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Sleuth 9/11/2007

The MEN’s coke addiction and pornographic advice

Published on November 8th 2007.

Sleuth 9/11/2007

MEN on a sales high
Sleuth applauded the brave way in which the MEN pointed the finger at itself about the use of cocaine in the employees’ toilets this week – Cocaine: the hidden epidemic, 5/11/2007. Confidential says well done for this excellent piece of journalism and we’ll be sure to say ‘high’ next time we see any of the MEN’s fine staff. Or maybe ‘high?’ They certainly have a nose for a story down on Deansgate.

Smokeless fuel
The three page spread on the abuse of cocaine seemed like a welcome piece of cutting edge journalism. Then Sleuth read it again. And again. Then he reversed the story - and his opinion. Out of twenty-one places named in the article the guilty coke-head venues were two buildings associated with crime (GMP reception and the Crown Courts), three with sickness (all hospitals), a media building (the MEN) and a bar (Panacea). Seven out of twenty-one. One third. No excuse at all then for the provocative phrase 'the shocking extent to which cocaine has infiltrated all levels of society'. If the drug is a problem then this evidence did nothing to prove that.

Do the Okay-cokey
Maybe the MEN needs another headline Cocaine: not a problem or Cocaine: relax. Especially with regard to its use in, as the paper wrote, 'the usual haunts of swanky bars and restaurants'. The Circle Club, Tiger Tiger, Cloud 23, the Lowry Hotel, Malmaison, Moon under Water, Cornerhouse and Living Room all tested negative and only Panacea was found wanting. At the same time no traces were found in Salford and Manchester town halls. Nor in the Cathedral. Sort of reasurring, isn't it?

Confidential office not clean
We tested ourselves too. Manchester Confidential was clean everywhere apart from Gordo's office. Here we found trace samples of expensive varieties of foie gras. And crumbs from expensive crackers. We tried to quiz Gordo on whether he acknowledges that he is a cracker addict. Unfortunately he was heavily involved with a three hour lunch in The River Restaurant and unavailable for comment.

Two short planks
Sleuth stuck his nose into the new Love Saves the Day on Thomas Street when it opened on Monday. David, the co-owner, told him: “We got a full blast of Northern Quarter weirdness when we were preparing the place. We were offered ‘genuine’ Rolex watches, lots of different types of drugs, shop fitting lights, you name it. Oh, and one man offered us some wood.” Wood? Eh? Sleuth thought about this for a moment: “Was he a fence?” he asked.

Bar none
Sleuth has been admiring the Pakistani Bar Association’s response to President Musharraf’s imposition of martial law. No references to ‘m’learned friends’, this is direct action, throwing rocks in the streets, being dragged off in police vans. Sleuth wondered what it would take to get our barristers on to Deansgate for a set-to with the boys in blue. Perhaps, banning of sales of Pomerol within 100 metres of a law court, on-the-spot fines for anyone wearing a blue pin-striped suit and pink shirt, imposing VAT on pomposity. But probably not the proposals about the ninety day detention of terrorist suspects.

Porn again truth
Sleuth spotted this poster in a Tib Street sex shop. What a lovely sentiment for a sunny day.

Click to see full picture

Beggers can be comedians
Sleuth has been encouraged by the quality of begging this week. Tootling home at 10pm a not-too-healthy looking street botherer, approached Sleuth and said, “Have you got a spare ten thousand quid, mate?” He paused and then as Sleuth giggled said, “What about a quid then?” Sleuth obliged, entertaining beggars deserve a little something to feed their addictions.

Beggars can be greedy
The tough authority figure of the Confidential office was leaving a boozer with her boyfriend on Wednesday when she was asked by a beggar, “Can you spare any money for a B&B?” He was serious too. Tough Confidential reached into her purse, extracted nothing and then gave the churl some spare - and very scary - short shrift.

Where is James Purnell?
Following James Purnell’s faked photographs at Tameside Hospital, we ask the Culture Secretary and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, where he’s not been this week.

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