The Anonymous Widower

Why Is Manchester The Odd City Out?

I find the different reactions of the large Northern cities interesting.

I have seen no comment and moaning from Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield, and Liverpool and the rest of Lancashire seems to have accepted their Tier 3. fate.

Only Manchester seems to have a serious objection.

I know Liverpool well, as I went to Liverpool University in the 1960s, met my late wife there and we lived together in the city for a couple of years.

I still visit the City regularly, as I like the city’s weather and outlook and do business with my old University.

I have visited Manchester many times, often for football (I support Ipswich, despite being a Londoner!) and I find the city very different to Liverpool.

But I don’t seem to warm to Manchester, as I do to Liverpool and the other large cities of the North.

Or is it Manchester doesn’t warm to me?

Andy Burnham is not a Mancunian and could it be, that his hard stand against the Government, is driven by wanting to be more Mancunian, than the Mancunians.

Manchester puzzles me, but it does seem to be out of step with the rest of the North.

October 16, 2020 - Posted by | Health, World | , , , , ,


  1. Andy Burnham is a table-thumping leftie so is just making a stand against a Tory government. The welfare of people should be above petty party politics.

    Comment by MauriceGReed | October 17, 2020 | Reply

    • I think that you can take politics out of it. I am very convinced that Mancunians have a different attitude!

      Comment by AnonW | October 17, 2020 | Reply

  2. From local news, I know that other areas have objected to tier 3 as well.

    Manchester is different to other cities because it cover a very large area, with very different demographics in different areas. And there are a lot of parts of the area where there is poverty on a comparatively large scale. And to quite a woman whose name I don’t remember but was involved in some aspect of homelessness, there are indeed women who have to go out and prostitute themselves to food on the table for their kids, and to buy their kids school shoes. And NOT because they have wasted other money. They level of homelessness is very high in Manchester. Walking through Piccadilly Gardens in the morning, and chatting to the many homeless people there, they will tell you that Manchester is seen a positive place for homeless people because of the arrangement that there should be a bed for every homeless person every night. Before Covid, that was the generally the situation, until homeless people from everywhere else came up here. Once lockdown happened, hotel beds were provided for all the homeless person wanted one. And support workers were working with the people to help them to change their lives. N+Many of the homeless people in Manchester became homeless when a relationship ended. They were using drugs or alcohol up to that stage, but where soon using drugs, particularly spice, which is cheap and plentiful, and blocks out the cold. There are many people a step away from homelessness.

    If Greater Manchester is to go into Tier 3, it will need sufficient financial resources to ensure that people on the brink of homelessness don’t fall into destitution – there are a lot of people close to the line on that one. People are always 5 weeks and sometimes a lot longer before they receive money after Universal Credit applications, assuming they are considered eligible. The furlough scheme has ended, or is about to. Protection from eviction is also ended; people i know are struggling to feed their families and pay the rent,

    I know you don’t warm to Manchester. However, I live here and so will have a different experience of the city. Andy Burnham isn’t being awkward, making a stand against a Tory government, or just being awkward. He wants the people of Manchester to receive the support they need if they are to enter into a another period f lockdown.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | October 17, 2020 | Reply

  3. I have a feeling that not warming to Mancunians, started early with me. As a child, we used to live next door to the most arrogant person I’ve ever met. He was a Mancunian and was always saying it was better in Manchester. As my father said to me once, if he thinks it’s so great, why doesn’t he go back. I remember when I filled in my UCCA form, I left Manchester out and ended up in Liverpool. Which as you know, is a city that doesn’t have a high opinion of Manchester.

    I also think a lot of Manchester’s problems can be traced back to transport around the city in the 1970s. British Rail had a simple plan and that was to build tunnels under Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, so that trains could cross the cities easily. Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield were left out as they didn’t need a tunnel, as the tracks go across the cities.

    Liverpool and Newcastle got their tunnels and they are in use today by Merseyrail and the Tyne and Wear Metro. These networks will be even better in the next few years, when they get their new trains.

    When Harold Wilson and his policies virtually bankrupted the country they went cap-in-hand to the IMF, who forced economies on the country. London’s new airport to replace Heathrow and Gatwick with a single large one at Maplin was cancelled, as was the Channel Tunnel.

    Manchester’s Picc-Vic tunnel was cancelled, which effectively got rid of any chance of improving TransPennine trains. It is looking like HS2 will finally build a tunnel across the city.

    But then Harold Wilson felt railways were of the past and everybody should have their own car. His Transport Minister, who was an ex-lorry driver and trade unionist, believed that freight should go by road.

    I think Manchester suffered more than anybody else because of Harold Wilson.

    Manchester was also not lucky with the Metrolink. Look at the trams in Birmingham, Blackpool, Croydon, Edinburgh and Nottingham and they are all low-floor trams, which are much more passenger-friendly.

    Because the Metrolink was designed before these trams came into general use, it has the old-fashioned trams it does. If the Metrolink had been built a few years later, it would be much better and easier to extend.

    Comment by AnonW | October 17, 2020 | Reply

  4. Merseyside, with a population of around 1.4 million, was offered £45 million. Greater Manchester, with a population of around 2.8 million, was offered £60 million. I’m not a mathematician, but it’s pretty obvious that that isn’t fair. That was part of the problem. The other part is that Greater Manchester’s been under restrictions since the end of July, and they haven’t worked, and local leaders are frustrated that the Westminster government won’t listen when they keep pointing out that the government’s rules don’t work. I don’t know what the answer is and nor does anyone else, but it’s very frustrating to keep being told to pursue policies that don’t work!

    Comment by theyearwithoutwimbledon | October 27, 2020 | Reply

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