So Mr Anschutz’s efforts down on the ranch failed to secure him the prize in the biggest government raffle since 3G. Long as the post mortem of that decision will undoubtedly be, there are a couple of points I suspect will be found missing in the traditional media.
First, of the sites involved, ask yourself this question; which site most benefits the Labour Party at large? After all, Labour’s record of abject failure in most services (pretty much the worst schools and hospitals anywhere in the country) is only defended electorally by the big ticket items in Manchester’s regeneration; without the Commonwealth Games and the new buildings in the City Centre, the Liberal Democrats would be running Manchester by now. Is there anywhere else to which the award of the super-casino is so crucial to Labour’s electoral fortunes?
Second, consider the amount of the press coverage of the award that focused on Beswick Shopping Centre and the sprawl of maisonettes that surround it. Having been a regular user of the Asda store across the road from the super-casino site, it’s an area I know rather well. Today the story was all about the terrible deprivation in East Manchester and the contribution the super-casino will make to its regeneration.
Which is odd, because up to now the only story that has Manchester and regeneration in the same sentence has been the one about the dynamic, thrusting success of everything that’s happened since the bomb. What’s more, I’m fairly sure that in a few months time, that will still be the only story with Manchester and regeneration in it. The bit in the middle will, I’m sure, be conveniently forgotten…