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Sleuth 09/10/2009

Conservative shenanigans, MEN confusion, Press Club farewell and Gordo evolves

Written by . Published on October 9th 2009.


Sleuth 09/10/2009

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.

Hiyoh it’s Manchest-oh luv
Sleuth enjoyed the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. He enjoyed the buzz on the streets around Manchester Central, he enjoyed the hotels packed with delegates drinking at the bar and he enjoyed the overheard conversation between one older lady and another on Peter Street: “Why on earth did we hold the Conference here?” she said. “I can’t understand a word anyone says.”

Gordon Brown goes to hell
The Tories were in ebullient mood in Manchester. They can smell power. At the Great British Pub Quiz event Eric Pickles, party chairman, was master of ceremonies. The quiz was held in the very un-pub like surroundings of Copperface Jacks under the Palace Hotel and was in support - Sleuth gathers - of the licensed pub trade. It was packed out. Sleuth hears that Pickles opened the quiz with: “In Greek mythology who was the old man who ferried the souls of the dead to Hades?” “Gordon Brown,” shouted a Blue humorist.

Champagne bar
The silliest aspect of the Conference was the champagne ban. In new austerity Britain the advice from senior party members was for delegates to show restraint with the fizz as this wouldn’t stand well with the serried ranks of unemployed and so forth. Thus the MEN had great fun with the arrest of Tory party member Philip Whittington for forgetting to pay for a £150 bottle of bubbly at the Midland Hotel. Sleuth was in Zouk restaurant on the Wednesday evening. “How’s the Conference been for you?” he asked the staff. “Best day was when a couple of gentleman came in and ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon at £150,” came the reply. “And then they ordered another one: “It’s a bit naughty,” one of the gents said, “but sometimes nothing else will do.”” Good lads. Sleuth thinks the champagne ban was meaningless. Follow that logic and Cameron and the rest would have been staying in the Youth Hostel. Gesture politics are the worst.

A hearty welcome
Andy Spinoza of SKV Communications has kindly sent Sleuth this photograph from his commute into Manchester during the Conference. It’s a bit of a cheeky traffic sign. Now we know that the City Council has a solid Labour majority but surely this is taking things a bit far.

Good for us and sort of good for them
On a serious point Sleuth was at a media launch early in proceedings at the Conservative Party. Everybody was there including two Margaret Thatchers, see pic. As well as that terrifying twin presence there were people from the city administration such as Sir Howard Bernstein and Vicky Rosin, Cityco boss Kate Harrison, MIDAS chief Colin Sinclair, Marketing Manchester boss Andrew 'buff' Stokes, Bruntwood numero uno Chris Oglesby and the Chamber of Commerce leading lady, Angie Robinson. That’s a lot of natural lefties. Still as Angie Robinson summed up: “To see the Conservatives sat out in the sunshine in such numbers is really good. The whole event is great for the city, it focuses the attention of the media directly on us and the experience of the city is something the delegates will take away.” Hear, hear as they say in the Palace of Westminster.

The rain gauge
Sleuth was reading the Guardian this week. And the Telegraph, the Times, the Sun....you get the message. Sarfraz Mansoor in the Guardian was typical in his Conservative party conference coverage: ‘When I first arrived in Manchester 20 years ago my hatred of the Tories was as constant as the rain,’ he wrote. With national attention on the city Sleuth’s been counting. There have been 41 references to the city and ‘rain’ in just the papers he’s read. Yet it only rained on one day out of four. Journalists and clichés eh? ‘Fiery Latins’, ‘organised Germans’ say the sports reporters and ‘rainy Manchester’ say the rest. The editor of Confidential doesn’t like this and has banned writers on Confidential from ever mentioning rain and Manchester together. Sleuth suggested that maybe we should follow the national hacks example. The editor rained on Sleuth’s parade with a deluge of expletives

Metro takes a new line
The loss of local editorial from the free Metro hasn’t meant any lessening of pettiness. The Daily Mail owned organ has always been a big baby when it comes to mentioning other media groups. This continues despite the Metro’s mutually agreed new policy of lifting copy from previous editions of the MEN for their MetroLife section. A classic case is how the Metro always calls the MEN Arena simply Arena. Earlier this week, the Metro ran MEN writer Natalie Anglesey’s review of All My Sons at the Bolton Octagon, but certain lines in the original MEN version had vanished from the Metro review: The sentence “This was further reinforced by the excellent casting headed by MEN Theatre Award nominee, George Irving…” read in the Metro as: This was further reinforced by the excellent casting headed by George Irving…” Anglesey’s MEN sentence “Thacker has cast the excellent Margot Leicester, his wife and another MEN Theatre Award nominee in the role of a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown” has also had the horrifying three letters excised. Pathetic, no wonder newspapers are in such a mess.

