MancunianSpring declares for Tina Louise in Tatton


With all the validity of Dave saying that fracking will give us cheaper gas the team at MancunianSpring have come out for Tina Louise of the Green Party who is running against George Osborne in his Tatton Cheshire constituency.

The selection was unanimous for multiple reasons.

Firstly, Tina Louise is one of the most altruistic and beautiful human beings you could ever wish to meet. She does things for the right reasons and contends that she doesn’t want to be part of the system..she wants to change the system. There’s no doubt that even if she got to Westminster she’d be campaigning to have herself put out of a job and a more socially just system replacing the one that she’d been voted into. Not only is she a fine orator she matches the talking with walking having been a frontline activist in the fight against fracking for many years and that alone would be a breath of fresh air in this age of stage managed and sterile politicians whose convictions rarely match their actions.

We’re also backing Tina Louise because of the Osborne factor. Readers of this blog will know that we have been particularly vocal in our objection to the Osborne imposition of “Devo Manc” upon the people of Greater Manchester including a Mayor that we don’t want. Short of Mancunians popping over to Knutsford to declare the place as now being administered and run by the Frank Sidebottom statue in Timperley, our backing of Tina Louise is the nearest that we can get to messing with HIS patch.

Finally, for the memory and honour of the brave battlers of Barton Moss, Salford who stood firm against Osborne’s vision of a fracking hell for the Salford & Manchester Mosses. We wouldn’t go away then and we won’t be going away any time good luck and positivity Tina Louise in Tatton


The team @MancunianSpring

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring


“DevoManc” NHS Protest 29th March


Sunday 29th March 2015 will see the people of Greater Manchester rallying to the defence of the NHS and demanding a say in their own region’s devolution deal. It is perhaps worth repeating that again, because at first it sounds quite unbelievable…demanding a say in their own region’s devolution deal!?!

We have already covered the lack of public consultation endemic within the “DevoManc” #dodgydeal and that would be enough to exercise the most politically moribund folk but now George Osborne and his troupe of performing local Councillors have gone and supremely pissed off legions of NHS protectors?!?

Dr David Wrigley as well as remarking on the mind melting lack of democracy involved within “DevoManc” said“Local patient groups, local GPs, local NHS staff, local MPs, national medical organisations and patient groups need to be all over this deal like a rash”…the breaking up of the NHS…in the birthplace of the NHS?!…you’d think so….

Herr Osborne seems to have just raised the border barrier of the NHS Sudetenland and marched his Panzer army of Labour apparatchiks straight into Czechoslovakia. This bizarre throwback move will be complete when we have our new fat little Oberbürgermeister installed who will no doubt be sporting jodhpurs and semi ironic lisp.

The people of Manchester are still coming to terms with the new realpolitik of how things are done these days, how pet projects are just dreamt up amongst yer mates and arbitrarily imposed upon 2.7 million people with no consultation. It’s lead to a renaissance of ideas within Greater Manchesters 10 boroughs such as Potty Pete of Levenshulme declaring the joint an independent Saxon fiefdom with tribute to be paid by all passengers on the 192 who shall journey forth through the boundaries. You are now no longer allowed to enter Bolton unless you are dressed as a Pirate, and according to a pronouncement by Lord Hosepipe Fran of Wigan the NHS won’t just be devolved to the region, each house will be allocated a Doctor with a crash team stationed in every corner shop. The Greater Manchester populace are currently spiralling off into new realms of “they’re makin’ it up as they go along’isms”.

So the folk of Greater Manchester are faced with two choices in this situation. To either shout yourself half crazy in your own car or to fight.

Manchester is the same city that recently hosted the largest protest in its illustrious and rebellious history in defence of the NHS so it was only ever going to be FIGHT!!!

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring



PETITION demanding that the people of Greater Manchester have a say on “DevoManc”

“DevoManc” explained to a space visitor


Picture the scene. You open your Sunday newspaper to discover that a cabal of Westminster MP’s have decided that from now on the UK will be run on a Presidential system, that an interim President chosen from the “political elites” would be installed any day now but we might be able to vote on a President in 2017.  After choking on your Cornflakes and passing on to the sports section you could reflect that this is not dissimilar to what has happened to the 2.7 million inhabitants of Greater Manchester. The situation becomes even more democratically surreal when you consider that Mancunians were polled about having a Mayor in 2012 and said ta very much but you’re all right.

The background to this rather bizarre situation is as follows. In a moment of back of a fag packet policy panic George Osbourne blew into Manchester all full of jobs, growth and “Northern Powerhouse” soon after the Scottish independence vote in November of last year and he herded together a group of local Labour Party council bigwigs to sign off on a package conjured up by their right wing think tank, ResPublica, as “Devo Manc”.

