Podcast: The Manc of the hour

Burnham at work. Image: Getty.

On Wednesday, in Newton Heath, Labour's Andy Burnham launched his manifesto to be the first elected mayor of Greater Manchester. Obviously, nothing can be taken for granted in politics these days – but nonetheless, Manchester is a Labour city, and the bookies currently have him at 1/6. Andy Burnham seems highly likely to be the first mayor of England’s second city.

So – what does he actually want to do with the place? He was kind enough to speak with me for a few minutes after the manifesto launch to tell me, and by some miracle the tape of that conversation is pretty much of broadcastable standard. And so, you can hear it on this week’s episode.

I'm painfully aware that we've not always been as kind about Burnham as we could have been on this podcast, of course. So to balance things out a bit, and make sure we’re not being too unfair, we invited our colleague Patrick Maguire – another Sefton-lad, and a self-described Burnhamite – to join us this week and to make the case for Burnham. (You can follow Patrick on Twitter here.)

Some useful links: Stephanie mentions a review she once wrote of a John Cooper Clarke show; that’s here. Here’s my New Statesman piece explaining the origins of my cynicism about Andy Burnham. And here’s Andy Burnham himself, on his manifesto.

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason.

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Podcast: SPQR

Rome celebrates its birthday in 2014. Image: Getty.

It’s just me this week, which is a problem, because there’s no one to stop me from indulging his sillier ideas. For example: an entire podcast about Ancient Rome.

Our guest is Kevin Feeney, a historian of the late Roman Empire based at Yale University, Connecticut. He gives us a whistlestop tour of Imperial Rome, with occasional side trips to other ancient cities. We also discuss other important matters such as the nature of Roman emergency services; whether the Emperor Claudius was all that Robert Graves made him out to be; why ancient Britain sucked; and, inevitably, why the whole enterprise fell apart.

Then we round off with the audience participation bit. This week we’re asking: which cities or places from history would you like to visit and why?

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Oh – and if you’d like to give us a nice review on iTunes, we’d really like that very much, thanks. Enjoy.

 

Skylines is supported by 100 Resilient Cities. Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

You can find out more at its website.