Oldham Evening News
Speaking of the MEN and mess, several tens of the latter’s staff left last Friday as redundancy became reality. One of the excellent journalists leaving was Helen Tither who had agreed to arrange a venue for a farewell bash for thirty odd leavers plus friends, colleagues and so forth. The obvious choice was the Old Grapes, fifty metres from the main entrance of the MEN. Sleuth hears she let her fingers do the walking rather than her legs, using Yellow Pages to get the number. Late in the afternoon she got a call from the pub: “Hello, this is the Grapes we’ve got the room ready for about a hundred in total. How are you getting here, coaches?” Helen giggled: “No, of course not, we’ll walk.” “Walk,” came the surprised voice, “It’s a long way to walk from Manchester to Lees in Oldham, you did mean this Grapes didn’t you?”

The Grapes of Wrath
After apologising profusely for her mistake La Tither then called the intended venue, the Old Grapes in Manchester. “Listen,” she said, “I’ve made a mistake, I booked a room in the wrong place and desperately need to fit in about 100 people for a drink after five o’clock. I know it’s short notice but could you please help, I really need to find a venue for them?” There was a pause on the line. Then a woman said: “Don’t think you need bother, love. Is it MEN journalists on a leaving do or something?” “It is,” said Helen confused. “They’re in already,” said the lady, “been here for hours, it’s heaving like Christmas.” Sleuth think it’s good to see some journalistic traditions continue even as journalism in the city recedes to vanishing point.

Press Club loses its point
After the bash at the Old Grapes a goodly number of now ex-hacks and recently created freelance hacks did what all bewildered people do when led astray by drink: they visited that dark night of the soul that is the Press Club. This place, just off Deansgate, is one of the oldest all night drinking dens for the media in the country dating from 1870. It’s a damp tip which sells a broad range of beers all called Red Stripe and all in cans. The place was originally created for the press and printing fraternities when they would toil all night to produce papers. Listening to former MEN staff talk about their night out it struck Sleuth that the Friday night/Saturday morning visit carries poignancy. That was the last time the press will visit the Press Club in any numbers. Given the near skeleton staff at the MEN there’s hardly any press left in Manchester.

From ape to Man, gecko to Gordo
Sleuth and Gordo attended the launch of the new Darwin exhibition at Manchester Museum at the same time the MEN staff were facing a new beginning last Friday. Speeches. Wine. Sleuth and Gordo then had a little chat with Maria Balshaw, the director of the Whitworth Art Gallery, and Nick Merriman, the director of Manchester Museum. Lovely pair. They came to Manchester around the same time and romance blossomed as they say. Gordo said, “Good speech Nick, but this wine is undrinkable.” “Oh dear. We tried to be clever and get the wines from the places that Darwin visited on the Beagle,” said Merriman. “What, the toilet?” asked Gordo.

Sleuth's tender rant of the week
This is about the fetching Sophie Madeliene featured in our In the City listings. Handsome Devil says: 'I love her already. And I think she may love me although she's not met me and I'd be too shy to talk to her. I'll just have to put it down to another ship that passed in the night. Still better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.'

Sleuth's bitterest rant of the week
This is about the proposals for the Elisabeth House site in St Peter's Square. Baron Rogers of Riverside says: 'Peter House is a carefully crafted sculpture with low elements facilitating a good street presence and the tall 'shard' in respectful distance to the square, hardly comparable to the 'umphhh' bulkiness of the new proposal. ABC TV has no presence on the square and is an irrelevantly mediocre complex which should be brightly lit in the event of a future air raid.'

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

M30October 9th 2009.

I don't know, Cas, I heard whispers that William Hague got caught short in Parsonage Gardens

Blue JohnOctober 9th 2009.

How dare you have a go at that nice Mr Blair, Mr Pragmatic. He's working really, really hard at his job as, I think, UN Envoy to JP Morgan Chase. Him and that f"""""" annoying "charming" smile. I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for Gordon Brown - tho' not TOO much - as he inherited the mess just as Tone, with remarkable luck/prescience, jumped ship.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

She's pretty she is.

