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Thursday 3 September 2009

Pride security try to prevent filming in a public place / Candlelit Vigil (video)

For the last three years we have filmed at the gates on the night of the Manchester Pride HIV/AIDS Candlelit Vigil. Entry to the Vigil is supposed to be free and the community was promised it would always remain so when tickets and fences were introduced (first for for Mardi Gras 1999 and then again from 2003 onwards).

However, in recent years we have gathered hard evidence on camera that sometimes people who only want to go to the Vigil are told they must buy an expensive Pride ticket or are made to queue for a prolonged period.

This year the security people tried to prevent us filming, even though we were on a public street. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 1:25 pm
Wednesday 17 June 2009

Council plans to build stainless steel and glass ‘safety fence’ along Canal Street

Perhaps you thought you’d seen every half-baked, damaging, badly-thought out planning decision that Manchester City Council could come up with or approve for the gay village area?

It allowed ugly modern buildings to go up next to Victorian warehouses on Canal Street, replaced the cast-iron bridge with a concrete one, gave the go ahead for a giant skyscraper that would overshadow the whole street and granted endless licences for bars. It allowed the gay village, which was once a safe space, to become a binge-drinking hellhole where people get murdered.

Well, if you thought you’d seen it all, think again, because the latest lunatic proposal will make you gasp… (more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Environment,History,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 6:33 pm
Monday 15 June 2009

Public ‘won’t get the answers they want’ from Iraq War Inquiry

Clare Short tells Channel 4 News why the public won’t get the answers they want from the Iraqi War Inquiry, which was announced today.


Filed under: Politics — GS @ 11:17 pm
Sunday 10 May 2009

Snouts in the trough at Manchester Pride: the Tourist Board

Manchester Pride and Marketing Manchester: two doors of the same sty

Much has been written about the extra income that Manchester Pride brings in for the local economy.

In 2008, Andrew Stokes, who is chairman of Manchester Pride and chief executive of Marketing Manchester (the tourist board) told the press that Pride was worth more than £17.5m per year to Manchester’s businesses. Other estimates have been as much as £22m.

With Pride bringing in so much much cash for businesses you might think that Marketing Manchester would owe us? After all, Pride is funded mainly by the public, through ticket sales. In 2008, we coughed up about £600,000 — two-thirds of the total Pride income — to run this giant tourist bonanza for the city and its businesses.

Manchester Pride's accounts 2007/2008

But no… Take a look at page 21 of the 2007/08 Manchester Pride accounts (PDF) and you’ll see that Pride paid £6,040 to Marketing Manchester for ‘normal commercial services’. Whereas Pride invoiced Marketing Manchester just £92.

I can reveal that the £6,040 charge was because Marketing Manchester does the business accounts for Manchester Pride!

Update (March 2010): it has emerged that an accounting mistake led to Manchester City Council accidentally paying Marketing Manchester £421,000. It has been written off, so council tax payers will foot the bill.

Update (April 2010): Andrew Stokes is now Chair of the [gay] Village Business Association, Chair of Manchester Pride, Chair of Queer Up North, Chief Executive of Marketing Manchester…

Update (January 2013): according to press releases from the time, it seems that Andrew Stokes resigned as Chair of Manchester Pride in December 2010. However the published Pride accounts for year ending 30 September 2011 state that he resigned a year later, on 14 December 2011. While according to his personal LinkedIn profile he left in Manchester Pride 2009. If you take the December 2010 date as the correct one, he was Chair of both the VBA and Pride for a period of some 8 months from April to December 2010.

Snouts in the trough

Vintage pig photos from the Library of Congress.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 5:55 pm
Friday 1 May 2009

Lesbian and Gay Foundation: the beginning of the end?

* Employment tribunal reaches decision

* Funding crisis: Outnorthwest magazine slashed

* An NHS-funded registered charity that engages in politics

* 62% of the annual income goes to pay 23 employees
(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 4:50 am
Sunday 19 April 2009

How the BBC plants a seed of doubt regarding G20 footage

The BBC reports on the latest video footage that has emerged, showing G20 protesters being hit by police.

The video, by Camp for Climate Action, shows IT worker Alex Cinnane being banged with a shield on the side of his head. In a second incident a man is punched in the face by a police officer.

The BBC adds: (more…)


Filed under: Politics,The media,TV & film,Video-making — GS @ 5:48 pm
Tuesday 14 April 2009

The end of investigative journalism?

Every call made, email sent and website visited is now being logged under new regulations and automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) tracks the movement of vehicles.

Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell thinks that the ‘truly dangerous’ moment will come when the police and security services are able to monitor journies in real time.

Read more at The Guardian


Filed under: Politics,The media — GS @ 11:54 am
 
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