A couple of decades after the IRA bombing, a Manchester resident struck at the heart of the city’s innocence and culture – blowing himself up in the Arena during a pop concert.
With 22 dead – the terrorist Salman Abedi also – the city the day after was not quite in mourning yet, simply living in shock.
I spoke to people in the streets who were there in body, but with worries and thoughts miles away, telling me “I just want to be anywhere that’s not Manchester”.
I wrote this for the New Statesman.
Manchester is my adopted home. It’s been so good to me and my family, and I am continually thrilled at the friendly nature of those who live and work in such a massive city.
But there’s something rotten at the core of the community: homelessness.
There are hundreds across the region who have no home to go to, and a shocking proportion of them even sleep on the streets, many taking drugs to get through.
It was heartening when the London-based homeless charity Centrepoint told me that they were intending to tackle the use of the drug ‘spice’ amongst 16-25 year olds.
It might be a small step, but it’s one on the right direction. You can read the piece on Lovin Manchester here.
On the eve of the election for a new metro mayor for Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham had the support and faith of so many.
But as well as holding the ideals which would help to make the city region a better place, the Labour man leaving behind Westminster’s uneven party politics under Corbyn was also entrusted by voters to solve one of the overwhelming issues there: homelessness.
I wrote for the New Statesman about those who put their belief in him, those who need him to succeed – and the position of the man himself.