CasOctober 9th 2009.

Are you putting that to me? Anyhows the BNP conference would hardly be a large scale thing and if it were, then that's democracy and we have to either have democracy or not. I also think those protesting in the gardens should be allowed to do so. We send young men half way around to world to fight for the freedom of others yet complain when we don't agree with what someone says. Freedom of speech is for all.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

The proposed Super Casino in East Manchester was a perfect example of the way this city is not run in the best interests of local people. What about the cost of some of the events at the International Festival? I have talked with local performers who have been passed over in favour of artists from New York etc. Why does a ticket for Pride cost an exclusionary £20 when it brings in £20m of extra business for the city? But don't worry, the rich tourists can afford it. Why are there so many buy to let city centre apartments owned by people who don't live in the area and don't give a **** about the local environment, city and community?

Rational BlairiteOctober 9th 2009.

No, having the Tories here brought revenue and publicity to the city. Your political leanings aren't really relevant mate; that's what the ballot box is for.

M30October 9th 2009.

Cas, I was offering that one out to the floor, although I'm in agreement. As much as I dislike the Tories, and whilst I don't agree with everything the BNP stands for, their money is as good as everyone else's, and it boosts Brand Manchester. So whether it's the tory party bolly-binge or a football match involving a certain Glasgow team. It raises the profile of Manchester, as at the moment Manchester wants to be Barcelona, but it behaves more like Düsseldorf.

Anti ToryOctober 9th 2009.

I didn't have any intention of being rude and I am happy to accept that I am in the minority. Sometimes that's the right place to be. I am sure that there was some economic benefit to the city in hosting the conference, although I doubt that it was anywhere near the fanciful figures claimed. I also understand the point about exposure for the city etc... I think that the city should be more selective in the conferences for which they bid. My point about the electorate was simply that Manchester citizens mainly vote for parties other than the Tories, which is why they only have one seat in the council. Inviting them here for their annual bash therefore seems a bit perverse. I do not think that ordinary people should have any faith in Labour, but I am damn sure that they should expect nothing but pain from the Conservatives. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember their previous record in office. Yes "Manchester" will have to (and should) work with them when they are in office. I don't think that having the conference here will make any difference to how that shakes out, other than as a showpiece, a sort of gimmick. Keeping your friends close and your enemies closer may be a good political maxim, but getting into bed with your enemies is a step too far. Thanks for the offer, but I don't want or need the lessons thanks. A bit of independent thinking is in no way contradictory to what it means to be a Manc. A lot of Tory thinking doesn't resemble my definition of the principles behind Manchester, though. That was and is the point.

smittyOctober 9th 2009.

lol @ des - sadly I am in front of a computer for a couple more hours, but would prefer to be in front of a bar!

smittyOctober 9th 2009.

Belfast has more rain than Manchester. Also, here's an article from the times about Manchester's place in the rain league tables: www.timesonline.co.uk/…/article4636848.ece…

CasOctober 9th 2009.

However M30 relating it to that football match is a bit strong. I didn't see any Conservatives pooing in the street.

Pedro 1874October 9th 2009.

Never mind the Champagne ban what about "call me Dave"'s Savile Row suit price? Admittedly he got it on discount - down from £3,500 to £1500 while his clever wife wore an M&S dress at £65. Who had the most election savvyness? No contest. He shows great naivety. None of them will ever get close to "being in touch" with the nation. Now, propose a massive pay cut for the architects of the recession - highly paid bankers, FSA execs and MP's and he might show he has some political nous, but to punish any of us who were the victims is just going to lose thousands of votes. Keep it up Dave!

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

I assume the claimed £13 million gain was calculated on the the Scarborough basis that Salford used the other day to calculate how much it earned from its tourism. This counts all the visitors etc not jus those who came for the conference on the four days. It of course does not account for the cost of having the event though I assumed the Tories paid for all the Police overtime. It will be interesting to see if they will come back. I would have thought they would be more at home in Harrogate or Leeds.At least it was Parsonage Gardens not Sackville GardensGiven the comment from the left here I was surprised how little this was visible on the street. And most of the fringe events were open... so why not a little old fashioned heckling?

Tyson the BeerhoundOctober 9th 2009.

