Week 19: in which Maxine Peake says scrotum

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth

Labour and the rich...

Sleuth is a political animal. And Sleuth is worried. Leaked policies such as re-nationalising the railways and utilities are strong ideas for Labour, but probably not enough to make them an effective opposition to an austerity-hooked government hell-bent on hard Brexit. So it was sad to see hapless Jezza Corbyn launching the Labour Party election campaign at Eventcity in Trafford on Tuesday (pictured above).

Labour wants to up the tax on the very wealthy to help pay for services. So what sort of message is given by talking about this in a building owned by tax exile John Whittaker of Peel Group. Whittaker lives on the Isle of Man and is worth more than £2bn. Who’s not thinking these things through for the Labour Party?

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Corbyn poured scorn on tax exiles in a building owner by John Whittaker - a billionaire who lives on the Isle of Man

Labour and the uninvited MP...

Jeremy Corbyn was also in town on Friday last week. He was meeting up with Andrew Gwynne, the MP for Denton and Reddish. Gwynne is Corbyn’s campaign manager for the General Election. They had a stroll in Castlefield and a photo was posted. Somebody tweeted asking where Labour’s Andy Burnham was, given he’d just been elected Greater Manchester Mayor? The Labour MP for Central Manchester, Lucy Powell, responded with, ‘I didn’t get invited (and it’s my constituency!).’ Again, who’s not thinking these things through for the Labour Party?

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Sleuth and the MCR Tories...

Sleuth would like to balance the failings of the Labour Party with something funny about the Conservative Party in Manchester, but he's not received any word of whether any of them still exist, or, at least, will admit they are Conservative Party members. It seems being a Tory in most of Greater Manchester is admitting to a love that dare not speak its name.

Sleuth and the ghosts of Cornerhouse...

Sleuth was at HOME last week, attending the launch of Flare - a biennial event of offbeat emerging theatre - when some ghosts appeared. "We are the ghosts of homes past," they wailed.

"Why are you here?" asked HOME director Dave Moutrey.

"For your welfare and reclamation," said Ghost 1, "but also because you've pissed off up the road to this shiny new £25m arts centre and left us to be invaded by squatters... they're on the bloody roof!"

"Well, we're sorry," said Moutrey, "but we needed space to grow, to increase our audience and widen access to contemporary visual arts and cinema."

"Oh piss off," said Ghost 2, "Network Rail want to knock us down and build luxury flats, offices and restaurants with twatty small plates, so you took the money and ran."

"No honest," said Moutrey, "we've been able to create more opportunities for community involvement and to expand our role as a digitally connected producer."

"Well good for you," said Ghost 3, "all the while we've got some tree hugging anarchist called Spider pissing in the old bookshop. C'mon guys, to them we are lost."

"We better do our weird little routine and get back," said Ghost 4, "Spider's on the roof again, he's drawn 'Fuck the Tories' on his backside and is mooning passers-by."

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Squatters on the roof of the abandoned Cornerhouse QuaysNews

The second use of scrotum in as many weeks...

Sleuth was pleased to note there was a Victoria Wood-athon at Texture in the Northern Quarter on Saturday. Maxine Peake went along, she’d played ‘Twinkle’ or ‘Twink’ in the Wood-penned and acted sitcom, Dinnerladies. Grace Oni Smith, the transgender star, speaking about the night, said. "Victoria Wood-athon yesterday was absolutely brilliant, not only did I get to do old lady drag as Mrs Overall, but Maxine Peake came down to see what it was all about. The highlight of my day was asking Maxine to say scrotum into the microphone." Proper entertainment thinks Sleuth.

Sleuth, fashion and interpretation

Sleuth's colleague and Body Confidential editor, L'Oreal Blackett, was at the launch of fashion designer Matthew Williamson's new USA Pro line at Flannels in Spinningfields this week. Williamson, as to be expected, was working the room like a pro, when, stealing a moment, he turned to Blackett and whispered behind his hand, "They've printed my pattern upside down..."

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'Now if you just stand on your head...'

Sleuth and premature email...

All bets are off. We have a winner. The first restaurant to send out a bloody Christmas email is...Vermilion. They only just managed to get past May Day before they burst and told us of their plans for December. As Sleuth melts in a scorchingly hot office this week, wearing a string vest and knotted hanky, he could do without having a whopping great Yule Log thrust upon him.

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Vermilion... as festive as sunburn

Sleuth and the finest joke in Manchester this week...

Sleuth received this message from the city council: ‘A Manchester company has been fined more than £14,000 after council health inspectors uncovered a host of food safety violations at a café they own in Gorton - including evidence of mice.’ Turns out the guilty party was Wong Wong Bakery Limited. So Sleuth adopted a comic pose, slipped on a Groucho Marx fake-moustache, cocked a pretend pistol and exclaimed out loud, “Well, that proves it. Two Wongs don’t make a right.” The queue for autographs was long. 

Sleuth and the man whose head caught fire...

Sleuth received an email this week from Manchester film production company, Digifish, which had just finished shooting a new TV advert for celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill. The brand had drafted in five models from Manchester-based agency J'adore for the ad, taking place at Hotel Gotham on King Street (described here as a location with a 'cheeky twist'... god knows). Though unfortunately Sleuth hears filming had to be cut short when the models entered and it all became a bit too much for the cameraman...

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J'adore models Digifish
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'...and CUT, my head's on fire' Digifish