No political revolution has ever been successful in Manchester. No charismatic political leader has emerged to seize power, confidently expecting to tell the masses, like Napoleon did to the French in 1799, “The Revolution is over. I am the Revolution”.
Nevertheless, Manchester’s history is coloured red. After all, Manchester was where the single most dramatic political demonstration in English history – Peterloo – took place in 1819. Manchester was a major centre of Chartism, stamping ground of Marx and Engels, home of the early trades union movement, and the city where the suffragette movement was founded.
So why then are there more statues of Tories – Wellington and Peel – than socialists within its boundaries?
Ed Glinert, author of The Manchester Compendium, one-time Trot, now beyond pedestrian party politics, leads this walk.