Sadly, the pubs didn't do quite as well as they should have done but the restaurants and hotels did well out of it. Also, apparently Long Legs had to put on extra perfomers and city centre brotherls were running double shifts, so there were some winners out of it.

johnthebriefOctober 9th 2009.

Anti-Tory, was the irony in your reference to "independent thinking" deliberate or accidental?

Champagne SupernovaOctober 9th 2009.

I was beginning to think that I was the only one in Manchester that didn't want the Tories here. Thankfully, I have at least found someone else who doesn't want them back. A city centre bar manager complained to me that the Tories haven't been spending any money. He claimed that two toffs came into his pub, asked for two lime and sodas and two receipts! Is that the economic benefit to the city ... you can keep the change ...

Anti ToryOctober 9th 2009.

I don't see what there is to be embarrassed about. I don't like the Tories and I fear that they will make life a lot worse for working people. Is that a position that is not permitted in New Manchester? I didn't intend that as an argument for Labour. It is what it is. The figures that are thrown out to the press in favour of these sort of events are based on very crude models. They ignore what business would have been taking place in the city anyway and they also have a tendency to change dramatically over time. I don't know whether Manchester approached the Tories or the other way around. Either way, it was the wrong thing to do, for me.I agree with Anon and Anon. Basically, what we have in Manchester now is a strategy that is totally focused on economic impact and external marketing to the detriment of public good. I am in favour of economic impact and external marketing, but not at any price. We need a balance that has been lost somehow. Whilst Manchester gets heaps of praise and is commonly regarded as a regeneration success story, this is not the case across the whole city. Life may be good in the City Centre but, if anything, the gap between rich and poor across the city has widened in the last 15-years. I love Manchester, but I hate that state of affairs. Can you be anti-Tory and be independent? Maybe not, but my point was that there should be room for thinking that is independent of the "Manchester Family" and the Brand Manchester thought-police. They do some great stuff, but this time they got it wrong. If the Tories get more votes as a result, then they got it horribly wrong.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

Face it, this city is run as a business for tourists, visiting business people and students and anyone genuinely local is way down the pecking order. Who cares how the pubs did over the conference? Maybe if we started closing down some grasping profiteering bars the quality of life in the city centre would begin to improve instead of having to take your life in your hands when just nipping out for a pint of milk at 8pm on Saturday night.

scoteeeOctober 9th 2009.

YAWN!

east lancsOctober 9th 2009.

Is that "Dave" 'cos you're amongst friends, "David"? ;o)

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

Anonymous, the security operation is paid for by the Home Office, so although we all pay in terms of general taxation, the £3.9m it costs isn't borne by Mancs solely. And whereever they would have their conference, the security would cost that. Bear in mind also that the bobbies on overtime are getting extra money, which comes out of the country's general till, which they will probably put back into the local economy. Also, the police have made it clear that there isn't a reduction in service provided elsewhere in the county, and it is from calling people in on rest days and paying overtime.

ACOctober 9th 2009.

Cas. Can't say I agree with your comment about those protesting in picadilly gardens being allowed to do so if you're referring to the planned EDL event on Saturday. Their previous 'protests' have involved racist chanting, nazi salutes, numerous arrests and attacking asian businesses.

DefartesOctober 9th 2009.

Why are you still here at 6pm on a Friday discussing this...? There's pubs to go to... why aren't I there actually? Arrrrgh!

dominicOctober 9th 2009.

Champagne ban! I take it that the ban didn't include the 200 bottles that a certain off-licence just off St Peter's square delivered to the conference? As let slip by one of the off-licence staff at the start of last weekend!

M30October 9th 2009.

I put it to you that all hell would break loose if the BNP held their conference in Manchester. Yet they would also be spending money in the city's bars, hotels and restaurants, would they not?

slimOctober 9th 2009.

since when have those tory b@st@rds been good for manchester i despair !!!!!!

JoOctober 9th 2009.

The day before the dreadful MEN redundancies I found a free new mag with my free MEN. Stylist, for women, which according to its editor will address women’s “real hunger for thoughtful journalism dealing with issues that matter.” So what’s on offer? “Intriguing current affairs stories from around the globe” relating to nude-hiking, dream weddings and vanity, plus a slew of stories about guess who – yes Angelina Jolie. Jennifer Aniston and Natalie Imbruglia. Thoughtful journalism? They’ve thoughtfully included lots of plugs for Burberry as well as the ad Burberry paid for. Strangely I still feel hungry.

ELOctober 9th 2009.

