Friday, 26 May 2017


From: Closed circuit

A press release hailing Paul Dennett’s appointment as Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s portfolio holder for housing, planning and homelessness presents him as a horny-handed son of toil.

He was “brought up by a working class family… this background had a huge impact on his politics, where money was tight and the stress of debt was always in the background”.

The teenage Dennett “helped out in his parents’ pub changing barrels, lugging crates and talking to the regulars” after which he worked in a BT call centre.

Apart from mentioning that he later “completed his degree and then lectured in business”, this biography was unable to find space for some accomplishments cited on the authority’s own website.

This begins noting Dennett’s two degrees, academic research and work with the Chambers of Commerce before turning to activities that might carry more working class street cred.

Could this disparity have been ordered by the authority’s elected mayor Andy Burnham, given his perennial need to assert that he springs from the toiling masses?


There was another twist in the Curo cable car saga this week, when the local MP used the general election to give his view on the plans.

For readers unfamiliar with the story (see Closed Circuit passim), Curo has a housing estate it wants to develop in Bath which needs a transport link. Its rather bold solution has been to propose a cable car which, it’s safe to say, hasn’t attracted universal support.

Local MP Ben Howlett has so far refrained from commenting because his role as MP gives him a “quasi-judicial” role in the process (apparently). Now though, freed from these shackles by virtue of being the election candidate rather than the MP, Mr Howlett has spoken out. So is he a cable car or a cable can’t?

“I think it’s the wrong solution,” he told the Bath Chronicle. Sorry, Curo.


On the campaign trail last week, John Healey, shadow secretary of state for housing, found himself at a primary school in Coventry alongside long-time Labour wannabe and former comedian Eddie Izzard.

Closed Circuit doesn’t know much about youth culture, but we’re pretty sure of two things that aren’t cool anymore: one being Eddie Izzard and the other being the word ‘razzmatazz’.

So Mr Healey’s tweet that “@eddieizard added real razzmatazz for kids” goes straight into our extensive folder of ‘worst attempts to be down with da kidz by figures linked to the housing sector’. Especially as he got Mr Izzard’s Twitter handle wrong.

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