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Tory Manchester

Next tour: Maybe to kick-off the 2023 Tory conference in Manchester.



George the Chancellor said on Wednesday 3 December 2014: “Our ambition is to build a northern powerhouse as a complement to the strength of our capital city, where we bring together our great cities of the North.”

Has he kept to his word?

New Manchester Walks’s decision to create that unlikeliest of tours – Tory Manchester – has caused a bit of a stir. The Manchester Evening News ran a piece, while Radio Manchester invited NMW’s Ed Glinert to go live on air with a few words about the tour. Publicity to die for; well to vote X in an unlikely place for.

Some people, including the new Labour MP for Manchester Central, Lucy Powell, have objected to this walk on the grounds that Manchester has only a left-wing, radical history and has never had any connections with anything remotely reactionary.

Not so comrade!

It wasn’t so long ago that the city council was Conservative run. Hard to believe now that there are no Tory councillors in the Town Hall. Not one. But let’s remember; this is a historical tour. Our guides are historians, not politicians, even though politics is one of the subjects they indulge in.

By the way, why does Manchester have no Tories? Is it because the population to a man and woman is so vehemently anti-capitalist or because the Tory Party itself has plumbed such depths of incompetence locally even its most ardent supporters have hidden themselves away? Capitalism thrives here. This is the city of free trade, after all. Just check out all those small businesses in the Northern Quarter.

There is something odd about a second city so determinedly anti-Tory; a second city of a country that mostly votes right. And something even odder about the way the Tories enthusiastically arrive here every other year now to hold their conference.

So ignore Manchester’s undeniable radical history for two hours and peer over the other side of the fence to hear about Churchill, Disraeli, Wellington, Peel, Thatch, and of course Dave.

* Read the Manchester Evening News piece on this tour here: