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Times are a-changin’

Submitted by on May 31, 2011 – 1:08 pmNo Comment

By Navajo

Old perpetual certainties always come to an end. The Navajo (Naabeehó Bináhásdzo), once a great nation, were the second largest Native American tribe in North America. They had the exemplary attribute of a willingness to adapt foreign ideas into their own culture. When the Spanish started to establish a military force along the Rio Grande in the 17th century to the east of Dinetah (the Navajo homeland), Spanish records indicate that Navajo allied themselves with the Pueblos and successfully pushing the Spaniards out of this area following the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. However we all know the unhappy fate of this once proud and prosperous Native American people. Reduced to living out their lives as humiliated, dejected people, a label on a beer bottle for a hoppy bright piss-coloured beer, brewed in some obscure part of Europe. Their monumental cultural heritage attenuated to the butt of a joke for a bloke with a big nose.

Maine Road v FCUM friendly 4.8.09, photo by Matthew WilkinsonSome people who lived on Brantingham Road in Whalley Range had a beautiful view of an idyllic English scene. Wide open field of freshly cut grass, the beautiful smell of newly mowed gramineousness. Mature oak, silver birch and beech line the battlefield. The adversaries face each other all dressed in white, the resplendent sound of leather ball bouncing off the willow. You see the impact before you hear the joyous noise of ball flying for a six. The majority of the young men on this field of honour are of Asian descent, maintaining that which is commonly perceived as the quintessential English setting. Times change.

The lucky inhabitants of this part of Brantingham Road had to face the reality of a changing world. The cricket club, like many sporting establishments, are not lucky enough (or not, depending on your view) to have rich philanthropists pouring money into preserving their passion. The club therefore sold off a strip of their playing field to a property developer.

This caused indignation among the property owners who once wallowed in the beauty of the mental representation of a typical English village. They wrote letters to the local press, they complained to their councillors and MP, they signed petitions, they had meetings, they got angry, they sounded and cried. Their view would be ruined, the noise would grow, the traffic would increase, their house prices would drop. Their house price would drop.

This development was not going to bring benefit to the local community, this developer was not going to work with kids in local schools, or provide badly needed local facilities, or do voluntary work with old people. They were simply building more new houses. There is no need for more houses in this area, everywhere you go you can see For Sale and To Let signs. We are told people want ‘new’ houses, people presumably don’t want to live in a house where other people have fucked, spewed, farted, sneezed, snotted, slept, wept, pissed and crapped.

Go on Google maps, satellite, and the image you get is one where the development has not happened, walk along Brantingham Road and you can see for yourself that the new build houses are defiantly there and there to stay.

The development on Brantingham Road was allowed to go ahead, even though it did cause inconvenience to a few local people and it didn’t bring wider community benefit. The Brantingham Road development was done purely for profit, the only person to benefit from it was the property developer. It was still allowed to go ahead.

There is a proposed development elsewhere in Manchester, where a few people feel that they will lose out as a result of the proposal. But the development I’m referring to in Moston has enormous social, cultural and sporting benefits for local people. The site itself will be improved, the facilities will become more accessible for all people. Money will be put into the community to help and care for young and old alike. How often do you get a development that is in the interest of working people?

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