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” – well, not unless you count Graham Stringer becoming leader of Manchester City council in 1984.
Manchester might not do revolution, but its 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.
In this fiery political talk at Gorton Monastery, timed for the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, Ed Glinert runs through the dramatic political history of Manchester.