‘Something to tease, something to please, something to test, something …..'

Presented after the events of this week (has someone done the statistical analysis on this year to date; IS it an anomaly or just Baby Boomers dying?).

Victoria Wood was from the north west. Studied in Manchester and got her big first break at Granada TV. Makes her one of us and that’s without considering ‘Dinner ladies’ (one of the best sitcoms ever).

Sadly missed.

What? Prince had little to do with Manchester so go cry your purple rain somewhere else.


Gustav Klimt (Austrian; Art Nouveau, 1862-1918): Water Castle, 1908. Oil on canvas, 110 x 110 cm. Narodni Gallery, Prague, Czechia.


Childe Hassam (American, Impressionism, 1859-1935): Snowstorm, Madison Square, c. 1890. Oil on canvas, 20.25 x 16 inches. Peabody Art Collection, The Maryland Commission on Artistic Property, USA.


Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Post-Impressionism, 1853-1890): Patch of Grass, 1887. Oil on canvas, 300 x 390 mm (11.81 x 15.35 inches). Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands.



Half of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has become bleached in just one summer. Can it ever recover?


And March set new global temperature records.










From our Welsh correspondent Richard Emmanuel Jones

Sigh. Today’s poem is by Dilwyn ap Gwynedd of sleepy racist mid-wales town, Machynlleth. Dilwyn ap Gwynedd sports a tatty beard and individual beret, and has not worked for forty years or ever. Yet he is an expert in economics and wealth creation! Take it away, Dilwyn ap Gwynedd! –

DaG:- *cough* –

‘Laissez-faire, laissez-faire,
Doesn’t happen anywhere –
All bucked and rigged hypocrisy
So far the meritocracy.

Free marketeers – such quaint ideas!
Your faith delights and tickles
Throughout the land, Smith’s hidden hand
Is not there, neither trickles.

Now watch the cake, the workers make,
Consider your net slice.
Are you a whore, and taking more? –
A quick glance will suffice!

Not hard to learn, the slip says ‘earn’,
The word means what you’re paid.
But is it fine? the bottom line?
Or more than what you made?

The dismal art, gosh it’s so hard!
And better left to others!
Not yet complete, we must compete!
Lest we become as brothers.’

I contributed to the lengthy Task Force on the Living Wage that Manchester City council conducted in 2015. A parade of business, community, academic and government experts spent more than 6 months telling them that, far from costing money, deciding to pay the Living Wage (the real one not Osborne’s stunt one) would boost the local economy and provide positive investment returns far higher than most projects they were considering. They rejected the idea.

Congratulations to Warrington council for having reached the opposite conclusion.



Don’t forget to contact us with your winning social and community project stories, we’re looking to feature them in the coming weeks.

As usual, post comments and observations in the form below BUT if you wish to contact us about this column, our other published articles or making a contribution yourself then please email me at;

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Comments (9)

    • Allan Wort


      Hi Anne; thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.

      “[Machynlleth]. It is neither sleepy nor racist”

      But possibly humourless? Or ‘misses the point sometimes’?

      Anyway, glad you read our publication. We hope you enjoyed the rest of it 🙂

  1. Kay Frew


    Love this writer. He is refreshing, funny and clever. And so is this mag. I posted it to Twitter this morning.
    Do you have a Twitter account?

  2. Anne Toms


    What’s humourous about accusations of racism and what point am I missing?

  3. John Bull


    I don’t think it’s a serious accusation. I think it’s an ironical humour.

  4. Anne Toms


    Allan could have explained it was someone’s idea of a joke rather than accusing me of being humourless. Given that our town relies heavily on tourism I really don’t see the joke. Imagine someone who has never been here reading that we are “sleepy and racist”
    I expect better from 38 degrees.

  5. Joe Taylor


    I spent some time diving on the Barrier Reef with my then 14 year old son some 25 years ago. Lucky me, I guess. What is this capitalist world coming to?

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