a fight in the courtyard,” says a hack. Sleuth rushes to the window filled with hope. This should keep him awake. Sadly there's only a dead pigeon down there.

Personality politics
“I think an issue for us is that with the Leaders Debates it's become so personality driven.” said Lucy Powell, Labour Party Candidate, on Wednesday. “Er, you what?” said Confidential. “Personality driven? You've wheeled out Eddie Izzard to doorstep with you.” As mentioned above, John Leech eventually increased his Lib Dem majority over Lucy Powell. Seems that Powell needn't have worried about personality politics after all. Wonder if Eddie thinks it's a laughing matter.

Eddie Izzard fails to cast a spell

The advantages of train travel
Sleuth was out with the naked people doing art last weekend - here's the editor's story (click here). The press were allowed to view the flesh at Peel Park at 8am. At an earlier shoot in Angel Meadow Sleuth hears that 500 naked people had waved at a passing Rochdale to Manchester train. The train passengers stared aghast at the naked people as a routine journey was suddenly made memorable. Meanwhile clubbers returning to their apartments were rubbing their eyes wondering what on earth they'd been taking, and wondering where they could get some more.

Fully frontal resolution
Sleuth was sending the photos of the Tunick naked people to be posted on Confidential when he had a thought. He rang Andy Spinoza who was PRing the event. “Andy,” he said, “I've got a load of women here which I caught on my zoom lens so close up you can almost smell their perfume. Are there any rules about displaying these on the story?” Horrified silence. “You can only show people in groups of around a hundred, at distance and with no recognisable facial features,” came the tense reply. “It wasn't the facial features I was worried about,” says Sleuth.

Sleuth's hat-trick hero
Sleuth's son scored a hat-trick as his team won a Timperley League under-13s Cup Final. “Can I have the match-ball?” he says. “Course you can,” says the Ref. Oliver brings the ball over. “I got the match-ball,” he says. “Good,” says Sleuth, “don't you recognise it?” “Oh,” says the three goal hero. The ball is the one Sleuth bought three weeks before for the team. The Ref had decided to use it in the Cup Final. Oliver had just won his own ball.

Sleuth's salesman's quote of the week
On being asked whether he wanted to test drive the Jaguars on promotion in Spinningfields this week, the salesman said: “What would I want to do that for? It's like having a really hot bird for a couple of days and then giving her back.”

Sleuth's lies about cows
If cows lie down it's going to rain. If cows are hopping from leg to leg, it's going to be a hung Parliament.

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

DescartesMay 7th 2010.

My opinion of Salford was changing, I was starting to think it was an alright kind of place, but how in the sweet F*CK did Blears get voted back in? That nasty, corrupt, lying women should have been fired and put in the stocks long ago.

B''KingMay 7th 2010.

I'm feeling well hung

AnonymousMay 7th 2010.

They're all fucking idiots in Salford. Fucking idiots.

AgricolaMay 7th 2010.

No they are not. Talk about generalisations. Blears had a much reduced majority so they didn't all vote for her. Talk sense you fool

AnonymousMay 7th 2010.

Ok, the 'majority' of voters in Salford are idiots - that better? ;) hehe

AgricolaMay 7th 2010.

No you idiot. Because she only got 40% of the vote

AnonymousMay 7th 2010.

Ok we're agreed then; 40% of people in Salford are idiots. Happy now?

nasal fearsMay 7th 2010.

What about the fact that i turned up to vote as soon as i got home at 21:30 and queued up till i was 6 people away from excercising my civic right and they told me to P1$$ off home. The issue isn't that i couldn't vote after ten the issue is that the system in place obviously cr4p and when they had massive queues at 6pm they couldn't or didn't do anything about it shambles.

Glad I dont live in SalfordMay 7th 2010.

rules are if you don't have a ballott paper in your hand whilst inside the polling station by 10 pm you cannot vote.The election was always going to be popular this time around,if you knew you couldn't make it in the morning and would be cutting it fine in the evening the postal vote was always another option.can't stand these screaming sorts who feel they are owed something.if there was a free cheque for a greand you would have been there queuing at 630 am ....tossers!

harry hillMay 7th 2010.

So nobody wants the Tories,Labour or the Lib dems in power; so who 's going to run our country?. Only one way to find out .......

Nasal FearsMay 7th 2010.

re: i don't live in Salford.
The point is that they didn't have enough people working at the polling station and there was a constant queue ALL DAY so as pointed out by J.Schofield Manchester Withington had about 60% (just below the national average)and they couldn't cope with that. What about people who left home early to vote couldn't due to queues and came after work and still couldn't. Your point about queueing at 6am for a free grand; there's isn't much i wouldn't do for a grand so that isn't a very good analogy.

RumpelstiltskinMay 7th 2010.

Woah Nasal Fears! Did you vote in the Manchester Withington constituency? Where you hanging around? Or are you just mis-reading what was published? Sleuth says we had a bigger than average turnout which is cool. I am a Didsbury child and voted at the Manchester Withington polling station. I cast my vote in the morning before work (7:15am) - nice and quiet, only about another 2 people there. I went with my boyfriend in the evening when he was casting his vote (6:30pm) again only 4 people there at the time.
I also live two streets away from the polling station which was elm st. school in this case. Not once did I see huge queues of people that were'nt able to vote.
So before you make an assumption, wind it back will you? And maybe that episode of Eastenders isn't as important after all. (There you go assumptions made about your telly habits, not good ey?!)

