Is this cool? Is it?
On the evidence presented here, not very. The first claim, from Colin Sinclair, chief executive of inward investment agency MIDAS:
“The value of Manchester’s cool reputation is enormous for inward investment. The creative, media and digital sector all want to be in the city because of its history as a centre of fashion and music and that rubs off because the professional and financial sectors always want to be associated with cool. Manchester’s got some of the leading specialists in law and accountancy who serve a cool client base and that’s not a coincidence.”
These 'cool' lawyers, according to feature writer Neil Tague, include those famous 'for getting the wealthy or famous off drink-driving charges like Nick Freeman or Jeanette Mille'. Getting the powerful off drink-driving charges doesn't make you cool - it makes you a bit of a cunt.
The rest of the article isn't much more inspired. While there's certainly a debate to be had about the image associated with, and promulgated by, major cities, the property developers. PR bunnies and bankers being talked about here - though a key part of any city's economic life - are hardly most people's idea of 'cool'. In many cases, the phrase 'all mouth and trousers' seems more appropriate.
Worrying about whether you're seen as cool is a sure sign you're not. As another Manchester philosopher said: The cool people know who the cool people are.
Mind you, Leeds isn't much better. Sheffield, on the other hand, just knows...