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Sleuth 07/11/2008

Election special, puritans in Bolton and the devil in Manchester

Published on November 7th 2008.

Sleuth 07/11/2008

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.

Election special
Sleuth hears it was fun all the way at the TIF bid US election bash at the Northern pub on Tuesday night. The biggest surprise was when Manchester Council Leader Sir Richard Leese apparently turned up in leg warmers and a purple leotard sporting Barack Obama’s happy smile with the word 'Hope' spelt out in vivid colour. Or was it a t-shirt with Barack Obama’s image and the word 'Hope'. Yeah, probably the t-shirt. Still Sleuth thinks it’s good that politicians get so openly excited about change. As one party goer said, "Let’s hope that Greater Mancunians can muster a fraction of that passion - and the commitment of voters shown in America - for the forthcoming poll on Congestion Charging." Indeed.

Sleuth’s known about the redundancies in the morning Metro newspaper for some time. No shock in this, the current economic climate is leading to job losses everywhere. Few companies seem immune. Nine people have been released by the Metro up here, eight women and one gent who happens to be gay. The other menfolk have stayed on through the first in first out principle. “Ah” said one wag, referring to the Metro’s parent newspaper, “the Daily Straight Male is making cuts then.”

Sleuth: an apology
Speaking of the downturn in the economy, it's with great regret that Sleuth has offered his resignation. This follows his juvenile prank of leaving a message on Goldman Sachs answer phone claiming that they had fucked the economy. Sleuth now realises that it was wrong and apologises for any distress caused to the 158 year old bank.

Miserable health loons
7m quid. Sleuth can’t believe it. That is how much health bosses in Bolton, Wigan, Manchester and Oldham are sharing to launch schemes designed to give greater access to advice and services concerning alcohol use. This seems to have encouraged a crazed director, Jan Hutchinson, at the Bolton Primary Care Trust to call on companies to stop their staff drinking at lunchtime. She told the MEN, “I would encourage companies to look at their policies with regard to alcohol consumption at lunchtime. By all means enjoy a drink but I do not think that lunchtime is the right place for it. I am not being a killjoy.” Oh yes you are Jan. Sleuth says, come on folks let’s all get legless this Friday lunchtime, show the miserable moo.

The Bolton Primary Health Care Trust meet to discuss the burning of alcoholics

Back to work
Sleuth did a quick calculation following the story above. For £7m quid you could employ 318 people on £22,000 a year to doing something useful in Bolton, Manchester, Oldham and Wigan. They could, for instance, work to beautify our parks and public spaces, get them back to the standard of the Royal Parks in London, the standard they were in the fifties. Now that would perk everybody up. Or they could employ 200 people and with the remaining money open bars in the parks. People could go for a lunchtime drink.

Halloween rhymes
Sleuth was doing his round of Halloween walks last Friday, with ‘ghosts’ leaping out all over the show. Very entertaining, took over 180 people across the city. One American lady on the tours was very excitable. “I’ve seen a ghost,” she said. “It was the poet John Keats and he was standing by a tree reciting his poem Ode to a Nightingale.” We hadn't even got to the pub at that stage. Another lady on the tours, this time from Blackburn, was more straightforward: “It’s all rubbish isn’t it?”

Manchester Halloween walkers in haunted B Lounge on Bridge Street

Devil in the detail
One of the Halloween stories is about the Devil coming to Manchester. This involves an actor hidden behind a wheelie bin in an alleyway dressed as Beelzebub. The actor/Devil leaps out with a flash and a bang at an appropriate moment in a story being related by the guide. It works a treat, makes people jump, very spooky. On one occasion the actor/Devil got to the allotted alleyway early. He was crouched down waiting for the tour party to arrive when a courting couple came down the alleyway and started a big snog, this developed into the young man taking off the girl's blouse. The Devil, being a demon of conscience, thought it wrong to watch any further. So he leapt out with a flash and a bang. The girl fled, buttoning up. The boy turned – he was a proper Manc lad – as though he was going to have a go at the Devil. Then he realised he might not win in a fight with Satan and fled. Sleuth wonders if this is how all ghost and ghoul stories develop. With actors down alleyways.

Sausage celebration
It took a wander past Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter for Confidential to realise it is National Sausage Week. Next year we’re thinking of holding a National Sausage Convention in the city, organise a Sausage Parade around town. What do you think? Or maybe we’ll just ignore it again as we did this year and wait for the German markets.

Van parks on top of Hilton Tower
Strange lights in the sky last night. Sleuth glances up at Hilton Tower. It seems Ian Simpson, the architect, might be finally moving into his apartment – that would be the duplex on the top floor complete with the olive and lemon trees and what not. Sleuth pulled out his telescope – you never know when you might need one. What was that on the top of the building? Ah yes thought Sleuth, a bit of Ikea, some DFS. Only kidding Ian, we know it’ll be more refined than that. So when can we come and take some pics of the view?

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AnonymousNovember 7th 2008.

The £7m waste is just the latest in a HUGE list of wastefulness by our (so-called) public servants. Its shambolic, the country is verging on recession and these public morons are spending like there is no tomorrow - just because they can.

chrissyNovember 7th 2008.

i think sleuths treatment of goldman sachs is a an absolute disgrace!he makes nancy boys brand and ross look like angels.when will people realise the harm these so called pranks cause on the eledery?i am 82 and have difficulty walking.the other evening someone rang my doorbell.when i arrived at the door 30 minutes later there was no one there!is this what passes for fun these days?

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