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Sleuth 07/08/09

Editor has extreme swine-flu, Guardian should come home, Gordo arrested by Chief Constable, Will Alsop has an unusual plan to beautify the city

Written by . Published on August 6th 2009.


Sleuth 07/08/09

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.

Manchester Confidential
So Sleuth was asked, “How would you describe Manchester Confidential?” Sleuth thought for a minute and said: “More profitable than The Observer.”

Time for the Manchester Guardian to rise again
Sleuth thinks there’s a serious point involved with the story above. Given the dramatic losses at the Guardian Media Group (GMG) it’s time for a re-think. Sleuth reckons The Guardian should come home and call itself the Manchester Guardian again. They could keep fifty or sixty journalists in The Smoke for politics and so forth and the all the rest could be based on Hardman Street in Spiningfields. After all the MEN - a GMG company - is currently sitting on vast acres of empty and expensive office space that could be utilised by the national title. There’s nothing to fear about this. The BBC is moving five major departments up here so Manchester’s inevitably going to re-assert itself as a major media centre. Given the technology now available there simply is no need for The Guardian to be headquartered in London, it could save money and re-discover its edge with a move back to the city where it was born. It could also shed itself of some of that simpering Metropolitan tone.

More shit for Manchester, please
Sleuth’s was chatting to Will Alsop about the wonderful Chips building in Ancoats (click here). Alsop was a charmer, funny, urbane, interesting. Everything was dandy. He even joked at the end, “I’ve enjoyed working in Manchester very much, I look forward to dumping some more shit on you soon.” Sleuth thinks that given the exuberance of Chips Manchester could do with more shit like that.

Alsop the main man
Gold medal winning bitches
Sleuth hears that a Manchester dress-making company is to make costumes for key members of the British Olympic Swimming team including Rebecca Adlington. These are for a photo-shoot next week. Sleuth was confused because the company is Northern Quarter stalwart Rags to Bitches. Given the company’s vintage couture pedigree will the costumes be 1930s full length versions of the recent skin-tight world record smashing swimsuits? Will they take an hour to put on? “No,” came the reply, “they’ll be full-length 1930s evening dresses and dinner suits for a promotional photo-shoot. We don't really make beachware.” Shame thought Sleuth, it would have been nice to think of the British team rolling back the years with something a little more comfy given the controversy over the latest streamlined swimming kit.

Chief goes drinking in the Northern Quarter
Sleuth’s fellow reprobate, Gordo, was wandering back from his third lunch of the day at the Angel when he bumped into Chief Constable Peter Fahy (click here for the Confidential interview with the CC) on the beat in the Northern Quarter. Chief Fahy was outside Bluu bar with a lady copper and the tallest policeman in the world. Gordo reckons - his memory can play tricks after the fourteenth claret - that they were arguing about where to drink. Fahy, apparently, fancied a pint of Marble ale in Odd, the lady was keen on a cocktail topped with an olive in Socio Rehab, and the tallest policeman in the world was pushing for Bluu, ‘because the ceilings are that bit higher’. Sleuth isn't sure that this was exactly what was happening.

Nature rambles in the Northern Quarter
Following the above encounter, Gordo, who was letting the winds of whimsy blow through him, proceeded on his way down Thomas and Hilton Streets. Passing the multi-storey seventies car park he spotted a cherry tree heavy with fruit growing au naturel in the Northern Quarter. The big man got a stick and tried to bash a few off the tree, fell over, picked himself up, tried again and was arrested by Chief Constable Peter Fahy for fruit theft. Unfortunately that didn’t really happen. But the cherries are real and Gordo did spot them. Sleuth wonders if there are any other fruit bearing trees in the city centre - apples, tomatoes, bananas and the like. Maybe the Confidential team should start reviewing this most locally grown and locally sourced of foods.

Football efficiency
Sleuth was at the United v Valencia friendly match on Wednesday which United won two nil. The tannoy announcer had an easy time of it with all those difficult Iberian names. As the second half began the public address system boomed: “Substitutions at half time for Valencia...er... the whole team - apart from the goal-keeper.”

Editor struggles into work with extreme swine-flu
Sleuth reckons that the swine-flu epidemic seems to be mutating in alarming ways. He came into the office to see the editor showing signs of a very extreme case indeed. Click here

Sleuth’s fact of the Week
Sleuth often gets called by BBC researchers chasing stories, asking for advice and wanting to know the secrets of the trade. This is Sleuth’s fact of the week. All young male researchers at the BBC are called Matt. And they are all slightly too keen.

