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Sleuth 25/02/2011

George Orwell One Show shock (again), loving Starbucks, naughty United, breast ice-cream

Published on February 25th 2011.

Sleuth 25/02/2011

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. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. Follow Sleuth on twitter @Sleuth

Sleuth, George Orwell and something wonderful, never said 
Back in 2008, Sleuth made a confession. It read: ‘Prior to Urbis opening in 2002 Sleuth was asked, as were many others, to provide interesting historical information, relevant quotes and so forth for an attraction which would celebrate Manchester’s role in the creation of the world in which we live. Sleuth gave one of his favourite George Orwell (pictured above) quotes: ‘Manchester, the belly and guts of the nation’. This was reproduced in Urbis close to the sassy lift and probably remains there. Bruntwood reproduced the quote in their sparkling new arcade in Piccadilly.

In between times the National Geographic, doing a story about Manchester, researched the quote extensively, read everything by Orwell and couldn’t find it anywhere. They told Sleuth this. Sleuth could have sworn he'd read it somewhere or maybe he'd been lucid dreaming again. Sorry folks but let's nip it in the bud here. The quote doesn’t exist.’

That was three years ago.

Last night on The One Show in a feature about the new Lowry statue in Sam’s Chop House, the ‘belly and guts’ quote was repeated again. The thing has a life of its own, Sleuth is now sort of proud of it. Orwell might not have said it but he should have done. And now everybody thinks he did.

Naughty United
Sleuth thinks this is annoying. Manchester United has set up a team in a Pall Mall office building, in London, designed to secure new sponsorship deals from around the world. According to a Daily Telegraph report, ‘(The club) said London was a more practical base for overseas companies travelling to the UK for sponsorship talk’. Sleuth thinks this might be the case if the UK was the size of Canada, but Manchester is a mere 200 miles away...and has an international airport. Nor is it the case that United really needs to sell itself to potential sponsors, it’s not like the club is an unknown quantity. Boo. And its a little ironic that over the Ship Canal, the Beeb are moving up.

Sainsbury’s religious confusion
Sleuth loves the nonsense that occasionally flows from PR. Thus we got this press release about the opening of a new Sainsburys just down Oxford Road from Curry Mile and all the Pakistani, Bangladeshi and other middle eastern restaurants. The press release was titled: ‘A Mecca for Locals’. Oh dear. Sleuth thinks that a Mecca for locals would probably be Mecca not a smallish food store. After all just about all the Curry Mile businesses and loads of students are Muslim.

Good on Sainsburys, as for the monster...
A good aspect of the ‘local’s Mecca’ is that amongst the 20 new recruits joining the 34-strong team are those who have been taken on through agency Remploy after struggling to find work. Excellent. Sleuth is less sure of the Royal Children’s Hospital’s ‘cuddly green bear mascot’ which turned up at the opening. The press release reveals that the mascot ‘has yet to be named’. Sleuth has a name for it: frightening.

Sleuth’s large man of the week
Sleuth was bemused by this news that Eric Pickles, the generously proportioned Secretary of State for Communities, Local Government and Lardy Pies has refused planning permission for a food store at White City Retail Park. Who'd have thought it?

Sleuth’s favourite eavesdropping of the week
This heard in Alchemist in Spinningfields. Woman to man, “My new boss is the thickest I’ve ever had. Yesterday she asked me if chicken is all right for vegetarians.”

Sleuth’s ‘knowledge’ watch
Outside Confidential there’s a taxi rank. This week one of the Confidential people got in a cab and asked to be taken to “The Arndale”. Taxi-driver was clueless. Last week one of our lot got in a cab and asked for “Harvey Nichols”. A different taxi-driver was clueless. There’s only one solution for such taxi-drivers. The city should hold annual tests and those that fail should have their licence removed if ‘the knowledge’ isn’t up to scratch.

Breast-milk ice cream
Sleuth reckons this will be on the way up to Manchester soon. ‘A new London ice cream parlour is serving up breast milk ice cream,’ a recent press release tells Sleuth. ‘The ice-cold breast milk concoction, dubbed the Baby Gaga, will be available at the Icecreamists restaurant in Covent Garden. Victoria Hiley, 35, from London donated a total of 30 fluid ounces of breast milk to the restaurant after seeing an advert on the internet. Victoria Hiley said "What could be more natural than fresh, free-range mother’s milk in an ice cream? And for me it’s a recession beater too – what’s the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?”’ Sleuth feels a little queasy. The press release also quotes Hiley as saying, “It’s very nice it really melts in the mouth.” Sleuth feels sick. Our writer Lynda Moyo has also written about this, Sleuth’s taking a little lying down.

Lovely Starbucks
Sleuth has always thought that Starbucks coffee is acrid, bitter and ugly. But occasionally necessary when there’s nowhere else to go. Sleuth was overhearing something the other day in the place. The staff were saying that the default milk used in say, a cappuccino, is semi-skimmed. In otherwords, crap, tasteless, lifeless milk. Milk with the meat taken out. So Sleuth asked for full fat milk in his cappuccino, and lo! What a revelation. Suddenly Starbucks coffee was acceptable. Try it folks. It's Sleuth's tip of the week.

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

Red not deadFebruary 25th 2011.

The United story will just add fuel to the notion of the Cockney Red fire

George OrwellFebruary 25th 2011.

You charlatan Sleuth

Tim BurgessFebruary 25th 2011.

Charlatan? Sleuth was never in the band

Adam RichmondFebruary 25th 2011.

You lazy sods! The Arndale & Harvey Nicks is about a 5-10 min walk from your offices!!

