I take my hat off to Tony “Fordy” Ford and Arnie “Arnie” Hiri for opening the doors to a proper classy bar in Manchester. I don’t know what Ithaca means, but I like the look of the place. My favourite cop show from my favourite decade was Miami Vice and they’ve nailed the look – absolutely spot on. I was telling Fordy – with my Ray Ban shades and rolled up sleeves on my Armani jacket – that he needs to push the private members thing a bit harder. They work in London. Some say they are elitist, excluding, pretentious and aimed at people with far too much money and too little common sense. I agree. That’s why we need one in Manchester more than ever before.
As you know, I own a few shares in a few select venues around and about. Keeping out the riff raff is of paramount importance. I believe in the power of a membership – no, not Quintessential and Paint, which I accepted the free offer, by the way – but the ones that really count: Royal Westmoreland, Lancaster Grammar Old Boys, Mere Golf Club and the old funny handshake brigade.
To be fair, when you’re ITK – (that’s In The Know – muppets) you don’t need to flash a piece of black plastic to get a table at San Carlo or get a new shirt from Frank Rostron – you get what you want, and you just do what you want. I was having this discussion in the sauna with Dave Russell the other week at the Midland Hotel – we weren’t staying there or anything – we just walked in. I mean, who’s going to stop us?
I’ve got a major dilemma at the moment about this congestion charge thing. I think it’s a good idea, basically. The kind of people who it will hurt should be taking the bus anyway and leaving the roads clearer for the rest of us. I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’ve signed up for Andy “Simmo” Simpson’s campaign against it. I know Simmo from his Rothschild days when we nearly bought NES Recruitment off him, but that’s a different story and not for now. Anyway, since he joined Peel he’s stayed in touch, to be fair, and he’s been right on my case about all this road charging malarkey. I think it must have been when I was on John Whittaker’s plane coming back from Euro Cup final in Moscow, my eyes glazed over a bit, but it all seemed to make sense. Next thing my name was on some letter to the council. Anyway, holding two contradictory positions at any one time isn’t the worst thing I’ve done and it always worked for Bill Clinton.
On the political front I keep being asked if I’ve done anything to make my life greener. I haven’t and I won’t. Why should I? That said I reckon I’ve spent more weekends at my place in Abersoch this year than I have at the gaff in Majorca. Does that count?