Manchester City Council in Gay Vote Scandal

Another week and yet another “gay awards scheme” appears to be attracting some dubious nominations.

Last month the Stonewall Awards in London sparked an angry protest from the transgender community and a major celebrity split after a bigoted journalist was nominated.  Heres more proof that the “old boys network” is alive and well in Manchester…

About a week ago Terry Waller, “Lead Officer for Gay Men’s Issues” at Manchester City Council sent out an email requesting people to vote for gay men’s social group run by the LGF “Icebreakers” for a Pink Paper Readers Award (they happened to be last year’s winners). The email went onto say – “Maybe you’ll also nominate our friends at The LGF, Taurus, 40 plus  and Northern Wave too.”

After your money AGAIN!.. - the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and it's "friends"

After your money AGAIN!.. - the Lesbian and Gay Foundation

Read our article “The Truth about where your wristband money really went” which explains how together they conspired to ripped off Manchester’s long suffering LGBT Community last year by making multiple funding bids for the same organisation under different names and therefore siphoning off the funding into one big fat pot.

Whilst we have no objection to the claim that that the groups and businesses being promoted are just as worthy candidates to win an award as any other and no doubt provide excellent services to the community but the question must be asked- why is Manchester City Council participating in the unfair influence of a democratic process by sending this request to its entire LGBT mailing list? Other groups hoping to be nominated may also be reminding their supporters to vote for them but this is a council mailing list which includes people who are neither Pink Paper Readers and who most likely have never heard of or used the services of this cliquey list of “friends” the email is suggesting people nominate and vote for.

This use of the mailing mailing list in this manner is clearly biased an inappropriate, its completely unfair to other worthy groups and businesses and it smacks of favoritism. Taurus, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (who run Icebreakers, the 40+ Group and Northern Wave Swimming Group) and Manchester City Council are all heavily in bed with the controversial Manchester Pride – also nominated for an award.

Terry Waller claims this request is purely “information we have been asked to distribute” however previous attempts by other organisations not connected to funded by Manchester City Council have failed to be distributed are frequently ignored. Although his mail shots are sometimes useful and informative they rarely contain anything other than more promotional extracts from the Lesbian and Gay Foundation or Manchester Pride –  which have plenty of more direct and dedicated means of contacting the community.


Manchester Pride Ticket £15
Squishing Criticism – Priceless!

Manchester City Council and “friends” at the Launch of Manchester Pride 2008. Together they have sent requests to a public city council mailing list to canvass support in order to swing the vote in favour of their organisations in this year’s Pink Paper Awards.

Despite causing so much anger and controversy within the community, GayMafiaWatch has heard Manchester Pride has been nominated for a Pink Paper Award too.

Jackie Crozier, Director of Manchester Pride. Famous for her
Gestapo-like appearance in
this revealing video when she
attempted to confiscate placards
in the Pride Parade
because they read “Pride Not Profit”.
Andrew (“Drew”) Stokes, Chair of Manchester Pride and
Director of “Marketing Manchester”.
Read about how
he misled the public over Pride’s attendance figures
promoting a probe by Trading Standards.
Pink Haired Mavis, Lord Mayor of Manchester. She didn’t really
have a clue what was going on. This
blogger has more photos
with the poor mayor looking even more shocked as organisers
try to cover up their actions.
Mike “Polly” Pollard, Proprietor of Canal Street bar Taurus and
representing the Village Business Association (VBA). Three
weeks after this photo was taken the VBA’s chair Phil Burke
resigned from the Board of Manchester Pride accusing the
council of putting “Pounds before Poofs”
Cllr Paul Fairweather, founding member and supporter of the
Lesbian and Gay Foundation the charity where
GayMafiaWatch has uncovered a lot of dirty dealings along with the
George House Trust – another dodgy
charity you can read about in
this blog

…the big cover-up

Moments after the above photo was taken…. Protesters descend on the Pride Officials and Lord Mayor

The protest group “Pride is a Protest” claims it has been shamefully airbrushed out of the official pride photos.


Pink Washed!

