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Learning from Manchester

Manchester is a mad brilliant town. In the film Oasis: Supersonic the phrase is repeated and repeated as an accolade, a joy. To be mad in Manchester is to be a thrill seeker, a risk taker, a joyful prankster, an individual. But that madness does not extend to killing children with bombs, it does not extend to acting in a way that is designed to destabilize the beautiful truth of Manchester: The city’s rise as a symbol of multicultural creativity.

This is the city where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital, connecting the slaves who picked cotton in the Southern States with the indentured workers in Manchester’s cotton industry. This is the city that fought for the weekend and has a deep history of fighting for the rights of ordinary working people. As Tony Walsh so eloquently, passionately says .. “This is the place”.

Manchester is a fierce place.

Manchester is my home town. This poem brought me to the home inside me.  As Mr Walsh recited the joys, the brilliant madness of Manchester, I felt the story surge inside me. In Manchester culture is the lifeblood of the city and whether you are “born here or drawn here” it is how you engage and how you live with other Mancunians. There is much to be learned from Manchester.

So in a city of such astonishing creative activity multicultural life enriches and elevates. We are all threatened by those who would crush culture out of us but in Manchester there is a history of resistance, from the creation of one of the worlds greatest orchestra’s, The Halle, to one of Britains leading Theaters, The Royal Exchange, to Oasis, Joy Division, The Hacienda and more. This is the place.

It is no surprise that it was not a politician, a religious leader or a sports person who captured the fierce spirit of Manchester, it was a poet, As Tony Walsh says, as he concludes his poem…

Choose love.

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