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

SausagesAugust 6th 2009.

Manchester Museum have a secret little space where they are growing limes, lemons, kiwis, passion fruits.... perhaps we can have a cocktail evening there, with local fruits.

Elena CrawshawAugust 6th 2009.

There really is no reason why the Guardian in most of its functions doesn't come back north save one. Rusbridger and the rest, unlike CP Scott, has no faith in the provinces. He wouldn't commit the time and the energy here, which would then in a self-fulfilling way increase the quality of debate within the city.

Norman WisdomAugust 6th 2009.

I don't think your thinking clearly about the economic benefits Mr Please God. You could say the same about the BBC.

Bourne, JasonAugust 6th 2009.

That's where we differ Jack, he's no threat. The people need to know about the project.

mark mAugust 6th 2009.

Janey can't even spell Grauniad properly. She must have worked there...

AnonymousAugust 6th 2009.

Crikey janey, I think I can work out what you're trying to say but with spelling and grammar like that it's no wonder you no longer ply your trade at The Guardian. As a former Sun journalist, we were obviously taught a lot better. On the topic of having a national newspaper based in the city I can't see why this has not already been done. It makes sense every way you look at it.

slightly seedy PR guyAugust 6th 2009.

Young male BBC researchers are also all quite easy.

Jack GereneAugust 6th 2009.

Bring back the Guardian. The greatest paper still. It would be amazing for the city.

johnthebriefAugust 6th 2009.

I can't think of anything worse than filling the city with hordes of guardianistas. They'd gridlock the city with Prius-jams and campaign for Albert Square to be renamed in a more gender-balanced way.

Bauer, JackAugust 6th 2009.

I'd have killed him by now to keep it safe.

Tits out for the ladsAugust 6th 2009.

I thought we already had a national newspaper based here in Manchester... The Sport!

east lancsAugust 6th 2009.

It would be a great idea to have the Gruaniad up here; but London remains the hub of the country, they'd need to maintain a sizeable journalistic staff there me thinks. The Newsnight (Tue?) piece about this was very interesting.

Bond, JamesAugust 6th 2009.

It'sh no longer a shecret, I shee.

Please god not the guardianAugust 6th 2009.

Disagree, Mr Wisdom. The BBC and the Guardian just aren't in the same league, imho. One's just a newspaper, and a one trick pony at that, while the other provides loads more. Best telly in the world, best news, best radio and best website (no, I don't work for them - just a fan). Plus with the BBC, there is the knock-on effect of other jobs being created, such as those at independent production companies which will make shows for them, creating a creative powerhouse right where it should be, here in Manchester. The Guardian would bring perhaps 1,000 (maybe more maybe less, dunno) self-important London windbags to Chorlton with no other knock on benefits. Ooops, went on a bit there. Back to work!

janeyAugust 6th 2009.

While working at the grouniad I was very disappointed when they announced their move from the ugly 70's block in Farringdon , north to ...erm Kingd Cross. Not far north enough in my opinion. The news today can be so london-centric..and i found some londones really have never left London and been to the North ..Honestly I spoke to one guy who only holidays abroad and has never gone north of tottenham, mind you he was a Sun ( spit ! ) journalist. Commuting in London can be a nightmare too but I must admit I think its cheaper..the oyster card system is fantatstic and should be adopted up here. It is just so expensivEon the buses and trams around here its a shame we didnt get a yes on the congestion charge to improve public transport , make it more intergrated.

Please god not the guardianAugust 6th 2009.

I think the only thing that could possibly make me leave Manchester would be if the Guardian was based back up here again. We're talking about, for example, a newspaper that is supposedly a champion of the left which has (or at least used to) free private medical insurance for all its employees. Hypocrites. Frappacino-drinking, lentil-straining, hemp-wearing hypocrites!

John WilliamsAugust 6th 2009.

Don't have cherries but have got olive trees on the 11th floor - and I harvested 5 olives before the birds got the rest. Bumper crop of 6 courgettes as well. Self sufficient soon.......

WurtgerAugust 6th 2009.

Janey, Anon's right. Your grammar is hilarious.

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