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

Furfoxache I utterly agree. Gordo sometimes gets a taxi across the office.

George Orwell also never saidFebruary 25th 2011.

All meringues are equal but some meringues are more equal than others

George Orwell also never saidFebruary 25th 2011.

Davina McCall is a thought crime. But I wish he had

George Orwell also never saidFebruary 25th 2011.

Dermot O'Leary is doublethink but I wish he had...

The Moon Under WaterFebruary 25th 2011.

You think that quote's bad. They took Orwell's favourite name for a pub and made me into a Wetherspoons

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

Lonely, broke, hungover? You're never far from a Wetherspoons.

Eddy 42February 25th 2011.

Can we just clear something up ? Its not called "Curry Mile' its called "Rusholme" and has been for quite a while. Its an annoying thing students do -showing no regard or respect to Rusholme as a wider community - which is much more than just curry houses. Whilst bus drivers can be right difficult buggers i had to have a laugh to myself when a student got on to a bus and asked for 'The Curry Mile'. The driver (clearly knowing exactly what the poor little Home Counties darling was refering to) blankly looked at them and would not accept the destination until they asked for Rusholme.

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

Eddy, just putting a picture up for you of Curry Mile under the Sainsburys story. And please don't defend rudeness to people who come and study here and add to the vitality of the economy and the culture of Manchester. As for that bus driver, like the taxi-drivers in the story above, they should be given lectures and exams every year, but this time on courtesy, and if they fail they should be fired.

Mark JorgensenFebruary 25th 2011.

You know, I never knew George Orwell was a character played by Michael Palin circa Python days until I saw that photo.
You learn something every day.

Eddy BannermanFebruary 25th 2011.

It says it on a banner - i stand corrected. I shall henceforth call Rusholme 'The Curry Mile'. Because it says it on a banner. I must also point out that the bus driver in question wasnt being rude - just difficult and stubborn. And another thing - just because people come and study here and add to the vitality of the economy and the culture of Manchester doesnt give them an excuse to be annoying little twerps.

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

Hey Jorgyman...and that Ernest Hemmingway was once played by Eric Idle. It's true like Manchester is the belly and guts of the nation

MadbadbusmenFebruary 25th 2011.

Eddy, so being 'difficult and stubborn' are good qualities for a bus driver then?

Adam RichmondFebruary 25th 2011.

Is there any other kind of bus driver?

GordoFebruary 25th 2011.

Jees, can we all get back to work?

EricFebruary 25th 2011.

Last year, hanging out at MIPIM, I noticed Marketing Manchester used the faked Orwell quote as part of the Manchester display. So its official now. Or maybe I dreamed that as well?

LeeBeckFebruary 25th 2011.

The "belly and guts" quote is from Orwell's 'The Road To Wigan Pier'. Don't be taking credit for that ManCon!!

EricFebruary 25th 2011.

Uhhr, no its not Leebeck. That's the whole point. Sleuth claimed it was many years ago. But do a full text search of the whole book...
..and you'll find only five references to Manchester, none of which includes the quote

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

That's what Sleuth thought, but National Geographic read the whole book. Then the other books and then the essays, and they couldn't find sight nor sound of it.

Old KitbagFebruary 25th 2011.

If Manchester is the belly and guts and Leeds is slightly north of Manchester what part of the body does that make it?

BobFebruary 25th 2011.

Have you really stooped so low as to take the piss out of someone for being fat?

WhitesidesOnsideFebruary 25th 2011.

Bob - the thing that you need to understand is that Mancon appears to be run by a load of 'airy-fairy'lefties - i.e perennial students, therefore anybody related to the Tory party is going to get a bashing. Just have a read at the toe-curlingly sycophantic article on the bufoon Lees a few months back.

SleuthFebruary 25th 2011.

Bob. Yes. Whitesideonside presumably you are a United fan like that famous socialist Sir AF? Sleuth however supports Manchester irrespective of party politics. This is why Sleuth often gets called a Tory. When he gets called a leftie or a Tory it amuses him.

Whitefield WhatsitFebruary 25th 2011.

Not sure about breast milk ice cream if I'm honest, but if they were offered to me with some quality cones? Well, I might be tempted!

WhitesidesOnsideFebruary 25th 2011.

Sleuth - I am indeed a United fan, however in no way support the views of the champagne socialist Sir Fergus Alexson and his Glasgow ship yard shop steward/Glazer loving split personality...

jayFebruary 25th 2011.

I am neither a United or City fan but have been to Manchester City's offices in Mayfair, London. Just thought I'd share that with you.

GordoFebruary 27th 2011.

Who's calling me fat? You bastard...

George OrwellMarch 1st 2011.

Manchester - the belly and guts of the nation.

There. I said it.

Smyth HarperMarch 1st 2011.

I thought something like that was said in The Road to Wigan Pier. Not read it for years, but it's an interesting treatise on the working classes and is very like something you'd read in the Guardian (that is, a well-meaning middle class person not really understanding the working class, but attempting to and then explaining it to others but not getting it quite right). From memory, Manchester features quite strongly and the "belly and guts" phrase if it doesn't appear there, it is certainly a fair summary of what he is saying about the "North".

tblzebraAugust 8th 2011.

Your Orwell quote has surfaced once more, in Sunday's Observer. It's an otherwise great piece about how all the southerners need to shut up about how awful it is up here, as they're talking utter sh*te.


'Birmingham may think of itself as the country's second city, but Manchester likes to think a little bigger than that. This is a city with a glorious past that's always looking to the future.'

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