We were told that Greater Manchester was to become some form of post renaissance neo City state rather like Venice with less canals but with a Doge installed. This was presented as such a done deal that George pre-empted calls for a referendum on the matter by saying that there would be no referendum on the matter. One could also consider this deal as more than done as the powers that be are obviously fully aware that we have a general election just around the corner and yet they’re not even prepared to allow the matter space on a ballot paper that will already be being printed.

So why the fait a compli and perhaps more importantly why is this being done with zero public consultation or indeed any referral to the people whatsoever? The simple answer is that following the Scottish referendum “NOT YET” vote the political establishment fully understand that the break up of the Union is an inescapable inevitability and they want the break up to be on their terms, what you might refer to as a controlled demolition. Following David Cameron’s rather odd dash to become a separatist the very next morning after the Scottish vote by inexplicably killing the Union by announcing “English votes for English laws” he fired the starting pistol for devolution right into his own foot.

So where do we go from here and how do we escape the clutches of an establishment devolution model attempting to maintain as much of the status quo as possible with the illusion of more local powers?

In Greater Manchester people have been organising since very early December. Folk from the broadest church of political affiliations gathered in central Manchester to establish The Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign to demand that the people of Greater Manchester have a say on whether they want a Mayor or not. An online petition has been set up but more importantly, “pile in” petition signings have been organised in all of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs since early January. On Sunday 15th February GMRC members conducted a mass poll and survey of Sir Richard Leese’s Crumpsall constituency in North Manchester, Leese being one of the main architects of “Devo Manc” and the leader of Manchester City Council.

It wasn’t surprising that the vast majority of Crumpsall citizens had no idea that “Devo Manc” was happening let alone the fact that they are soon to have a Mayor enforced upon them but perhaps what was surprising and somewhat heartening was that in answer to the question, “would you prefer a wider devolution incorporating the North West” the answer was an almost 80% YES.

Probably the most interesting development in this fast moving story is the arrangement of “Assemblies for Democracy” with one being held in Manchester Friends Meeting House 18th April. Momentum is fast growing for not only a rejection of “Devo Manc” but the securing of devolution on the peoples terms rather than the establishments. Another extremely interesting twist to this story are the contacts that are being made between North West advocates of a people lead devolution and Scottish independence groups and other devolution/independence groups from around the UK such as Yorkshire, Wales and Cornwall.
It is also interesting that the drive for regional devolution is becoming a common purpose at a variety of levels within society with groups as diverse as Campaign for the North, the CBI and grassroots organisations all pulling in a similar direction and when you combine this with the burgeoning independent media scene and citizen use of social media the future looks intriguing.

It is noteworthy that Paul Salveson is calling for a Northern Assembly fed by assemblies from across the region which is no doubt urgently needed. Perhaps the bigger question is, should there not be a call for a UK wide peoples assembly to settle this matter on a national basis and attempt to forge a new way for us all to live together on these islands? Doesn’t it just happen to be the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta this June?

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring

From an article published in The Chartist Magazine and since publication in this fast moving story an announcement has been made that all NHS spending will be devolved to Greater Manchester

Its kinda like the West Wing meets Corrie


Our new Greater Manchester Mayor could be here any day now, nobody is quite sure. It could be a man or a woman but nobody knows.

There’s much speculation regarding the new Mayors mode of arrival into his or her new Mayoral fiefdom. Some have suggested the possibility of the use of some form of Popemobile type vehicle to transport their Mayoralness around the 10 boroughs occasionally stopping to kiss babies. With the appointment of the leader of this new City State consideration has been given to the possibility of the Mayor being transported down the Manchester Ship Canal in a Greek galley rowed by Persian slaves. Sports fans have been questioning whether the Mayor will be unveiled in a new Manchester United diamond formation whilst soap fans have speculated on a Coronation Street appearance probably as part of a tram crash spectacular when it turns out that the Mayor was driving the tram with a head full of mushrooms.

The most politically canny suggestion of the mode of our new Gauleiters arrival came from an ex Salford Docker who, with typically irreverent docks humour, proffered that the new Mayor may well be parachuted into Manchester ala Rudolf Hess, the high ranking Nazi Party member who was parachuted in to Scotland in WWII only to get banged up in the Tower of London. Comparisons with Nazis could be considered harsh, but not necessarily when top political blog “House of Cards” refer to the Greater Manchester Mayor imposition as an “affront to democracy” indeed the whole region could right now be on the verge of being saddled with a gold fringed epaulette sporting military uniformed type with a name like Noriega or Galtieri with right wing death squads roaming the streets of Swinton within weeks.

