What does the brand Salford mean to you ? What do you understand about Salford, the city, its origins and where is Salford now in the wider world ?
This is my blog so I am going to be honest but before you read any further you need to read the whole blog to get a fuller understanding of my views.
Over recent months I have received criticism in our campaign by the Community Action Party to "Save our Swinton." Many people, especially true Salfordians thought that I am anti-Salford because I was promoting the town where I live which is Swinton.
The government proposed a Swinton constituency, a campaign or two was set up by local people and a separate ill-judged campaign by the Salford Advertiser to "Save Salford." The Community Action Party set a separate campaign to "save our Swinton" which is still ongoing and the campaigns at their height brought on occasions fierce rivalry towards each other.
My concerns were that somehow being Swintonian was somehow frowned upon by some who thought by having such thoughts or beliefs about their identity was somehow being a traitor to Salford ? Or that those that refered themselves to being Swintonian were doing so because they do not like the "brand" Salford.
This is not true. When the government proposed a Swinton constituency I quickly realised that such a concept would be good for our town. Put us back on the electoral map which in turn would bring jobs and investment back to Swinton. It would also bring a sense of civic pride back to Swinton townsfolk, the very same arguments being made by the "Save Salford" campaigners.
I went on the Salford City Radio to explain that our case was one of mutual respect. Swinton is now part of Salford but that does not mean that the feelings of Swinton people should be ignored and a Salfordian identity imposed on those that want to be Swintonian and vice-versa or both.
The debate about parliamentary constituencies did not put Salford at risk. The city of Salford would be exactly that even if we have a Swinton constituency within the city of Salford. I dont see anything wrong with that and nor should true Salfordians ? If they do, then yes I believe there is that lack of respect to the fact that "new" Salford has been created with a make-up of outer townships.
The Labour Party jumped on the "Save Salford" bandwagon as did the Salford Advertiser. The Labour party tried to take advantage because of their self-serving political interests in that 3 Labour MP's would become two Labour MP's instead ? That was their real reason to "Save Salford" I believe and no other reason when the city of Salford was not even at risk by the proposal to set up a Swinton constituency.
As I will write later in the blog their hypocrisy on their alleged "love" for Salford was well and truly exposed in recent months when their "Greater Manchester" idealogy is the real policy supported by Salford Labour & MEN media is the real policy that puts our city at risk of extinction.
After discussions with the Salford Advertiser, they send a reporter to Swinton Precinct and low and behold they learned very quickly that their "Save Salford" campaign was not going down too well in Swinton. Not because Swinton folk are anti-Salford but because of the lack of mutual respect shown to the town by this local newspaper in their propaganda to promote something that is clearly good for Salford over what would be good for the same reasons in Swinton ?
Their reporting on the subject became more balanced after this.
The "brand "Salford" has taken a battering. Lets be honest and admit it and lets look inwards, acknowledge this, lick our wounds and then think big. But in doing so, being proud of your identity, what it is to being Salfordian or Swintonian within Salford or from Eccles ? Dont have your identity weakened or your city put at risk by some grand idealogy by the political elite ?
I am NOT ashamed to say I live in Salford, I live in Swinton, Salford and I am Lancastrian, we are in Lancashire.
So why does Media City UK do not want to feel part of Salford, or that our university wants to weaken its Salfordian link and become more Mancunian and why does MEN Media refer to "Greater Manchester" being a city as a result of the alleged success the city of Manchester has brought to the manufactured region of "Greater Manchester" which allegedly includes the city of Salford ?
In fact as we know Salford Labour did not even want our city to have its own Executive Mayor but Salford & Manchester Labour including Hazel Blears, Sir Richard Leese and others said they want a Greater Manchester Mayor ? The Manchester Evening News are so pro this idealogy that in recent days they discriminated against our great city of Salford by ignoring this fact and implying that we are part of the city of Greater Manchester ?
The Community Action Party campaigned for Salford to have its own Executive Mayor, against the Labour political elite. We had many reasons for doing this and yes to be honest the "brand" Salford was being irrepairably tarnished. Hideous murders, thugs, riots and anti-social behaviour and a city Council destroying everything that is part of "real" Salford's heritage ?
We proudly campaigned to have our own Executive Mayor and without the work our party did in SWinton and elsewhere we may not have achieved the YES vote. We did.
This is the decision that has saved our city. Our city has its own Executive Mayor. Our Mayor will have to put Salford first otherwise we vote him out. When he works for us he works for Salford. Not giving up their fight the Manchester Evening News and the Salford Advertiser try to ridicule the system by highlighting decisions made which are wrong ie the Mayor's salary but as I say the values of a Mayor should not be blamed on the system !
I am going to be honest and say that I think our Mayor will let us down. The Labour idealogy will not change. Somehow a mechanism will be invented where their bigger dream of a city of "GReater Manchester" will be put back on track.
That is the anti-salford idealogy. Those organisations (IE MEN & Labour Party) that have proclaimed to "Save Salford" previously are actually not pro-Salford at all I believe, in the same way other organisations are reluctant to be part of this city.
The "brand" Salford has taken a battering, but in saying so I am pro-salford just like I am pro-Swinton. WE all must improve the brand Salford, acknowledge our failings, lick our wounds and then insist on the very best for Salford.
I expect our Mayor to put Salford first, second and last. Yes argue our place within the region, whatever that is but dont do it at enormous offence to those that want to retain their individual identity within their own great city or you will pay the price at the next Mayoral election.
Finally, I want to mention a new brand/business that has come into Salford which we should support. Its called "ThebestofSalford" supporting local business in Salford. I attach a link. Its well worth supporting :-
Join the Community Action Party's new Facebook page at :-