19 Sep 2008
Dark side of the M 
Once upon a time seasoned Manchester watchers could guess when the bigwigs were in town as the screaming TAG vans would suddenly be replaced by pairs of shiny, happy, multiracial policemen and women having fun on the beat, signifying that some royalty or IOC or other were enjoying the local council's largesse.

Nowadays it's a bit more obvious, what with the with cordons, tank-traps, helicopters, security seals, road-closures and snipers hiding behind.....Peter Saville branding!

As a swathe of central Manchester is in lockdown for the annual conference of the right-wing neocon New Labour Party, once again selective parts of the city centre are festooned with full on security trimmings and a new incarnation of that Manchester M logo.

First aired in 2006 as part of Saville's Original, Modern treatment for the branding of the city, the new series consists of a number of lamppost banners and a 'The City of Manchester welcomes the Labour Party Conference 2008' poster, on view, probably, until the apparatchiks and party faithful leave town early next week.

The veneer of democracy.

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