Mancunian Spring will continue to report on this rolling civic car crash for interested parties such as the poor limbo suspended commemorative Mayor mug manufacturers.

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring


Rumours abound since John Prescott’s resurfacing on the national political scene that he could be being lined up for Manc Mayor…and…the political state of Ukraine means that there’s currently a European “hard man” going spare in Viktor Yanukovych

Do the signatories of “DevoManc” have a license to implement the #dodgydeal ?

“DevoManc”, for the many of you out there who haven’t heard about it yet, is a collaboration between Chancellor George Osborne, and the Greater Manchester Council leaders (most from the Labour Party with one Conservative and one Lib Dem)

Osborne is the Austerity Chancellor, the axe-man of the “co-ruling” Conservative Party (who did not win a clear majority in the 2010 General Election), whose political mandate runs out in several weeks time. It’s probably also fair to say that The Conservative Party are unpopular in Greater Manchester !

In Manchester in 2012 53.2% voted NO to a Mayor, but this has counted for nothing in the scheming of the “DevoManc” deal, that is being shunted through by the featured politicians at high-speed with no mandate, no real authority, no public consent and no public popularity – for example, only 23% of the Crumpsall electorate voted for Richard Leese in the 2012 local elections and only 10% of the Salford electorate voted for Ian Stewart in an unpopular Mayoral election, with low voter turn-out

As has happened with fracking, we are starting to see the general public say that there is no social license for “DevoManc” and social media is also showing the peoples’ resistance – the Labour Party signatories are being called “CollaboraTories” and the hashtag #dodgydeal is doing the rounds on Twitter !

This GMRC Statement, of Monday 16th February 2015, puts the initial survey of the people into perspective, making the case for a referendum all the more stronger

Results in from the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign’s survey in Sir Richard Leese’s, Crumpsall Council Ward on Sunday 15th February 2015 show what the pro-referendum on Devo Manc campaigners say, they have found to be a similar case everywhere “….that the people of Greater Manchester overwhelmingly agree with the call for a referendum on the Greater Manchester Devolution Agreement a.k.a. Devo Manc once they find out what it’s about, and how it might impact on their lives.”

Their survey also found that 98% of those questioned, don’t agree with what Sir Richard Leese and the other Greater Manchester Council Leaders are doing, in imposing Devo Manc on the people of Greater Manchester without any form of public scrutiny or consultation beforehand.

Interesting to also find out that despite Sir Richard describing the ‘Devo Manc’ deal as “radical constitutional change” and media coverage in the press, and on TV and local radio about the deal, only 1 in 5 of the Crumpsall Ward survey respondents had even heard of it, or knew any kind of devolution and radical change in local Government was to take place. Even less knew what it was about or involved. This can only beg the question, say the pro-referendum campaigners, “on what basis Sir Richard believe’s he has any kind of electoral mandate for what he and the other Greater Manchester Council leaders are doing?”

The campaigners further go on to say “When it was explained to all those who agreed to take part in the survey what ‘Devo Manc’ was, and that it could have massive impact on the provision of all our public services for decades to come, and could even lead to a new layer of local taxes being introduced, despite 86% of those surveyed saying they agreed with the principle of devolution to the regions, 95% agreed with our call for a referendum on the deal. 76% also said they would prefer a wider North West devolution settlement rather than a Greater Manchester one.”

This is another thing, which the campaigners say “Greater Manchester Council leaders have also failed to ask people, in the rush to grab the £2billion of promised ‘devolved’ spending offered by The Chancellor as part of the Devo Manc deal”….”they failed to ask whether the people of Greater Manchester might prefer a North West deal rather than the imposition of a city-region deal.” The same goes they said : “for whether the people of towns like Wigan and Bolton, or indeed any of Greater Manchester’s other local council areas even want to be a part of a new Manchester City region, whether it has a Mayor or any devolved spending power or not. Surely, they should at least be consulted?”

Though their survey results, the referendum campaigners are happy to admit, “are not rigorously scientific, but rather of a good range of ages (between 16-69) 50% women and 50% men, and an average age of 34”, they believe, “re-affirm what they already know from talking with many hundreds of people across Greater Manchester – that a clear majority, once they know what the devolution settlement is about, support the call and campaign for a referendum on the Devo Manc deal.

The next Council Ward the campaigners hope to target and carry out the same survey is Wigan Council leader and ‘Greater Manchester Combined Authority’ Chair Lord Peter Smith’s Leigh West Ward (details to follow)

The next meeting of the Campaign will be at the Mechanics Institute, Princess Street, Manchester on Wednesday 25th February 2015, 7.00pm start

Author: Beryl Winstanley