Leigh ScottMay 7th 2010.

nasal fears that's crap there wasn't a constant queue ALL DAY. The point is that you turned up late in the knowlegde that this election was going to offer a heavier turn out...no excuse

George PoultonMay 7th 2010.

Sorry that's rubbish Scoteee, by historical standards the turnout yesterday was still low - in the 70's and 80's turnouts in excess of 15% higher than yesterday were common and everyone got to excercise there democratic right.
Yesterday, they failed to have sufficent people on duty to allow people to excercise that right - polls being open till 10 means that you should be able to vote up to that time not that you should plan around beaurcratic incompetence and start queuing at 9 to be able to vote at 10

nasal fearsMay 7th 2010.

Rumple- Firstly, funny you should say i am mis-reading whats published an then miss quote the article and me. I said just below the NATIONAL average and where does sleuth say Withington is above average?.
Secondly are you aware of the size of the constituency? There are numerous polling stations and mine was Parkfield Road South where more than one person told me they had been throughout the afternoon to find large queues. Doesn't it back up my point that one polling station can be void of queues all day whilst the other couldn't cope down the street?.
Finally Eastenders is Gash and i was at work all day. My point again- polling stations should be able to cope with 100 percent turnout in theory.

Katy BlockMay 7th 2010.

I'm sorry but if you can't get it together to vote in a 15 hour window then you don't deserve to have your say... 44 million of us managed it, a couple of hundred didn't.

Robert13062May 7th 2010.

Check http://www.manchesteronline.com read the article 'hundreds turned away at polling stations'

what is the question to this answer?May 7th 2010.

£1 at poundland.

Leigh ScottMay 7th 2010.

Answer-After Hazel Blears dire behaviour,what did she offer voters in the Salford constituency in order to have them re-elect her?

xxxMay 7th 2010.

What will the average family have to spend on household shopping when the Tories implement their deficit plans?

Party Political Voting?May 7th 2010.

People of Salford! You don't deserve any better

Simon TMay 8th 2010.

You have a real been in yr bonnet about Eddie Izzard don't you? Did he turn down an interview with you Jonathan? I don't understand why someone who is a genuine and longterm supporter of Labour and a personal friend of the candidates can't get involved with helping her election campaign? Sir Alex Ferguson has nailed his colours to the Labour mast a few times but has never got down to grassroots and campiagned, so Izzard deserves some respect. Sure Leech hung on, but note that it was with only a slight swing to him from Labour - a much smaller swing from Labour to Lib Dem than nationwide. If voters had known what we know now - that Clegg is happy to jump into bed with the Tories - then maybe the result would've been different. Manchester Withington is anti-Tory; it's odd that our Lib Dem MP might be helping to prop up Cameron.

Simon TMay 8th 2010.

"Bee in your bonnet" (see above) was what I intended to say. Eddie Izzard's Labour party election broadcast was a highlight of the campaign, was what I also might have added.

Johnny TaskerMay 8th 2010.

How some Liarbour candidates ( local and national ) can even get their granny to vote for them is beyond me. the sheeple of Salford........ 40% for the pedants , must be saying YES to more lies , wars and underhandedness . the faithful clap and bay like trained seals .

AnonymousMay 8th 2010.

Can some of you dismount from your high horses for a second and stop slamming the people of Salford. The demographic of the area would probably be more suited by a Labour Government. For them to vote differently just because of Blears would be self defeating. I voted conservative but it's not for me to tell others they are 'sheep' or 'idiots'. Grow up.

Johnny TaskerMay 8th 2010.

Thank you for pointing that out Anonymous. You are of course quite correct. The entire Salford / Blears situation begs the question , of what does a cheating , lying m.p. have to do before their electorate shows their displeasure and uses the ultimate sanction .

Leigh ScottMay 10th 2010.

ang on , if the conservatives who say they are looking to secure a stable government for the country can do it with the lib dems of all people why don't they do it with labour then you would have 88% of the country happy sureley?

Johnny TaskerMay 10th 2010.

Take your point Scoteee but that is two of the big three , which doesn't make me happy for one .
Why do people constantly vote for the three ?
After the recent antics of our mainstream politicos , we should all
have voted for almost anyone , other than the incumbent in each seat .
That would send shockwaves through parliament and remind them
who exactly works for whom .

Leigh ScottMay 10th 2010.

Is it not a fairer representation of the majority though?

Johnny TaskerMay 10th 2010.

Whoever gains the largest net vote has the majority but in our first past the post system , that is not how it actually works .
I have had it with career politicians , slavishly toeing the party line
to gain internal favour and to hell with their constituants . The system needs complete reform and the empire building and arrogance for personal gain must be designed out .

Leigh ScottMay 10th 2010.

calm down grumpy ..:@)

Johnny TaskerMay 10th 2010.

Yeah ........... I know...... I get the red mist , then the tunnel vision
and I'm away !!!......... Am ok , calm now .
I still think our political system is crap though!.............................
and I think we are stuck with it .

Leigh ScottMay 11th 2010.

I think the Queen should step in and demand that the policies are divided by the three most popular parties thereby forming her own new government,It's just got silly now...

Temporary HeroMay 11th 2010.

Remember people, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Don't expect miracles.

Tracy BMay 11th 2010.

Jimmy I love that cliche because it makes no sense

Johnny TaskerMay 11th 2010.

Great idea Scoteee , with a few well chosen provisos .
Btw............. the Queen ?........... I must ask Ralph the cat , my P.A. if
its anyone we know !

Johnny TaskerMay 11th 2010.

WOW ! since old Gord resigned this evening , he looks 20 years younger !!!!

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