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Sleuth 16/11/2012: Hasselhoff, Cleverley And NO-vember

Here's the merchant of absurd's weekly words

Published on November 16th 2012.

Sleuth 16/11/2012: Hasselhoff, Cleverley And NO-vember

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Sleuth's Charitable Idea: NO-vember

Next year let's reform Movember thinks Sleuth - who finds it hard to grow stubble let alone a full beard. Let's do NO-vember when those with facial hair shave it all off. Come on all you Santas, let's see your face. 

Sleuth And Another Man With A Beard

Sleuth was walking down Quay Street this week and saw a tall man outside The Opera House with a beard - the latter probably nothing to do with Movember. He was surrounded by autograph hunters with steely determination in their eyes, stubby pencils in their hands and anoraks on their backs. The man looked scared. He also looked familiar despite his outlandish garb. Turns out it was David Hasselhoff. He's going to be Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Outside the Opera House he looked like he wanted to be in Never Never Land right then. Or at least chasing Pamela Anderson down a beach back in the day.


Sleuth And The Unfortunately Timed Press Trip

So a press trip was offered, the usual thing, a hosted visit of a foreign city with lots of tours and meals arranged. The editor couldn't go so he tried to find someone else. The new placement lad was game and flew out early on Thursday. The destination was Tel Aviv. "What's he covering?" the editor was asked in the Cornerhouse bar. "His head," said a joker nearby. 

Sleuth's Strange Job Of The Week

Sleuth wanted leather gloves. He went to the quirky shop Wippell and Company in Albert Square. Sticks, umbrellas, hats, ties, gloves and shirts. He could have been in 1953. In a room at the back it gets a bit strange. This is where Christian sects stock up on cassocks, robes and all manner of ecclesiastical paraphernalia. Sleuth asked about the manager who he knows. The lady behind the counter said, "He's off today". And then went on to say how Chris Holden had been ordained as a Church of England vicar. "Is he the only shop managing vicar in Manchester," Sleuth mused. "Possibly," she said. 

Sleuth's Dish Of The Week

Sleuth was walking past Abode Hotel this week. He felt peckish. He wanted something British and hearty. In the MC Grill in the Hotel there was a dish fit for a king from chef Bryn Evans. Ox cheeks suet pudding with Lancashire veg. It had a hotel price of £14.95 and was packed with meat contained within the smooth weight of a luscious suet case. The vegatables were perfect. The gravy should have been in a little jug on the side, but that was a minor quibble. Sleuth closed his eyes, munched and in his mind's eye found himself walking through Pennine valleys in autumn, the trees like fireworks in the valley woods.

Ox cheek suetOx cheek suet

Sleuth's Most Expensive Offer Of The Week

Sleuth gets food offers sent from all over. This week he got one from the famous Fat Duck in Bray. It said 'This year for the first time we celebrate with a Christmas lunch menu. Opening on the 2nd, 9th and 16th of December The Fat Duck will offer a unique Christmas experience designed by chef Heston Blumenthal. For £300 per person – excluding drinks and service charge - diners will be delighted with brand new dishes such as 'Christmas Tree', 'Savoury Lollies', 'Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh' and 'Taking the Piss'. The latter is a huge bill made from rhubarb'. Sleuth might be fibbing about the one dish listed here.

Sleuth's Historical Madman Of The Week

The editor interviewed Lucy Powell, the new Manchester Central MP before her election and put the interview up this week - click here. The consitituency was created in 1974. But Sleuth wonders whether Bill Boaks, was the world's worst candidate ever. He stood in the 1979 General Election in Manchester Central, on the ridiculous ticket of 'Democratic Monarchist, Public Safety, White Resident'. He got 12 votes. Sleuth reckons that probably wasn't even all his family.

Sleuth's Depressing Stat Of The Week

Lucy Powell became Manchester's first female Labour MP on Thursday night. The turnout was 18.4%. The lowest in any Parliamentary election since WWII.

Powell said: "There's been a really clear message coming out of Manchester Central tonight - a rejection of what this government is doing: targeting Manchester and people in some of the poorest, hardest working communities."

Sleuth says, "There's been a really clear message coming out of Manchester Central - a rejection of democracy. And this on the site of The Peterloo Massacre, the symbol of the battle for democracy and where people died to gain the right to vote."

The man at the back is saying, %26#34%3BForget it, there's no point.%26#34%3BThe man at the back is saying, "Forget it, pack up, there's no point."

Sleuth's Clock Campaign Of The Week

Sleuth wants to know why the Royal Exchange clock turns but always gives the wrong time. Can somebody get on to this at the Royal Exchange? Twice Sleuth has been late for champagne cocktail events at Harvey Nichols.

Permanently slow clockPermanently slow clock

Sleuth, United, Tom Cleverley And Mr Smalling

The top picture here shows Luke Bainbridge interviewing Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling during the Made of Manchester event at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) this week. The occasion was about Nike launching their new 'Gingham' United collection, and also a way for United to say 'Hey we're just as woven into the fabric (literally in this case) of Manchester as our light blue rivals'. 