But... they're called "Labour" and they're socialist red... they MUST be all about the working people!

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

'Having the Tories here was a dumb idea at best and an insult to the Manchester electorate at worst', What utter rubbish, it raises the profile of the City and brings in funds to restaurants, hotels and other related business who, if you hadn't noticed, weren't having the best of years. Just because their political views are different to yours, you want them hidden away? It's not an insult to anyone, it's democracy.

DaveOctober 9th 2009.

I think this is going to be my longest rant ever. I lived in London for quite a while and to be honest, the weather is a lot better there. It doesn't drizzle often, it gets bluer skies and stays warm in the summer evenings. There's far more to life than the weather though; like warm, friendly people who wouldn't just walk away en masse (including the driver) from someone who just got stabbed on a bus and leave them to die, or drive around someone who is lying injured in the road, to name but two news items about London quite recently. The media obsession with Manchester's weather - which isn't great but is in fact better than at least 9 other UK cities - is similar to the one re "Gunchester" when London has far worse problems, proportionally, with guns and knives. Anyway, as far as the Tories go, I was fairly impressed with Cameron and Osbourne coming out with some (rather brave) policies at last, and the shadow home secretary sounds like a decent sort who might reverse some of the Orwellian measures of New Labour, but right behind them, the nasty party is very much alive and well. If only NL had been good enough to carry through their 97 manifesto pledge to modernise the voting system, then maybe people could vote for who they really want and it would count, and people might get less cynical about political matters as a result, instead of us all being forced to get back onto the seesaw of one of the big two getting absolute power from a minority (< 40%) of those who bothered to turn out to vote. Since they are likely to form the next government though, it cannot be a bad thing for all those southerners to have come and seen the place for themselves, and realise its significance to the British economy. After all, according to official measures, this is something like the 7th city, after Bradford, since city populations are measured in the UK, like everything else, by antiquated means, instead of by modern measures like LUZ. So when they are doling out money for various things, they will realise that this is really the 2nd city.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

What do you know? Whatever? My issue is the advantage and cost of having conferences and large scale events in Manchester. The usual methods of calculating the benefits ignores the cost and exaggerates the benefits. Next month my professional organisation will have its three day conference in Manchester. It will not require hugh security, road closures and disturbance and will involve about 1000 people. Manchester needs more of these and less of the high cost events (including dare I say it sports events) International sports associations pay for the additional security required both at the grounds and in the City Centre. Other events also pay. It is not very clear whether this decreases police availability for the rest of us in GM County or not or is all paid for by overtime. These costs are probably included in the benefit calculation as a gain to Manchester. The question is not about politics but impact. David Cameron in in favour of community participation in vital things which affect them... so am I.

Simon TOctober 9th 2009.

The great and the good aren't all "natural lefties". According the MEN (Sept 2007) "Colin Sinclair rose from the ranks of Salford University Federation of Conservative Students to become the SUSU Entertainment Officer in the early eighties."

Anti ToryOctober 9th 2009.

according to Crain's; "Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, is being lined up for a life peerage by the Conservative Party, according to a report in trade publication PR Week." Say no more...

CasOctober 9th 2009.

So we only allow those to hold their conferences here who you agree with? Or who have a certain number of seats on the council? Now that would be peverse.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

I grew up in Newcastle where the city was always full of drunks and bad behaviour and at a time before the binge drinking culture spread to every town and city across the country. This was immortalised in Viz comic with the 'Fat S***s'. In the early 1990's when I went to work in London, as far as my colleagues were concerned, the Bigg Market, loose women with no knickers and yobbish men was what the Newcastle was famous for. What I'm saying is that if you allow your city to become a party town where anything goes, then you will reap what you sow and it's a downward spiral. On a smaller scale you can see this in the gay village. Once a safe space for lesbians, gay men and transexuals, now it is a hellhole. A friend believes it is because, to many straight people, the village is simply a 'perverse' place where anything goes. Thus they have a licence to behave as badly as they like.

foreignerOctober 9th 2009.

Manchester principles = Manchester Capitalism, ManU ManCity big money, boys club. Sounds 'Tory' to me...

AnonymousOctober 9th 2009.

Who cares about 'Brand Manchester'? Almost nothing that has happened in the city centre over the past 15 years has been in the interest of locals unless they have loads of cash: small shops and markets swept away, an explosion of pokey city centre apartments inhabited by boozing knobheads, quite a bit of heritage destroyed in the rush for profit, the highjacking and commercialisation of long running events such as Pride and the Caribbean Carnival. You can't even buy a tin of paint in town now!

