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Sleuth 4/01/2008

Manchester, healthiest place in the universe and bring your own rocket for next year’s New Year’s Eve Albert Square party

Published on January 4th 2008.


Sleuth 4/01/2008

Shock report: Mancunians are vigorous
Sleuth can exclusively reveal that a new report has concluded that Mancunians are the healthiest people in the UK. Men and women in the city have the best diets, drink and smoke less and have the most sex. They even live longer by an average of seven years than folk from Tunbridge Wells. Lots of really, really important Doctors, namely, Spock, Frankenstein and Jekyll, have found that recent reports branding Manchester the unhealthiest city in the country have been false. Dr Spock, who now lives on Planet Gorton, said, “It’s illogical to assume anything other than a Klingon conspiracy over stats such as Wednesday’s about city men having the highest blood pressure. Manchester is an extremely healthy place, perhaps the healthiest in the Universe, just look at the number of kebab shops, bookies and ASBOs.”

Rocket fun
After the big upset caused by the lack of a New Year's Eve event in Manchester, Sleuth has an idea. As mentioned in our article on this site, click here, why must all our entertainments have to be organized by official bodies such as councils? Are we incapable of doing anything on our own? Next year if we want a party let's all bring a bottle of champagne and a rocket along. 8,000 people letting off a rocket in Albert Square at midnight would be impressive. What's that about Health and Safety? Oh come on, have you ever been to Spain, seen the Pamplona bull run? It’d be great.

Rocket run
Sleuth knows a bit about history. A traditional way of celebrating New Year's Eve early in the twentieth century was for city lads properly fuelled on ale of course (not Blue Wickeds) to line up outside the Town Hall main entrance and at the stroke of midnight run. The aim was to run round the building back to the main entrance before the twelfth bell rang. Brilliant fun. Nobody managed it though. Put a rocket up their arse as mentioned in the above story and it might work. Or we could even do the organised thing and get professional athletes in to do it. In this way Manchester could use a ready made and unique celebration that's already to hand. In the old days the fastest runner got free ale for the rest of the night in a pub lock-in. Seuth's sure that the USA’s Jeremy Warriner, the current fastest in the world over 400m, would love it, if invited.

Burglary in corridors of power
Speaking of the Town Hall, Sleuth was amused by MEP for the North West, Sajjad Karim’s, verbal slip on Wednesday. Karim was introducing a fellow defector from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives, Councillor Faraz Bhatti, to the Conservative Leader David Cameron. Click here The defection gives the Tories their first seat on the Council since 1996. Karim said: “I’m pleased we’re breaking into the Town Hall…er…(pause)…er…in a positive way, of course.” Whalley Range voters might not agree about the positive bit. Since they gave Bhatti, as a Lib Dem, 2030 votes as opposed to the Conservatives meagre total of 206, this could well be seen as daylight robbery. Or a real con.

Upwardly mobile
Sleuth wondered what really was in the defection for Bhatti, after all being the only Conservative in the Town Hall is going to be lonely. But in conversation with others on Wednesday it became obvious. Bhatti will stand out in a city that David Cameron has already targeted for attention – click here Bhatti has won Brownie points in a much bigger political institution than the Lib Dems. Under the impressive Cameron, the Conservatives, seem to be going places. Determined to be a career politician Bhatti wants to climb the greasy pole and Cameron presents the best opportunity. It’s pure politics and opportunism. Watch out for Bhatti standing for Parliament in a safe seat sometime soonish, with maybe a few lucrative committee posts en route.

Pole vaulters
Sleuth thought new publication Crain’s Manchester Business missed an opportunity with the headline on the email they sent around this week. ‘Firms rely too much on Poles, says NWDA’ it screamed. Apparently Polish workers made up ‘39.2 per cent of all new National Insurance registrations in the North West in 2006/07 compared to 19.2 per cent in London.’ Amazing stat but surely the headline Crain’s should have gone with was, ‘NW Firms supported by Poles.’

Poles apart
Sleuth got a flyer through his front door the other day. Entitled 'POLISH WORKERS' it read, ‘Polish workers from only £6 per hour,’ and then went on to list plumbing, gardening and so forth. Intriguing. But unnerving. Sleuth isn’t sure about dividing jobs up by racial stereotype, you could easily get into trouble: French chefs, Indian doctors, Italian gigolos, English hooligans, German stormtroopers….perhaps better stop there.

Carroll service
Sleuth couldn't help smile at the report in Thursday's MEN about Bernard Carroll's new bar, Walrus, on High Street. We wish it luck at Confidential because we love bars. But the line about Carroll having 'the Midas touch 'with 'Panacea, Sugar Lounge and Ampersand' and for that matter Reform Restaurant and others was perhaps wide of the mark. All of them except Panacea changed hands rapidly after they'd opened. Carroll is a great designer but it seems that sometimes his ideas are a little too advanced for the management teams that follow and some of their ‘interesting’ client base. Still as we said best of luck to Walrus.

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

victorJanuary 4th 2008.

It's French polish workers.It was a typing errur, silly.

CharlieJanuary 4th 2008.

Steady on chaps, let's not get excited. I like the idea of people bringing their own fireworks next New Year's Eve into Albert Square. But I only like it because it would annoy the health and safety fascists so much. Can you arrange a competition so that the person with the biggest rocket wins a prize? I don't know something like setting fire to that ****ty ugly father Christmas we've had to put up with.

SupermanJanuary 4th 2008.

It's little known fact that although I grew up in Smallville I was born in Longsight.

mirandaJanuary 4th 2008.

I think that means he is laughing at you not with you. But I didn't think it was even meant to be funny, was it?

MattJanuary 4th 2008.

Dear readers,we write such crap and unfunny articles that when someone has a go at them, we have to take time out to try and explain what our purpose was, (thereby treating our readers like they were complete dunderheads and in the process adopting a lofty and patronising tone best-suited to some stuck up postgraduate nob-head from Surbiton) because we signally failed to accomplish that simple task in the article itself. And who said top class journalism was dead?

SteveJanuary 4th 2008.

I'm glad there's Conservative representation on the Council. It's better if Manchester becomes more complex politically. Of course Bhatti is guilty of opportunism but honestly name any politician worth their salt who hasn't been greedy for power and influence? That's what drives them and makes them good...and of course bad. Winston Churchill changed from Tory to Liberal and back again and he did that here in Manchester. Bhatti just wants to make his mark, doubtless he'll prove to be no Churchill, but what do we want out politicians to be? Half the time we complain that they're too anaemic but as soon as they do something colourful we blame them for not sticking to their principles. Can anybody tell me about anyone they know who's vaguely interesting who's never changed their minds about issues?

LewisJanuary 4th 2008.

Carroll. Walrus. I might be dead but is the whole idea based upon my fine poem the Walrus and the Carpenter.

SleuthJanuary 4th 2008.

Yeah I thought that too Miranda, but risible does just mean plain funny as well. However it does seem like every damn week there is new survey on how crap and unhealthy life is in Manchester, so it's meant to be a piss-take on all those.

GordoJanuary 4th 2008.

I am Matt's side Sleuth, that was a **** piece and you should have more Gordo stories..... I know Matt luuuurves me. :-)

SleuthJanuary 4th 2008.

Hey Matt, if it's risible I think you'll find that means that it's funny.

DrakeJanuary 4th 2008.

Wasn't one of the reasons Leeds and places started NYE celebrations to reduce pissed-up fightingdom? Making people gather together and avoid bars in the freezing cold for 45 minutes waiting for a council oppo to find the 'go' switch is guaranteed to sober them up.

MattJanuary 4th 2008.

That piece about health is just so desperately unfunny. Risible.

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