23-year-old Cleverley seemed an intelligent and thoughtful lad, talking about how at 'United, you're taught to be humble'. 22-year-old Smalling wasn't quite on-message, when asked about Manchester, the Londoner said, he liked it because when he arrived a couple of years ago he found shops such as 'Harvey Nichols and Selfridges'. Very Manchester indeed.

Sleuth feels that all young players in both United and City need a damn good guided tour when they arrive - of course delivered by Sleuth - so they get to know a little bit about the more individual parts of Manchester. Sleuth's rates are reasonable.


Fancy dan bootsFancy Dan boots

Sleuth And The Doctor Of Minimalist Film Reviews

Regular Cornerhouse goer Rob is the University of Manchester's Professor of Brevity. Every week people gather from far and wide to hear his reviews of the latest films and judge whether they should watch them.

This week he was examining the current box office phenomenon that is James Bond.

"Skyfall?" said Rob. "More like Landfill." 

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

AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

Manchester Central by-election turnout of 18.4%? So shameful! And unlike other rival cities these days (Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield & Birmingham etc) why is Manchester still dominated (politically strangled?) by one party with next to no opposition?

Is it all a historic "town planning" issue? What can be done? Discuss.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

Manchester is left wing and holds little in common with the Conservative party. It's about as simple as that.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

...What can be done? Well people can vote Tory if they want to. But they don't. Which is allllllright.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

...and to say that Manchester is 'politically strangled' is insulting. Manchester democratically elects the Labour party, by choice. No strangling occurs.

It's not Mancunian's problem that opposition parties just don't really bother - they know they'll not win it.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

well it is a mancunians problem if they think about it for a while and come to the conclusion that an efective opostion is important in the democratic process and perhaps for council elections at least it might be best to vote for some other parties.

Calum McGNovember 16th 2012.

18.4% isn't choice; it's people resigned to the fact that they might as well not vote cos no other bugger will ever get in. One day, someone will cotton on to this and snatch it away. Maybe. (One sec, pink animal just flew past window)

Poster BoyNovember 16th 2012.

'Town Planning issues' ?

Are you serious...?

AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

Manchester is not left wing any Oh please! Left wing? Manchester is not left wing - it's just getting left behind. All councils dominated by one party become sterile and inwardly corrupt, but the 'politicians' here beat the lot with their unique lack of vision and purpose. This leads to a strange lethargy amongst council officers, who seem to live in a can't-do culture, and apathy amongst an electorate that has come to expect third best from the third-rate. You see the same syndrome in Salford. I'm no Lib Dem but I bothered to vote for the Lib Dem police commissioner because he was far and away the most energised and competent candidate. But anyone like that doesn't stand a chance when you've got that awful old-fashioned cozy Labour clique-iness holding everything and everyone back, whether they are left, right or swing both ways. Just look around you. If we really want to bring about changes in this city and make it a truly great place to live and work, we'll need a Mancunian maverick - maybe a northern Boris or a Lancastrian Red Ken or a cross-party Manchester First party that drives these dreary old left-overs of the old Left out of office forever.

CobbydalerNovember 16th 2012.

You wonder why turnout is low?


AnonymousNovember 16th 2012.

A career politician who we'll next see on the run up to the next election. Manchester is politically strangled. If your vote doesn't count why bother voting. 81.6% of Manchester Central would probably agree with statement. I voted and have never missed either a council or general election. I voted for Marc Ramsbottom not that I'm a Lib Dem supporter but he's a good bloke who I thought was a great councillor. I've seen him in action in planning meetings. The chair once threatened to throw him out because Marc was objecting (to Jacksons Wharf) so strongly.....but last night I left the polling station thinking 'what was the point?'

Poster BoyNovember 16th 2012.


Don't tell Gordo. He'll be calling Rob a right miserable old fart and demanding to know what makes him happy...!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GordoNovember 16th 2012.

he's a fuckin' ray of sunshine compared to you, me old pal ;-)

Poster BoyNovember 16th 2012.

I see the irony was lost...

DrakeNovember 16th 2012.

Given Bill Boaks didn't live in Manc, no that wouldn't have been all his family, in fact his worst result was five votes at Hillhead. He stood for loads of by-elections, and, when more elderly, acted for Lord Sutch of screaming memories, amd was fairly famous as a result (to anyone actually intested in politics).

Basically he campaigned for road safety. He was responsible for the pedestrianisation of Carnaby Street among other things. Somewhat ironically he died after a road accident. The sort of character politics doesn't attract anymore.

James CunninghamNovember 20th 2012.

The Royal Exchange Clock drives me mad! It's not just an hour slow for example, it is keeping completely the wrong time so is different every day! PLEASE will someone do something about the clock on this gorgeous building?!!!!

JohnthebriefNovember 20th 2012.

Has Lucy Powell any experience of anything at all outside professional politics?

GedleyNovember 21st 2012.

I thought expletives were deleted by editorial. Or does that not apply to management? I f****n hate expletives when they aren't necessary. Slipping one in just for effect - poor show.

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