Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's London ever done for us?

I mentioned our 42 Under 42 dinner from Tuesday night. My civic pride rather got the better of me. To cut a long story short, I wanted to remind our audience how much has been achieved in the North West in such a short space of time.

Think about what rainy Manchester has created in the last 50 years: the computer, the splitting of the atom, free trade, Oasis (who were in Liverpool, during Capital of Culture year, that very night), developing a cure for cancer, Elbow winning the Mercury Music Prize, the Halle, even Manchester United. And what's sunny London ever given us: Chelsea, Arsenal, derivatives and hedge funds.

To close the evening I did an updated version of a rant from the last interview Tony Wilson did, where he roughly said:

In the North West it rains and it rains. And yet we managed to produce the industrial revolution, trade union movement, the Communist Manifesto and even the computer. Down south, where the sun never sets, you took all our money and what did you produce? Chas and f*cking Dave.

Which, for the record, was a nice twist on this, from Harry Lime in The Third Man:

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

It's right though, isn't it. Chas and Dave, eh?

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