ELOctober 9th 2009.

Well that's told him!

whateverOctober 9th 2009.

To the anonymous one just above; why do you make these assumptions? What do you base them on? Do you actually have ANY idea as to (for example) the funding of the security arrangements. No. Did you complain when Labour held their conference here? I doubt it... grow up, the lot of you. It's truly depressing to see this one-sided view of everything. It's not footy, it's something that requires thinking with your brain, not your bollocks.

Happy chorltonOctober 9th 2009.

It's rubbish that people are associating the Tories as champagne drinkers and using this as a negative against them and that this'll mean they are too posh etc to look after the working class. Rubbish. It's only a drink, the vast majority of the country has drunk it, on special occasions, which for them, it was! And do you really think that Blair and brown over the past decade only drank bitter and lambrini at their conferences! Whatever the Tories did or didn't do when they were last in power needs to be forgotten and people need to realise that labour have now had long enough to sort things out, but they have failed! Now they have become dissollusioned and alienated from the majority of people in the country, allowing the Tories to quite easily, with only really sensible ideas, no rocket science, take the lead into may.

Not a Tory, but not rude eitherOctober 9th 2009.

Anti-Tory, it's not a dumb idea to the £16m-worth of cash that they bring with them into the city. It's not dumb for the hotel, bar, restaurant, venue owners and workers who have had a much-needed boost in the middle of a recession. It's not a dumb idea for the city to get all the good publicity from the conference. It's not a dumb idea to have a load of people who are likely to be the next government get to see what a fantastic place this is, which might be helpful when they're doling out regeneration cash. I'm no Tory, but why shouldn't they have their conference here? This is a city that welcomes people. Maybe you should take a lesson in what it means to be Manchester, Anti-Tory?

Mr PragmaticOctober 9th 2009.

It's no wonder people in the South think we are a bunch of Northern oiks. The anti-Tory bilge is unbelievable. Labour has run the country into the ground over the last 12 years. For "working class" people to belive that the Labour party looks out for them is laughable. Look at the £millions Blair and Kinnock have made. They are only there to feather their own nests and make mugs of everyone.

Blue JohnOctober 9th 2009.

Yes, but Cool Manchester - as we surely must be known by everyone else in the UK - has a bit of the 'double-edge sword' feel about it.Instead of concentrating too much on 'rainy Manchester' (cries of 'forfeit, forfeit!'), why not refer to London - or anywhere else we are talking about - as 'distant, foggy London', or 'distant,foggy Rival-city's-name'. We'll see how THEY like it.

Anti-ToryOctober 9th 2009.

"That’s a lot of natural lefties." ... I don't think so Sleuth, the list of Manchester's great and good that you provide could better be described "as a lot of natural wets." To the left of Boris Johnson maybe, but to the right of most right-minded people in the city. Having the Tories here was a dumb idea at best and an insult to the Manchester electorate at worst.

John LeesOctober 9th 2009.

of course the conference itself took place at Petersfield, the site of the Peterloo massacre in 1819. I wonder if the Tories of the day would have been carrying banners in favour of universal sufferage, or carrying sabres dripping with blood? It is a long time ago, but it is also "the most important event in Manchester's history" according to one historian, and should not be forgotten.

smittyOctober 9th 2009.

I'm not a Tory and won't be voting for them, but I don't see what the problem is about letting them use our city for the conference. What's good for "Brand Manchester" is, imho, good for everyone in Manchester. Creating jobs, securing jobs etc etc. You might not like the city centre "knobheads" who live in the apartments, but who do you think built the apartments? You might not like the Tories swigging gallons of champagne, but who served them it? I don't think it's fair to describe the Tories as evil - and yes, I remember the 80s as well (and was growing up in a working class home at the time) - they aren't the BNP. Plus, I do think it's a bit unfair for anti-tory to describe people expressing a different view as the "thought police". Surely the point of discussion threads is to allow a bit of a debate? Where opposing views can be exchanged? And the facts are, they are probably going to be our rulers in a couple of months, so let them come, see how great we are, and follow that up with giving us investment cash to build on the real, sustainable work that's already been done to improve the social situation of people in this fantastic city. Better in our hands here in Manc than in the tea rooms of Tunbridge Wells!

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