In this photo you can clearly see how a sign being held by a protester in the back of the photo outside Manchester Town hall taken shortly after saying “Queer Liberation Now” has been airbrushed in black out by Manchester Pride. A Pink “Pride Not Profit” Banner in the far right corner has also been obscured. Watch a video of the protest at the Manchester Pride Launch

If it’s not clear to you what Manchester Pride is all about, they have made it clear what its not about by doing this.

As Manchester Pride came to a close at end of August 2008, Phil Burke (who was missing from the above photos) Chair of the Village Business Association (VBA) resigned from the board of Manchester Pride in frustration and declared “Manchester Pride is a marketing event run by ‘dictators’ “. It made the front page of the Manchester Evening News later that day where he continued to speak out and claimed “Manchester Pride is Purely a Commercial Operation“.

Dozens of other small businesses, charities and community groups and local councilors of all parties have since spoken out in support of Mr Burke including Body Positive, Cruz 101, The Rembrandt, Eden, AXM Group, LGBT History Month. Queer Youth Network, OutRage! and the NUS LGBT Campaign.

In October 2008, UNISON (the largest of all the trade unions) voted at it’s recent LGBT conference to condemn the actions of Manchester Pride and has agreed not to provide it with sponsorship to the event next year.


4 Responses to Manchester City Council in Gay Vote Scandal

  1. The Masked Avenger says:

    There does seem to be a general assumption that everything village and pride related is automatically a good thing. Even the BBC has failed to give balance on its BBC Manchester website. Take this ‘review’ as an example:

    Here we have the Beeb linking out to the website of a commercial club night when, historically, the Corporation has been piss-poor at linking to anyone. As far as I am aware, the alternative ten-day-long non-profit GetBent 2007 festival got no coverage at all from the BBC.

    It’s all a little clique of scene-going ‘professionals’ who pat each other on the back.

  2. James says:


    The trade union ‘Unison’ has voted to support pride is a protest & condemns the actions of Manchester Pride this year, but it has not agreed to withdraw sponsorship necessarily. The full text of the motion which details exactly what was agreed can be found here:

  3. The Masked Avenger says:

    Meanwhile OFCOM has ruled that a £230,000 ad made by Transport for the Greater Manchester Passenger Executive (GMPTE) about the proposed congestion charge was biased and breached guidelines.

    The watchdog said the ad ‘directed towards a political end’.

    Whatever happened to democracy, fairness and the truth in Manchester?

  4. I have been involved with Manchester Pride since moving to Manchester in 1997. I was grateful to receive my VIP Pass in 2003 for Euro-pride as part of a contingent from UNISON LGB North West Regional Committee and have not attended a Pride Event in Manchester since.

    The reason I have not attended is because I now have to enter a caged/fenced off area where I have to pay an extortionate fee, just to access a number of streets and venues that I can attend free-of-charge any other weekend of the year, be spoken down to by a band of hired gorillas who then talk to me like something they have scrapped off the bottom of their shoe, just to pay the wages of the staff at the LGF and Manchester Marketing, who then (if they can be bothered) pay a token amount to the local HIV/AIDS charities, but only after 3/4 of the money raised is creamed off in hidden costs and to pay for their hired heavies to force money out of you.

    Manchester Pride has become the mockery of the LGBT Community in Manchester (even though I suppose the younger generation find them amusing).

    I now actively campaign with organisations such as Pride is a Protest, Reclaim the Scene and other associated organisations to attempt to make Manchester Pride what it used to be: a free of charge, family friendly, fun day out for ALL the family.

    Manchester Pride shouldn’t be about how much money can be MADE, it SHOULD be about how much money can be RAISED for the local HIV/AIDS and other charities in Manchester (excluding the LGF, as they are now only in it for the money, which was made quite clear from the cost claim they put into the Pride Committee last year).

    Fences may contain the problem and be assumed to protect us, but the only thing that will change society’s perception of us is to show that we can party hard and still keep our dignity. You only have to look at people like Quentin Crisp to see how it should be done.

    Equality for EVERYONE, not just for the few!


    Julien FitzGerald HNC(BusFin)
    Executive Administrative Consultant/Civil Advocate
    ASSM Administrative Solutions
    (inc ASSM Civil Advocacy Team)

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