Thursday, September 30, 2010

Labour Conference 2010: Life in the Northern Quarter

This year I stayed in an one bedroom flat in the “Northern Quarter” of Manchester. A world heritage site no less. This was not only cheaper and better than a hotel but it was also a far more interesting and cosmopolitan place to stay than the City centre. 

In the mornings I was able to try and shake off the Midland Hotel induced hangovers with an early morning jog around the nearby canals. 

On route I would pass an area near Piccadilly Basin which had been closed off to the public and was being used to film a Hollywood film based on the “Captain America” comics.   Apparently this part of Manchester resembles 1940’s Lower East Side, New York.  It was strange to see cast members walking around dressed as “gangsters and molls” in period hats and trench coats while texting or sheltering from the rain using modern umbrellas. 
Running (very slowly of course) along the canal’s you become very aware of Manchester’s industrial history and the “dark satanic mills” that we sang about a few hours ago earlier at conference.  Many old mills have been turned into apartment blocks similar to the old Bryant and May Matchmakers building in Bow.  There is even an area called New Islington to make me feel at home. The best run to appreciate the new and the old Manchester was along the Ashton Canal to the Man City stadium and back. 
On a sad and depressing point I did notice that thanks to the Banker's recession work has stopped on many construction sites which are moth balled and up for sale.  Some of the newly built apartments and office buildings also appear to be mostly empty.  Regeneration of this part of Manchester is obviously in trouble.

Massive CONDEM public spending cuts will just further destroy confidence. This will mean more construction workers will be unemployed, less taxes will be paid and more money needed to pay benefits.  Which will increase pressure on the deficit and mean more public spending cuts which will mean....We need our new British superhero, Ed M, to save us!


Dan McCurry said...

Personally I think Ed m is going to do fuckall. I thought he would be good, but then that conference pseech was one the one hand divisive to us and on the other, doing nothing seperate us from the Tories.
It doesn't auger well, John.


John Gray said...

Hi Dan

We must have been listening to different speeches:)

Come on now. He will wipe the floor Cameron and Clegg.